Friday, February 17, 2006

Who Needs Another Disc?

Swanni of, everyone's favorite pundit-for-hire, is outraged today, because despite his fortune-telling prowess he apparently just woke up to what has been reported on for months: that the upcoming HD-DVD and Blu-Ray players may not be compatible with today's HD televisions and LCD monitors.

This is so widely known that even I wrote about it on December 29th.

But however hilarious it is when those who "predict the future" come late to the party, I'm just glad people are starting to wake up to the lameness of these two formats.

But rather than write another screed about the evils of DRM, I'll just ask a simpler question. It's the one I ask in the title.

Who needs another disc?

You've got a big-ass TV. A kickin' hi-def cable or satellite box. Some kind of TiVo or PVR. And a video-on-demand technology. And if you don't have them, you soon will.

So who needs DVD's?

Just VOD, say, King Kong in hi-def and store it on a hard drive for whenever you get the urge to watch it. Stack three of four of those drives, and do away with the whole concept of discs.

They should price the special features along with the VOD, too. It should all be digital, storable, and transportable.

It's your media. You paid for it.

It shouldn't come on discs, it should come in bits. You should be able to store it as you wish and use it as you wish.

A movie should be stored on a hard drive in your home, and then you can slip it on a PSP or an iPod or on a laptop and take it with you. Like music.

The concept of selling you a tamper-proof silver disc that only works with a special player and a special cable to a special TV and with special firmware is -- I'm sorry -- so pathetically 20th Century it is doomed to fail. And it will fail if we as consumers wise up and make sure it does.

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