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High-Definition Everywhere, Standard-Definition Approaches End-of-Life

The first ten years of the new millennium definitely were a decade of high-definition. Mass availability of multi-megapixel digital cameras since the year 2002, emergence of 720p (1280x720 resolution, progressive scan) and eventually 1080p/i (1920x1080 resolution, progressive or interleaved scan) television in the middle of the decade, the launch of high-definition Blu-ray and HD DVD standards in 2006 and the surfacing of multiple high-definition on-demand video stores towards the end of the decade are just evidences for that. The new decade can easily be the decade of ultra high definition. But first, there will be high-definition everywhere!

Microsoft Zune HD

There are Blu-ray players and drives to enjoy premium no-compromise high-definition video; there are Internet-based services that allow watching videos with quality higher than that of DVD, but not as high as that of Blu-ray; there are cameras that shoot high-def photos and videos. All of that content has to be watched on proper screens with all the details. Of course, it is not going to make a lot of sense to install an HD screen onto a tiny personal digital media player (PDMP) or cell phone, but that device should support output of high-definition video to external HD screens using HDMI or similar interfaces. Microsoft Zune HD and several less known players already support 720p output, unlike Apple iPod, but in the coming year there will be much more HD-capable PDMPs and cell phones.

Obviously, with further adoption of HDTVs, traditional standard definition DVDs will just become less appealing. Moreover, as BD players get cheaper, and so will the actual movies, the market share of of Blu-ray disc in the retail will grow in geometrical sequence. To make the matters even worse for DVD, online HD-like services will offer better experience at lower cost, hence, there will even fewer reasons to buy the outdated packaged media format.

So, with HD heading everywhere, SD and DVD are going to nowhere.

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