Writing for Business Week Online, Stephen H. Wildstrom says that too many formats and too little equipment are making the mass acceptance of DVDs as a consumer computer storage medium more difficult. His comments come in a new article entitled
“DVDs Aren’t Ready for Home Movies Yet”.
One problem, he says, is that there are too many competing formats. DVD-RAM is good for mass storage, Wildstrom said, but it’s incompatible with consumer DVD players (unlike DVD-R, the format preferred by Apple). DVD+RW and DVD-RW are further muddying the picture, too. MultiRead is yet another DVD format that’s being proselytized, as well.
Limited availability of drives and the high cost of consumable DVD media are other barriers to mass acceptance, according to Wildstrom. The prices should go down as availability goes up, he said.
Wildstrom gives Apple high marks for their efforts to make recordable DVDs useful. “Apple’s software makes it simple for anyone who can string camcorder shots into a home movie to convert it to DVD format. There’s a lot more work to do on the Windows side,” said Wildstrom, comparing Apple’s “SuperDrive” equipped Power Mac G4/733 to a Compaq system that also comes equipped with the Pioneer-built drive.
Wildstrom figures that it’ll be a while before recordable or rewriteable DVD drives really catch on, however.
“As the Pioneer CD-R drive and the elegantly simple Apple software show, this could become an important consumer product. But we’re talking about an industry that can’t agree on whether DVD stands for ‘digital video drive” or ‘digital versatile drive.’ Given the sorry past and present, I’m not optimistic that many consumers will see this technology anytime soon,” said Wildstrom.
BusinessWeek Online for more details.