Format war


Format war

A format war describes competition between mutually incompatible proprietary formats, typically for data storage devices and recording formats for electronic media. It is often characterized by political and financial influence on content publishers by the developers of the technologies. Developing companies may be characterized as engaging in a format war if they actively oppose or avoid interoperable open industry technical standards in favor of their own.

Examples

1900s
*Player Pianos: In stark contrast to almost every other entertainment medium of the 20th century and beyond, a looming format war involving paper roll music for player pianos was averted when industry leaders agreed upon a common format in Buffalo, New York in 1908. The agreed upon format was a roll 11.25 inches wide with holes spaced 9 per inch. This allowed any roll of music to be played in any player piano, regardless of who manufactured it.

1910s
*Early recording media formats: cylinder records versus disk records. In 1877 Thomas Edison invented sound recording technology using a tin cylinder record, and soon thereafter mass-marketed the wax "Edison cylinder". In 1886 Berliner invented disk records. By the late 1890s cylinders and disks were widespread. Cylinders were more expensive to manufacture, but most cylinder players could make recordings. Disks saved space and were cheaper, but due to the constant angular velocity (CAV) of their rotation, the sound quality varied noticeably from the long outer edge to the short inner portion nearest the center; and disk record players could not make recordings. Edison refused to produce the disks until Berliner's patent expired in the late 1910s.

1920s
*78 rpm gramophone record formats: lateral versus vertical "hill-and-dale" groove cutting. When Edison finally introduced his "diamond disc" (using a diamond instead of a steel needle), it was cut hill-and-dale, meaning that the groove modulated on the vertical axis as it had on all cylinders — unlike other manufacturers' disks which were cut laterally, meaning that the groove modulated on the horizontal axis. In 1929 Thomas Edison bowed out of the record industry altogether, ceasing all production of his disks, and also cylinders which he had also manufactured up to that point. In addition, there were several more minor "format wars" between the various brands using various speeds ranging from 72 to 96 rpm. The Edison disks rotated at about 80 rpm. In 1958, the stereophonic record was introduced which uses perpendicular modulations for each channel, providing backward compatibility to the lateral-cut monaural recording. ] . Microsoft's Xbox 360 is a DVD player, and also offers consumers an optional HD-DVD external player. Initially, Blu-Ray garnered support from a greater number of movie studios and offered more movie titles. However, Toshiba used aggressive pricing to attempt to influence consumers to support the HD-DVD format. Then, the format war went largely in Blu-Ray's favor after the largest movie studio supporting HD DVD, Warner Brothers, decided to abandon releasing films on HD-DVD in January 2008 [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7174591.stm BBC NEWS | Technology | Warner backs Sony Blu-ray format ] ] . Shortly thereafter, several major North American rental services and retailers announced the exclusive support for Blu-ray products in February 2008. On 19 February 2008, Toshiba made an official announcement that it will no longer develop or manufacture HD-DVD players and recorders. [ [http://www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press/2008_02/pr1903.htm Toshiba : Press Releases 19 February, 2008 ] ]

*Ultra-wideband networking technology — in early 2006, an IEEE standards working group disbanded because two factions could not agree on a single standard for a successor to Wi-Fi. (WiMedia Alliance, IEEE 802.15, WirelessHD)

References

http://www.cnbc.com/id/23230252

ee also

*High definition optical disc format war
*Total Hi Def
*Videotape format war
*War of Currents (Alternating Current vs. Direct Current [late 19th century] )


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