if Sony had been around earlier - format wars

for those who gave you beta, sacd and now blue ray
always intent on a format war

if sony had been around earlier

turntables would spin both clockwise and counterclockwise

8 track tapes would have competed with 10 tracks
or in a spinal tap world 11 tracks

edison would have given up

rome would have fell to both barbarians and format wars as the cariot would have been redesigned to fit in wider wheel ruts
Sony is just a Corporation that manufactures products. They can't and don't make you purchase their products. It seems to me that Sony develops new products that they think offers better performance/features than what is available in the market, and they hope the comsumer will agree and purchase millions of them so Sony can recoup their R&D cost and make a profit.

I can't imagine how boring the world would be if companies did not develop and produce new products that enhanced whatever market they are in. If no one ever tried something new, your car would have wheels that still fit in those Roman wagon wheel ruts.......


Fact is . . . Beta, SACD, and Blue Ray were (are) all the superior technology, compared to the competitors. VHS, DVD-A, and HD-DVD are all inferior in various ways. I think Sony fails in its marketing, much as Apple, with a superior operating system to Microsoft, failed to establish itself as the dominant system due to a lack of insight into successful marketing.
Well put Mr.TIC.----Over at avsforum there are plenty of Sony bashers.(I went with HD-DVD because of the price.) Truth be known there are many of their concepts that get improved on but they did the R&D to start with. They have been the yardstick for many,many years.--And collect the royalties from others using their efforts. Making money keeps the wheels turning. The size of the ruts is not under their control. (But I'm sure they're working on it.)
When forced to choose, superior technology doesn't stand a chance against convenience.
Now, why do turntables spin clockwise? Obviously, so that right-handed people can easily manipulate the tone arm. Think about how difficult it would be with the arm on the other side of the LP.

What do you Leftys think? (Perhaps CDs are a Lefty plot).
sony's insistance on content censorship is guaranteed to kill their great ideas every time. always bet on artistic freedom.
why not converge on one format and have a hope of things moving forward
Porn drives the development and selection the winning format. It did with VHS. It drove the success of DVD, and it will with Blue-Ray or HD-DVD also.

Too bad people don't buy hi-rez moaning. Porn would've driven SACD or DVD-A, too.

If you have a favorite format, lobby the porn industry to adopt it.


I recall another thread about a 5.1 center channel where someone wanted it to come from the rear instead of conventionally. I am sure they could oblige.
The size of the space shuttle is based upon the distance between ruts on Roman roads, which translated into train track width, and therefore Shuttle width:)
Look at the follow clip http//:www.scottmcleod.org/didyouknow.wmv
and decide how long any format now dominant will last as we zip along.
Long before VHS and DVD porn drove technology. The earliest commercial application of photography was for porn.
I ahve to agree with AudioTomb. Sony seems to go out of its way to introduce formats that become orphaned in the marketplace. In addition to the aforementioned Beta, etc. don't forget that Sony also brought us the Elcassette and the MiniDisc formats. How many of you have either of these formats?

This is the main reason why I am sitting on the sidelines waiting for the Blu-Ray/HDDVD battle to be decided. Based upon historical performance, I wouldn't bet my dollars on Sony this time around...

I guess all formats will come and go,4sure. Ya'all scaredy cats can sit on the porch and not enjoy anything more than the technology U got now--or 'run' with the big dogs.--Just about anybody here probably has better than a boom-box,yes? WHY?? cause what U-got is better,right?? Hey,it's all about "more/better" These new formats qualify. Ain't nobody twisting anybody's arm.--Stay on the porch, it's much safer there,huh?
Avguygeorge...For all its faults the vinyl media does have longevity. The very first LP I ever bought, the show "Wonderful Town" vintage 1949, I can still play on my modern equipment. And of course there are much older ones that I could play if my TT had 78 speed. Sony has made some effort in this direction by including a Redbook (CD) track on all SACD.

FWIW Porn is being produced in HD-DVD and Blu-ray. While @ CES I strolled over to AVN and spoke at length with the guy bringing this to market... he is going with older titles (Deep Throat, Debbie Does Dallas) as well as a handfull of newer ones currently only filmed in 720p, but soon to be full 1080p. When last I heard from him he was a few weeks off of release.....

Well, after wandering through the AVN, I don't know if I want that much detail in porn..... let's face it, those girls should not be viewed under flourescent lighting!!
02-23-07: Audiotomb
why not converge on one format and have a hope of things moving forward

........sorry, I couldn't help myself.
Audiotomb said "why not converge on one format and have a hope of things moving forward".

Sony would love for this to happen. As long as it converged on their format. How can you possilby fault Sony? They spend massive amounts of money on R&D, same as the other companies do. Is it Sony's fault that other companies are doing the same thing Sony is doing at the same time? I don't think so.

The answer is obvious. All other electronics companies should stop producing new technology so Sony wins the format wars and you don't have to worry about futureproofing you system.


I have great admiration for Sony for pushing the technology envelope at the mass market level.

Isn't that what the high-end companies are doing in a different market segment, the segment that we are a part of and subscribe to? In that sense, criticizing Sony is ilke criticizing ourselves.

I don't know if a lot of people realize this, but Sony was also very much involved in the creation of VHS. When they subsequently developed the technically superior Beta format, they sold off their rights in VHS tchnology to JVC. Not a good move in hindsight but why would they keep an inferior product when they developed something better?

By the way, contrary to popular opinion, Beta didn't die when VHS won the mass market battle. It remained as a pro product specifically because it was better than VHS. Sony stopped making Beta players only about three years ago, and that was because digital recording systems have overtaken Beta.

I find it disappointing that people criticize Sony for developing a technically better product. When they abandon a product, it's only because they found something that they think is even better and would like to put it in the mass market, which is where the money is. Makes sense to me. They seem to earn a pretty good living doing what they do. And just as they dropped VHS for Beta, they dropped SACD (or are in the process of doing so), because they now have Blu-Ray, which can do anything SACD can do and more.

I see a pretty consistent strategy in their business decisions over the last 30 years.

The wildcard in the current battle is that the hardware manufacturers now also own content, the movie and recording studios, unlike the days of the VHS/Beta battle.

If something fails in the marketplace, it isn't because of the technology being inferior. It's a marketing issue. And in Sony's case, I think it's specifically a pricing issue. They charge too much. Although studies show that people will pay a premium of about 10%-15% for the Sony "name", I think that's eroding. The other manufacturers make good kit too and I think it's getting harder for Sony to justify the price premium, unless they do have something that's demonstrably superior to the competition.

I was thinking about this tonight as I just received my weekly flyer from the local electronic big box retailer chain. I see that the Blu-Ray players are now starting to drop in price. Smart move. The closer in price they get to HDD players, the greater the opportunity to win that war. But Sony don't seem to like to play the price competition game. If the marginal increase in performance has greater utility to consumers than the marginal increase in price, they will win. If not, they will lose. Unless of course they develop something better in the interim and then the game starts again.

I find it fascinating to watch the corporate moves and countermoves.
Markphd I agree with most of what you have said except for the part about Sony abandoning SACD. In fact Sony has just opened a new plant to make SACD discs in larger quantity.

SACD is also supported by many audiophile companies. And most audiophiles agree SACD is a better format than DVDA. Over 4000 different SACD titles have been released.

I also don't understand the comments from audiotomb and the format wars business. Sony is not the only company supporting Blu-ray. In fact Toshiba is for the most part on it's own with HD-DVD. You hardly ever hear people complain about them. In fact Toshiba was barred from trade with the US in 1987 for selling tools to Russia for building submarines.

The Technics SP-10MKII will play clockwise and counterclockwise. In addition, Turntables would have been much better if they played from the inside out. When the record got to the end the arm would just fall off the record. No need for an arm lift.

And, Edison was wrong and eventually did give up. He wanted our power system to be DC and lost out to Westinghouse and Tesla's Alternating Current system.
a third hd dis format is threatening to br introduced in the summer. so far, the players and software have not caught the imagination, or money of the general public.
Having read so much about format wars, I was not going to click on this thread.....I am sure glad I did. Compliments to all for your wit!

A subject that just won't WITher away.....
imagine struggling with alternative vinyl formats at the same time

not lps 78s and 45s
clearly lp won out even if it took a while at places like Blue NOte in the early 50's

imagine vinyl with two incompatible formats

frankly blueray and hd won't hit well with 95% of consumers because they won't want to buy the same movies twice
As I remember, back in the '70s Quad was just the same as we have today--It required dif. cartridges to play the different companies' vinyl---There we had vinyl with 2 incompatible formats. ---Regarding buy the same movie twice---We early adaptors are hoping for release of maybe a hybird disc with both formats on the disc--for all the upcoming 'new' movies.--Some movies are already this way--Some are released in the new format at the same time as the standard disc.---Much like how it was with dvd when it started.A lot of the early dvd purchaces were of older movies till they ramped up with 'all' the new releases. I have rented most everything I want to see at Netflix,in HD-DVD----So, I may pick up a BD player,soon. I saw the Samsung for 499 on line;tempted I am.
LG is out with a player that plays both HD-DVD's and Blu-Ray discs.

SONY SUCKS! They only developed SACD with a dual layer because their 25 year patent expired and they were getting royalties from every CD ever produced by any company (billions in revenue$$). Yes it is technologically superior, but they made the hardware so expensive and worse yet charged more per disk when the market wanted convenience and portability (MP3’s yuk).

Sony Jumped into Blueray because Toshiba was making all the royalties on DVD's sold because they owned that patent, and therefore Sony want's their own format to gain all profits and copy protection since DVD protection was cracked. SONY has dragged blueray technology into the ground trying to protect their content with DRM and hence why we haven't seen this type of quality ages ago. Blueray is not leaps and bounds superior (Their marketing will tell you that..) They currently don’t make anything even even comes close to their stats (200gig???100gig??, Dual layer?)
Blueray movie production is using Mpeg2 (just like DVD and filling up their extra space) still and barely looks better than standard DVD's on the first round of blueray products.

Blue ray's protective layer is 1/10th that of HD-DVD and is thinner than CDR's protective layer.. Talk about skipping when you rent!
Blueray hasn't made any dual layer media yet, and they are having laser production problems.
You can buy an Xbox HD-DVD drive to hookup to your computer for $200, but a Blueray reader doesn't exist? and a recorder is $800.

I owned a high end Sony Dat player years ago along with a Beta, but Sony killed DAT because they couldn't copyprotect it well enough, and SACD is dead (except for re-issues and classical music).

Blueray almost cost twice as much for the player so that will steer the market, but Sony is dumping tons of marketing money into why Blueray is better so it could still go either way... let's just hope that they don't kill both formats like SACD and DVDA and we all lose.

I voted buy buying HD-DVD and a stack of movies! It absolutely kills my Cable HD on my 103" projection screen, and it doesn't have all the artifacts that blueray has. I voted HD-DVD because It hurts being an early adopter and $500 for an excellent upscaling DVD player for existing collection versus $900 for a blueray player? that magical $1000 price point you can't just make a quick decision on...especially for a Beta Version (1.0)

Plus Sony refused US production firms from producing Blueray porn and this could really be killer.. the interesting thing was the porn industry wanted to go blueray for the enhanced (one more level) copy protection levels and had originally said they would go SONY. Now they have mentioned that only the big studio's can afford the Blueray production equipment (aka just like SACD where they couldn't produce albums because they were all busy rebuilding the Rolling Stones catalog??)

The other thing that sucks about both formats is that when a new movie is released the consumer can't pick it up on TUESDAY at walmart, bestbuy, circuitcity or any other mass store because they only have 2-3 rows of product and don't keep pace with new releases.... This is another marketing gimmick where if you want to watch it now, you have to buy a standard DVD and then wait till it gets released on HD-DVD or blueray and buy it again.. I WANT MY CONTENT on the same day and I want choices. Best Buy stores now have a larger selection.

A major gripe about HD-DVD are these stupid DUAL packs for $32-39 which have a DVD and an HD-DVD.. I don't care about a DVD..and I don't think the movie content is good enough to justify the cost... Sell just the HD-DVD!!! You are just making blueray look better with lower prices because you don't have to buy a bundle...

Oh yeah if you wonder why HDMI 1.1, HDMI 1.2, and Finally HDMI 1.3 all barely work??? DRM... The consumer screamed loud enough that they have enable the Component outputs on these new players till 2008, but the film studio's can flip a bit on new media and turn off your component output capabilities and force you to upgrade your HDTV ready TV so you can get a newer HDMI connection with HDCP copy protection.

Aggghhhhhh..sorry to go on a rant but when you have 100+ inch screens you really need the extra 1080(i)p resolution from a source any source...and meanwhile hollywood is more concerned with RIAA MPAA and suing their customers than bringing digital video technology to the home front!! It’s not our fault that China and the Middle east don't pay for movies, music, or software... take that up with them and don't punish the consumer in the US! As with any copy protection scheme; it will be broken.. so instead get something out that costs under $20 for movies and under $10 for CD's and get some talent for artists instead of $$$$ marketing for one hit wonders...

Why must we buy NOS music? And one more… Remaster it right the first time! Quit compressing all the current recording to MAX volume across the freq range!!!