There's a big battle going on between Blu-Ray and HD-DVD to see which format consumers will use to view HDTV movies in the future.
Blu-Ray now has more than twice as many major studios behind it and has a clear advantage. Sony, which lost VHS vs Beta in the '80s, looks like it is going to win a rematch.
Blu-Ray is Sony's baby.
But does it really matter which one wins?
In a recent USA Today interview, Microsoft head man Billy Gates believes that direct downloads over broadband are the future. His company's Xbox Live recently signed an agreement with ABC to allow customers to download ABC programming one day after it airs.
Netflix has plans to create a set-top box to allow customers to download movies over the internet instead of renting them in a store or via mail.
New Flash technology now emerging will allow people to store these HDTV films on a tiny high capacity hard drive, like the thumb drives some people wear around their necks now like necklaces. Some of the newer TV sets are already being made with USB ports in them.
You could, I'd imagine one day, download "Rambo 27" off the internet in high def onto your flash drive, walk over to the TV, plug in the drive and go. And, of course, these drives being smaller than HD-DVDs or Blu-Ray discs -- and with the ability, potentially, to house multiple movies on one drive -- could kill whichever disc format ultimately wins.
Gates seems to see it that way. He told USA Today he believes direct download over broadband, "over time will be the dominant way that people get their movies."