With all DRM tech integrated inside Windows Vista, HD-DVD and Blu-ray, companies are forgetting one small thing. Not all consumers are idiots, although many of the companies would like that. While Joe Sixpack may be the ideal guy to ditch around and tell him to spend his money on something he'll rarely use, that may be the case with $10, not with something that costs $1,000 or more.
So, what technology is going to win the optical standards war? The answer is flash memory. If you're asking yourself why, the answer is fairly simple and that's ease of use, plus a continuously falling price and sky high capacity.
Sandisk launched a device which could, single-handedly, whack all optical media in the next five to six years. The concept is fairly simple. You place the device between standard definition source without HD support, and a TV, and it will pull the content onto a flash card, so that you can play the video on your mobile gizmo.
And this is only the beginning. We have talked to several industry analysts about the trends, and it seems that consumers are willing to sacrifice quality for mobility, as we see now in the notebook segment. Desktops are better, and they offer far greater performance and reliability, but notebooks sell like hot cakes. If Hollywood does not wake up and smell the coffee, it will be too late. And Charlie will be happy. µ
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