Suspicious Battle Dept.

By John Dvorak  |  Posted 2004-10-15 Print this article Print

In Asian back alleys, the Blu-ray disc and HD-DVD standards duke it out.

The Blu-ray disc standard continues to battle with the HD-DVD standards in the back alleys of Asia. The final spec for HD-DVD should appear early next year. Though the Blu-ray group has a final standard, they are now adding to it. This process of creating constant additional standards within standards makes a mockery of the concept of standards.

This problem is rampant in the current crop of DVD players—in case you havent noticed. These incorporate different sound standards and playback schemes, and some DVD players can read writable discs while others cannot. Its amazing that these things manage to work at all. Most work poorly. The latest twist with Blu-ray is that it has now incorporated Microsofts VC-1 video codec. There is some scheme afoot here. I sense that all of this will unfold slower than anyone wants to imagine. The blank media itself is part of the problem for both systems, too.

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John C. Dvorak is a contributing editor of PC Magazine, for which he has been writing two columns, including the popular Inside Track, since 1986. Dvorak has won eight national awards from the Computer Press Association, including Best Columnist and Best Column. Dvorak's work appears in several magazines and newspapers, including Boardwatch, Computer Shopper, and MicroTimes. He is the author of several books on computing including the popular Dvorak's Guide to Telecommunications. His radio show, 'Real Computing,' can be heard on National Public Radio. He is also the host of TechTV's 'Silicon Spin.'

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