January 11, 2005

Who is Driving the Future of DVD Technology?

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader, in a continuing meme that always comes back to his libido, presents this quite interesting article off the Reuters news wire concerning how the porn industry is directing the future of DVD technology.

As the article mentions, it is no secret that porn helped to push many trends in consumer electronics. The porn producers were among the first to abandon the Betamax video tape format. The porn industry made quick use of the internet. They catered early to broadband consumers. And they love DVDs.

Now it seems as though they are beginning to take aim at the future of DVDs. Although the article doesn't say, your Maximum Leader wonders how much blood and treasure the likes of Sony, Philips, and others are spending to woo the various porn "studios" into adapting to their formats. He suspects it is a lot.

Another breakdown in the article that is interesting is the "big" vs. "small" studio contraversy. The "big" studios (presumably having more money to spend on equipment) are going for the more expensive format that seems to boast more programming options. The "small" studios are desirous that the less expensive format be adopted as a standard. Your Maximum Leader is pretty sure that the Sony format (the expensive one) will become the industry standard. Why you ask?

First off, men (the preminent consumers of porn) like gadgets and new technology. They will often pay to be the first on their block with the newest this or the latest that. The DVD that packs more data onto a disk - and allows the viewer to customize his viewing experience - is going to be preferable to one that doesn't.

Secondly, technology comes down in price as it gains acceptance in the marketplace. Anyone who has a modicum of intelligence and has observed the electronics marketplace can tell you this. That PC that cost $3500 about three years ago can now be replaced with a newer model thousands of times more powerful for $800. That DVD player that cost $300 two years ago just went on sale at Best Buy for $75. Once these porn companies take a decision, expect their choice to start coming down in price within a few months. After that has happened, expect widespread rollout to the whole consumer electronics world within a few months of the first few price drops.

On a completely secondary note... Should we be concerned that some of societies less-than-illustrious captains of industry seem to be the ones shaping the direction of our home electronics future? Your Maximum Leader will posit that, for good or ill, the porn industry has come out of the shadows to flex its considerable market muscle. And regardless of their product, the people running the porn industry are in the business to produce a popular product that makes them lots of money. They are, quite possibly, one of the most nimble industries when it comes to adopting new technology and making it profitable. While it seems strange to say, they might be just the people we want shaping the future of home electronics.

Carry on.


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