Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Sony Says Open to Avoiding DVD Format War

Reuters: Sony Says Open to Avoiding DVD Format War
BORDEAUX, France (Reuters) - Sony Corp said on Wednesday it was open to discussions to create a single standard for the next generation of DVD discs, a move which could head off the looming threat of a major format war among the world's biggest technology companies.

"From the point of view to provide the best service to the consumer one format is better than two. We're open to discussions," Yukinori Kawauchi, general manager in charge of the next DVD format at Sony's Video Group, said in an interview.

But he added that specific proposals had yet to be tabled.

Sounds like a possible win-win situation IF they can arrive at a mutually agreeable solution. At stake, a "$10 billion-a-year DVD player and recorder market, and a similar-sized PC drive market". Learn to share or risk losing $5 billion a year.

This reminds me of another story -- why Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) cells are 53 bytes. How did this happen? Well, the Europeans and Japanese wanted a 32 byte payload as it was more optimal for their networks but the Americans wanted a 64 byte payload because that was more optimal for theirs. The Comité Consultatif International Téléphonique et Télégraphique (CCITT), now known as the International Telecommunication Union Telecommunication (ITU-T) Standardization Section, compromised and agreed on the 48 byte payload. A 5 byte header was considered of an appropriate size hence 53 bytes!

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