Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Format war and “SEX”

The format war between Blu-ray and HD DVD just gets dirtier and dirtier.

The news in today is that both Paramount and Dreamworks, who have previously supported both formats, have decided that from now on that they will support just HD DVD (apart from films directed by Steven Spielberg strangely enough – I guess Spielberg likes Blu-ray!)

On face value this just seems plain dumb. After all the format war has been slipping in favour to Blu-ray for some time now, with sale of approximately 2-1 or even 3-1 in favour of Blu-ray of late. However, I have also heard rumour that Paramount received a payoff of $150 million to encourage the support of HD DVD from the HD DVD consortium. You can see the logic of accepting the offer, after all the sales of both formats is miniscule in comparison to DVD sales, so this is just extra change in the pockets of Paramount. Unfortunately, for the customer, this just means that an unnecessary format war has been drawn out even longer! This seems to have annoyed the Americans no end, mainly because Transformers is a Paramount film and will now be coming out on just HD DVD. A whole heap of American’s seem to love this loud and ultimately pointless film for some unknown reason (bless them).

There are those that suggest that the format war is pointless anyway, as digital distribution is bound to take over from a physical medium. I really do not see this happening, at least not for another 10-20 years, as the size of HD movies is just too large, and is a very different story to music downloads. Also, a whole bunch of people (me included), just prefer to purchase things on a physical medium (i.e. I still buy CD’s).

Overall, this news just sucks. I was just staring to buy a few Blu-ray disks now that I have my PS3, but cautiously, as I didn’t want to end up with a ton if disks for a defunct format. Now, this news makes me even more cautious. I still think that Blu-ray has the upper hand and will likely win in the end, but a Blu-ray victory looks a little less certain than it did yesterday.

The thing is, I really believe that we will eventually need a physical HD Format for films. At present, most people are pretty oblivious to this and are more than happy with DVD (and rightly so), but as HD TV’s are adopted and when HD TV signals start to become the standard (probably not for some time) those DVD’s will start to look a little below par. For now however, both HD DVD and Blu-ray will remain very much a niche format, very similar to Laserdisk in the US prior to the arrival of DVD.

I have just tried to access my own blog from work this lunchtime using Explorer, only to be faced by the following message:

Your organization's Internet use policy restricts access to this web page at this time.

Reason: The Websense category "Sex" is filtered.
URL: http://bazlurgan.blogspot.com/

Hmm…. Right then. I guess that my blog is just too explicit for my works internet security system, because lets face it, my blog is simply laced with explicit articles, shocking photo’s and raunchy video’s. I really should be ashamed…

No, what probably happened is that at some point on my blog, I mentioned the word “sex”. Oh dear, how very, very, bad of me… Because just mentioning the word “sex” must be a big no no, after all there is nothing more shocking and disturbing than reading the word “sex “online is there? After all, just think of the images that the simple word “sex” conjures up! These thoughts must be stopped, and the mere mention of “sex” must be prohibited at all costs.

For example, just think how many times I mentioned “sex” in the last paragraph alone – see I just did it again! At this rate, I’ll never be able to read my own blog at work ever again…

Just to be rebellious….


There I said it again.

I wonder what would happen if I said “f*ck”?

Oh, never mind, I’m not going there…


steve said...

Content filtering systems are inherently flawed. I used to get tons of problems accessing genuinely work-related sites like coding sites, with bizarre categorisations like 'Gambling'. Like any automated categorisation system, it's inherently dumb.

I made a point of reporting so many categorisation flaws, each one needing to be set up individually as an exception, that in the end they just gave me the password to bypass it - thereby rendering it completely useless. As it happened I'd already got around anyway (setting up a HTTP tunnel isn't really that hard if you have the tools and the incentive) but it just proved what a nonsense it was.

Unfortunately management has to prove they have this kind of crap in place to prevent their employees from watching porn all day it seems. In my experience challenging this system it really doesn't matter whether it works or not, they just have to tick the box. Dumb.

Bazlurgan said...

Unfortunately it's not worth mentioning it to my work. I doubt that they'd be interested or bothered to amend the categorisation system just so that I could view my blog during my lunch!