Home Digital Drive

Upsamplers, DACs, jitter, shakes and analogue withdrawals, this is it.

RE: I love CDs

At first glance, it might seem so, but I'd argue that video innovations also have had convenience at their core. One huge aspect of video convenience is the explosion in the number of available broadcast channels. Digital coding and compression is utilized not primarily for improved quality, but to deliver more channels. The introduction of the videocassette was totally about convienence. It enabled consumers to time-shift progams and to watch what what the wanted when they wanted. The video performance offered was actually worse than what was available via analog broadcast at the time.

While disc based video, first, analog laser disc followed by CD-video, DVD, and now BluRay offered increasing video quality, they also offered increasing convienece. Video discs enabled random access to programs, unlike tape which had to be fast-forwarded or re-wound to access a given spot, and are much more convienent to store or transport than VHS. Although discs were a step back in their lack of re-recordability, a problem addressed by hard disk based video recording. even among tape technologies, performance wasn't the driver, as VHS overcame the higher performance of Betamax in the marketplace.

Flatscreen TVs are also an interesting example. The early flatscreens offered standard definition video. What drove sales was their ability to be easily handled (low weight and compact form-factor) and low floor space (or, on wall) consumption. Video quality was definitely inferior to the better analog monitors of the day, particularly in contrast ratio and color accuracy. Yes, High-Def has a performance driver, but I find that this ivory much driven by the sex of the consumer. Most women I know are only marginally concerned about the size of the screen and it's resolution. My wife is quite happey to watch her soap operas on a noisy, low res VHS tape which gets re-recorded over every day with the next episode. Women seem much more interested in access to certain programming, and that the display not be an eyesore. Men seem to be more focused on the video performance qualities.

The most killer new products do combine convienece with either some superior performance aspect, or low cost. McDonald's combined burger convienence with a very low burger cost. Their limited menu concept was the key which simultaneously enabled both. High-Def TVs offer something similar, combinng convienence with better performance.
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Ken Newton



Edits: 03/24/12 03/24/12

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  • RE: I love CDs - knewton 03:54:10 03/24/12 (0)

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