In this article about the looming format war between Blu-ray and HD-DVD illustrates how some companies can technologically smart and policy dumb.
… at least one major studio intends to downgrade the picture even more unless consumers hook their players up through a special, pricey cable aimed at preventing piracy.
New software included on both Blu-ray and HD-DVD releases, however, will automatically slash the picture quality in half, unless consumers have a relatively new connector and cable called HDMI to hook up players to their televisions.
Yeah, let me know how that works. Was anyone paying attention to the recent Sony CD fiasco, which didn’t involve degrading the product quality?
Lesson number one in the looming format war should be obvious: I don’t have to do anything. I’m content with the equipment I have. I’m content with my relatively extensive DVD collection. I’m content with Netflix. Obviously the movie studios could mess with the last option, but I suspect Netflix, Blockbuster, and Amazon are more focused with that than I am. It’ll be okay. Since my entertainment budget is non-essential, I can find other ways to spend it. Make it worth my effort financially and I might see the difference in picture quality as worthwhile. Penalizing me for earlier technology upgrades is not the way to encourage me to continue upgrading to newer technology.