Saturday, August 11, 2007

DVD Consumer Confundulation Coming!

For those of us old enough to remember the old VHS vs. Betamax wars, it will soon be deja vu as DVD makers toss it to consumers to sort out the winner. Dr. Deming told manufacturers reducing variation is critical to growing a market. Having two expensive, incompatible technologies is not going to fuel rapid growth, especially as many popular movies won't be released in both formats.

So what do they expect? Do Sony/BlockBuster and Toshiba/Microsoft want each customer to buy two DVD players, ensuring they can watch their favorite movie regardless of corporate loyalty? Notice who is not mentioned in this equation, the consumer. Loyalty should be a two way street. If you accidently get hit during the new high definition DVD street brawl, how will you react? Will you toss out your Blu-ray player or your HD DVD? Might you ought to wait to buy one? If enough people do that, the technology will languish, serving both consortia right. That would show them customer is king, something sorely missing in today's world.

I would say wait until movies can be downloaded but my DSL isn't up to the challenge. Funny, how my cost per month on that technology hasn't gone down. Long term contracts and cancellation penalties are no longer the province of cell phone companies. My internet service and electricity are now that way. And when I call with a problem, my time on hold is a joy compared to my conversation with "Bill" in India. But remember, who's working hard to please you...