19 February 2008

HD-DVD - and other products driven into submission

The industry standard of high definition video format has been decided today as Toshiba, the company behind the HD-DVD digital video format has pulled out of development and production of the format. Sony's Blu-Ray disc technology won the day to be the successor of DVD after the Warner Bros studio, following a number of other high profile distributors and studios, decided to release movies only on Blu-Ray.

So, todays list is one of technology and products which were forced out of the market by rival brands.

::HD-DVD - see above, beaten in the race for high definition television by Blu-Ray.

::Gizmondo - handheld games consol, GPS, text messenger beaten as much by it's dodgy fraudster owners as it's battle against the Gamesboy and later the Nintendo DS. Making a comeback thing year apparently.

::Betamax - Sony's technically superior, smaller but ultimately unsuccessful format in the earlier video format war, this time on analogue maganetic video tape, down to aggessive marketing from the VHS companies.

::Dreamcast - Sega's last videogames console, tyhe attempt to regain the market lost to Sony's Playstation and after the duisaster of the Sega Saturn. Despite pioneering online capabilities it didnt gain enough of the market before the release of the Playstation 2 and stopped production in 2001.

::Netscape - the once dominant web browser, superceded by thye muscle of Microsofts Internet Explorer. Bought out by AOL, but only with a 1% share of the market, compared to ove.r 90% in the mid-nineties, AOL have announced there will be no further updates.

::Laserdisc - the pioneering pre-cursor to DVD, still loved by film affianardo's (and the Japanese) these 12 inch video discs had digital quality sound and picture during the times of VHS video's analogue, and able to hold extras (like today's DVD's) and chapter searching like CD's and DVD. However, they had limited capacity and most films had to be on numerous or double sided discs. And they were never commericially available in a recordable format.

::Stereo-8 - or the eight-track cartidge of tape. An maganetic audio tape in a plug in cartidge, popular from the mid 60's to late 70's. It declined with the introduction of the compact cassette, which was cheaper and smaller. Radio stations still used the format for jingles until the introduction of the compact disc and then computer technology (which also killed off the compact cassette and to an extent the vinyl record market).

::Concorde - the Anglo-French supersonic passenger aircraft. Technologically amazing but ultimately too expensive to run commercially.

::Virgin Cola - Branson's attempt to take a slice (drip?) of the cola market from the mighty Coke and Pepsi. A huge failure due to tasting worse than Panda Pops.

::Ask Jeeves - internet search engine that couldn't keep up with Google, MSN or Yahoo. Though still available (as Ask.com), the lovable Wooster-esque butler which searched the net for answers to your gramtically asked questions, was phased out in 2006. Ask still offers a number of features that the big three don't, such as AskEraser, which covers the users internet tracking.

::Rover - one of number of once major British car manufacturers that couldn't compete with cheaper production abroad, especially in the far east.

::British Satellite Broadcasting (BSB) - Sky Television's rival in the early 80's, with their famous "squarial" square satellite dish.

::Today - Eddy Shah's ill-fated national UK newspaper, that used computer technology to produce Britain's first full colour daily. The problem was their was no colour-proofing until the final print run and led to many issues having problems with the colour separation being misaligned. It did push the printing industry into computer controlled production but was closed, less than a decade after first appearing, after being sold to Rupert Murdock's News International.

::Top of the Pops - BBC's weekly flagship pop music programme ran for 42 years before declining viewing figures, due to multi-channel television music channels and the internet, finally put an end to this tired format. The show that would put the latest indie band on the same bill as boy band fluff, confounding the audience, it was once a British institution where anything could, and often would, happen.

::OnDigital - the finacially crippling digital terrestrial television broadcaster from ITV, (briefly rebranded ITV Digital), scuppered by a ludicrously high bid for Premiership Football rights, Sky's aggressive marketing of it's digital service and the advent of Freeview.

::The Dodo - okay, I'm stretching it here..!

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