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Walmart will decide who wins the HD Format war.

HD v Blu Ray. Who Cares? Not me.I’ve got two HD TVs in my house, and honestly I could give two shits about the HD format war thats waging strong. My intial hunch was the HD-DVD would trump Blu-Ray for 2 reasons: First, the combo disk sounds like a great idea; secondly, Sony pretty much sucks at inventing formats.

At any rate, the previaling logic was studio support would decide this in a timely fashion and we can carry on rebuying all the movies we just bought on DVD again and call it a day; this has not really been the case, with many studios supporting both, some flip flopping and changing their minds, and so on. Ultimately the studios are going to follow the units/money, not dictate a standard.

So who is going to nip this war in the bud? Walmart. Buzz is swirling that Walmart has ordered a couple million cheap chinese HD-DVD players. The implications of having the world’s largest retailer throwing their muscle behind one camp or the other is huge. Afterall, the PS2 was a nice boost for the original DVD, but it wasn’t until morbidly obese women were trampling senior citizens at a black friday stampede for $30 DVD players that the format really made it.

Similarly, flat panel tv’s were only in the realm of the upper crust until black friday sales drove the price to something the masses would tolerate; within weeks, those black friday prices were pretty much mainstreamed, and now HDTV penetration is climbing hard and fast.

Walmart getting cheap players is a big deal, and it would not surprise me to see additional studio support follow. It’s still not enough to make me really care, but it does seem to be getting a little more inevitable.

jp said,

April 26, 2007 @ 5:32 pm

Considering that probably 80% of Walmart’s customers don’t understand the difference between an HDTV and a tv thats just really fucking big, I’m not so sure about this. Although, when iJam hit the scene with the first mp3 player that customers could afford, their support lines were flooded with people who had bought the player and didn’t know what an mp3 was.

Trod on, trend-jumping ignoramuses. Trod on.

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