Toshiba vs. Sony
Have you heard? Toshiba and Sony are battling it out over the future of DVDs.
Both companies are very well-known for their totally radical electronics. Both hold headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. And both think their own technology is the best. And that is why the talks have stopped.
Sony, along with other big-name companies like Mitsubishi and Panasonic, developed the DVD technology known as Blu-Ray. The laser is actually blue instead of red, and is therefore ultra-lucky-happy-super-number one and can cram more information onto a disc via brute force. Blu-Ray DVDs can hold approximately 25 GB, while a dual-layer disc can hold about 50 GB. It supports multi-layer discs (up to 200 GB) as well, which means one day your Blu-Ray won't be sitting on the curb.
The downside is the price. It costs more to produce a disc like this. Also, the laser draws so much energy, the lights in your neighbourhood will dim while you are recording shows onto a disc.
Toshiba's DVD technology is known as HD. It can hold 15 GB of information, which doesn't seem like much, but that's where Toshiba's strategy lies: HD discs are cheaper to produce. A prototype tri-layered disc will hold a maximum of 45 GB.
Unfortunately there is no middle ground here. HD and Blu-Ray discs and players are not compatible. Somebody has to give and neither side is budging. What does that mean for you? Three DVD players: your old one to play your current collection, a Blu-Ray to play Sony movies, and an HD unit to play Toshiba's stuff.
I was looking forward to Santa bringing me a DVD-recorder, but I faxed him earlier this week to put a hold on my order until this mess is sorted out. The fat guy jumped the gun in 1980, and brought us a Betamax.
If we have learned one thing from the Beta, it's that Sony is stubborn. If we have learned two things from the Beta, it is one word: Wait. Somebody's gotta give, but who?