If Apple TV gets a Take Two, I at least get a second blog post on DVD going HD, right?
I was wrong about adding HD tracks to the DVD disc. While viable, there’s a better path of less resistance: Who said HDi could only deliver supplemental material? What in the world is stopping HDi from giving DVD the ability to stream an entire HD version of a movie over the internet?
Think about it for a second, what did I say was the ultimate thing DVD needed to beat Blu-Ray? Backwards compatibility.
By shipping a DVD-9 with the standard definition version, and HDi code to stream the HD version via the web… you get the experience of a Combo DVD + HD DVD, without the expense of all the HD DVD equipment.
Toshiba’s $1 Billion investment in HD DVD isn’t going to waste either. With HDi, Toshiba can upsell DVD as being both SD and ubiquitous, as well as high defintion. And with player updates for Toshiba and Panasonic players, Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, and probably Mac too at some point… there will probably already be an HDi-enabled player in everyone’s household.
And, you only need one HDi player to close the loop. With one HDi player plugged into your HDTV, you get HD playback on your HDTV, and have the versatility (no pun) of taking your DVD with you on the millions of DVD players that don’t support HDi.
Lifetime HD playback can be built into the cost of the disc. The bandwidth charge can be used as a factor to actually raise the price of a standard DVD, billing it as future-proof. And, publishers will still be able to abide by the Blu-Ray exclusivity agreements, as the HDi track isn’t on the disc, but rather, on the web.
Probably the people most unhappy with this development, will be Apple. Why rent an HD version of the movie when you can own HDi playback rights for life, along with a digital copy to iTunes…