No matter who wins between HD-DVD and Blu-ray disc the winner will be high-definition.

In a story from Home Media Magazine, that was the idea bandied about at their recent Sixth Annual Home Entertainment Summit, DVD & Beyond, in Century City, Calif.

"We're migrating the consumer to accept high definition, and only high-def," stated Jim Bottoms from the research group Understanding & Solutions. "It's as important a migration as black and white to color."

With more and more manufacturers touting the benefits of high-definition TV sets and players, Bottoms feels, "The limitations of standard definition become more apparent with the larger screens."

He went on to say that "16X9 screens are 'key to the consumer's acceptance of HD.'" After that he cited that "more and more high-def offerings are popping up online every day, and gaming consoles are high-def as well. User-generated content has gone high-def with HD camcorders, and while there are less than 60 committed HD channels available on your cable box today, Comcast and DirecTV have promised hundreds more by year's end."

Bottoms also said that America is going to set the tone for the rest of the world.

"The USA is the critical market for high-def," Bottoms offered. "If they don't succeed here, packaged high-def likely won't succeed in Europe or Japan or Asia."

The numbers from Digital Entertainment Group breakdown like this: "300,000 HD-DVD players in the U.S. market, split in half between set-top boxes and Xbox 360s. There are 1.5 million Blu-ray players, with only 100,000 set-top boxes being counted among those. The rest are PlayStation 3s."

Also, the DEG research states that "consumers have spent $35 million on Blu-ray software thus far in 2007, as opposed to $19 million on HD-DVD product. "

"This year is preparation for future consumer uptake of the high-def formats," offered SVP of Warner Home Video, Steve Nickerson.

"No high-def format can recreate the DVD boon," stated senior analyst for the video industry for Screen Digest, Helen Davis Jayalath. "This is not another revolution," Jayalath said. "It is an evolution ... It won't happen overnight.

"Many consumers who opt for Blu-ray will get a PS3," Jayalath offered. "Plus we think the HD-DVD product will continue to have a price advantage."

Jaylath maintains that Standard DVD still has a bright future and that "digital delivery" is "set for large gains in the coming years."

"[Digital delivery] will have an important part to play," Bottoms maintains. "But packaged media in the short-and medium-term [will reign]."

Lastly, "Worldwide, the global entertainment and packaged media industry was a $1.4 trillion business in 2006, according to research from PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP. That's expected to grow to $2 trillion in 2011, with both China and India accounting for much of the growth."

It seems that in "the next five years, wireless subscribers worldwide will increase to more than 1 billion, according to Terrence Davison with PricewaterhouseCoopers."

"If you thought the last 10 years were wild, I suggest you hold on," stated worldwide president of Buena Vista Home Video, Bob Chapek.

Evan Jacobs at Movieweb
Evan Jacobs