ESPN Mobile’s demise, eerily reminded me of the current high definition disc format war, HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray, which may end up with the same fate. Let’s examine and look at the parallels.
- No benefits. The perceived benefit is better picture and better sound. But who is complaining about the quality of regular DVDs? Most consumers are very happy with the quality of current DVDs. Could this be another example of a parlor trick to lure customers to a new product?
- No customers. Just about everyone already owns a DVD player that works fine. Will consumers pay 5 times more for a slightly better new DVD player and/or pay 50% more per movie, when most are quite happy with their current model? Hmmm… sounds like this is another technology that does not solve an actual problem.
- Incompatible formats. To further add to the issues, the current format war is impeding customer acceptance, manufacturer development, and Hollywood’s support.
Don’t mis-interpret my skepticism as reveling in destruction. I’d love to see a new medium prevail to allow the purchase of high definition content. However, could these disc-based formats be another technology ahead of or past their time?
For the record, I am an avid sports fan and home theater enthusiast. I didn’t buy the ESPN phone, and I haven’t bought an HD-DVD or Blu-ray player yet.
Founder & CEO