yafla pledges allegiance to Blu-ray, bids adieu to HD DVD

Due to customer demand and format war influences, yafla has decided to cease support for HD-DVD, and will now exclusively support blu-ray (AKA Blu-Ray, Blu-ray, bluray, Bluray, Blue-ray, Blueray, BR,  BlueRoot(kit)).

This has been a difficult decision, and it's one that we pursue with a full realization that the outcome of the war might fall either way. We feel it is important for us to take a heroic stand in this battle, and to unfurl a banner declaring our allegiance.

No, seriously: We're really not just trying to press-release whore to get our name in the blogosphere and meme sites. We're not making a belatedly ridiculous obvious statement about the industry, grapling over the corpse of HD-DVD to make a "stand". We really think that we're telling people something that they don't know, and that anyone anywhere actually cares how we feel about this.

The above was my sentiment after coming across this article from Engadget on the front page of Digg. Some unknown, miniscule marketshare media server company is telling everyone what we already know, rushing out to declare their feelings on their topic. It's a bit ridiculous anyways, given that any media server worth buying would have already supported both.

Niveus is the guy announcing their support for their allies in 1946 (only in this war it was the Nazis that won…whoa…[invoke Godwin here]).

Of course I can't really blame Digg given that virtually everything posted on Engadget somehow gets front-page press on Digg. Engadget is milking this attention — An HD-DVD deathwatch Guys, HD-DVD was terminal after the Warner announcement, with a miniscule chance of surviving in a two-HD format world. After the fire sale failed to ignite an HD-DVD revival — not surprising given the astounding incompetence of HD-DVD's PR, and the half-hearted support of the remaining two studios — it was apparent to all that it was done.

HD-DVD was toast.

The war was settled, and everyone was burning the dead when Netflix and Best Buy added their kerosene to the fire. Even their announcements were rather irrelevant.

Here comes Engadget to tell us that Walmart — itself a Johnny come lately, probably feeling a little burned that Amazon was getting all of the HD-DVD corpse looting action — had gathered the ashes and was cement casing it, and just maybe that might merit inclusion onto the deathwatch list.

Seriously?

HD-DVD is dead, and has been for several weeks now. Before that it was gasping for breath.

It's even possible that the firesale wasn't even an attempt at reviving the brand as much as it was to simply clear out the inventory (Toshiba was quite honest in selling the unit as a high quality upscaling DVD player, on which you can play the Bourne series. They didn't promise much more).

Which is sad. It's sad because it was a better value proposition all around, without the abuse-potential of BD+. It's sad because competition is a good thing And seriously the claims that DVD sales have declined because of the high-definition war are ludicrous. DVD sales have declined because we have a lot more media options — just having a PVR has made it more likely that the few moments I have will be filled with a Dexter or new-to-Canada playing of Extras — but more importantly because it's kind of silly to have a media collection nowadays when you can choose from 10s of thousands of DVDs on services like Netflix or zip.ca, getting them in a day or two, soon getting them digitally delivered instantly.

The idea of a shelf full of your collection seems somewhat obsolete.

Who Killed HD-DVD?

The HD-DVD group is entirely to blame for its demise.

Not only were they grossly outmatched when it came to sequencing public announcements for maximum impact, worse still they couldn't even competently respond to the Sony group's public relations brilliance without doing more harm than good. When the Blu-ray group started handing out free players with HD sets, stacking the NPD metrics for the end-of-year kill move they coordinated with Warner (NPD metrics only include a couple of big box stores, excluding major outlets like Amazon), the HD-DVD group could only mumble vague statements about the inaccuracy of the numbers. How about doing some dirty work and getting some real metrics Something has to be better than repetitiously incanting the attach-rate spell.

All the while Microsoft sat on the sidelines pretending that it didn’t really matter which way the war went, which is an astounding perspective: The PS3 just gained a colossal advantage over the XBox 360. Even if Microsoft could build a Blu-ray add-on, who wants some wanky add-on when you can get it built right into the competitor This is a disaster for Microsoft’s game division.

Acceptance

I suppose us HD-DVD supporters have progressed through the K├╝bler-Ross model

Denial: The superbowl ad is going to reinvigorate HD-DVD!
Anger: Someone needs to call the FTC! Warner needs to be fined! I'm never buying another Warner movie again! Screw you, Harry Potter!
Bargaining: Why can't we all just get along in a dual-format world Maybe blu-ray on one side and HD-DVD on the other How about it?
Depression: Bah. Who cares about any of 'em. The future is all about digital delivery anyways. They all fail.
Acceptance: Time to go buy a Playstation 3.

HD-DVD is dead

I accept this new reality, and will soon buy a PS3 for the sole purpose of playing movies (the PS3 is hilariously the cheapest, and the best, blu-ray player).