After years of pitched battle, involving warring factions from the production, electronics and consumer camps, Blu-ray has finally won the war. With Wal-Mart throwing it’s distribution muscle behind the Blu-ray high definition format today, HD DVD has all but lost the long, hard battle.
For several years now, independent video producers have been watching these developments very carefully as the battle has progressed. While producers have been gaining excellent high definition production and post-production tools, the final step in the HD distribution chain has been missing; how to deploy the final product to the client.The frustration with a lack of a clear distribution method has dragged on for much too long.
In the meantime, online distribution has begun to step in and fill the gap, gaining a valuable foothold in the distribution chain through such products and services as Apple TV, and Netflix’ Instant view services. In fact, I believe the Blu-ray victory will be tempered as on-line distribution becomes the deployment method of choice sooner than later.
Meanwhile, we can now look forward to the Blu-ray format quickly maturing and gaining widespread distribution in the form of players and disks. This, along with the inevitable price drops will assist with Blu-ray’s eventual displacement of the venerable standard definition DVD as the primary media distribution format.