In virtually every new home entertainment technology, the first products are geared toward the high end of the market. Joe Sixpack is willing to pay for it. The cheap stuff tends to come in later. If this format war is decided early, then history is on the side of the high end product.
I already talked about this. Your statement does not change anything I said in the above paragraph. Bottom line is its the high end people who descide who wins. Vary few companies are in it for the long run and are willing to take a hit to get to better technology if they can avoid it. When they see large sales they support that market.
No. The rise of the DVD did not force the abandonment of the VCR. You can't record your soap operas or the NBA finals on your DVD player. I have a DVD recorder. The Tivo and other digital television recorders can replace the VCR. But most viewers still use the VCR for stuff they want to record. For them, the DVD is used exclusively for playing commercially recorded material.
Again you have not contredicted anything I said. DVD to VHS was a pressed format war. Copying and making your own content had nothing to do with the transition of what was a media playing device. DVD was never suposed to be a recordable format. Another format called DVD-RAM was suposed to take that place. It was only latter when people saw the cost savings and the technology improved that high speed and dependable DVD-R was developed.
You pulled this out of thin air. The VHS-Beta war was decided before the video rental market developed. People used their VCRs to time shift television broadcasts. Beta had many things going against it. It was supported by fewer manufacturers. The manufacturers that supported it were smaller. And most important, Beta had half the recording time of VHS. All of this talk about Beta having superior technology is just talk. VCRs were used to time shift broadcast TV. The "superior technology" was irrelevant in this application.
You meen before it matured. At this time VHS and Beta was used for selling some content direct to consumers, ala porn, and latter the video rental market, also with porn pioneering. Already Rental was starting just 5 to 6 months, but this was more representitive of sharing among freinds wich the pornography industry then jumped in and offered early quasi-rental services.
VHS had longer recording times at the cost of recording quality. Beta recorded a higher quality sound and auido stream. VCR came back with support for LP with a even greater reduction in the already inferior quality. Also Betamax wasnt happy at how the porn industry was begining to use these products and as such tried to fight and make a "cleaner product." Unfortunetly these restrictions helped VCR win, along with VCR's continued degrading of video and audio quality for longer play times.
For the first few years of both technologies you would see Betamax in higher end systems with VCR being the poor-man's product.
The porn industry pioneered the video rental market. For years, porn generated the greatest share of revenue in the industry. Distributers tried to treat Beta and VHS equally. However, they gradually stopped offering titles on Beta because most of the customers had VHS.
I am not talking about the rental markets. I am talking about the direct to consumer markets. Now I grant to you the Recording aspects of this analogy does not hold since VCR and Beta were both designed to be a non-recordable format for set top box implementations, atleast at first. VCR and Beta were sold for both recording and direct to consumer sales (no-rental). Furthermore there are a few more notes I will point out as I go on.
HD-DVD is the VCR of this analogy. It is a product that has inferior potential audio and video. HD-DVD could always tweek the HD codec a bit for greater storage space at a lower quality. However it is cheaper to produce and make for the next few years. Also it is importent to note that tripple and even quadruple layer HD-DVDs are in development.
Blue Ray is the Betamax of this. Granted it has supperior capacity per layer, it is the more expencive of the two standards for the time being. It has supperior audio and video potential per layer also. However it will deal with less titles avalible at its release then HD-DVD and have an up hill battle before it.
Now these analogies are not 1:1 but their PRO's and CON's about equal those to that of the betamax and VCR debate with some overlap. If I needed to I could actualy do a better analgy between videogame consles, but if I did I would be flamed out of existance because this is a vary anti-Microsoft board (Personaly I dont care about the politics and just go with the one that fits one's needs best).
If you read the white papers, press releases, and format comparisons by those like Anandtech and Arstechnica you will see my analysis of the basics when it comes to the underlaying hardware and economics are backed up.