It’s CES Eve – are you just so excited you can’t stand it? For legions of Fools out there in the world, the most sacred and wonderful time of the year has arrived. Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukah and all that are nice and everything, but the news and stuff that comes out of CES just can’t be beat.
Or can it? This year I am a bit worried, and a bit haunted by Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr’s most appropriate and oft quoted “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” – The more things change, the more they stay the same.
I could go on and on about a ton of things that are changing but staying the same (like 3D and still wearing glasses?), but I want to focus on one of my favorite topics: how we watch movies. No doubt we are going to see a flurry of press releases of new entrants in the digital video space that promise new experiences and new ways to enjoy movies.
New new new
Did you hear about Intel’s entry into the space? Intel Insider will offer downloads of films in high def to the PC on the same day as DVD and Blu-Ray for some Warner releases. I guess their new Sandy Bridge chips will work so awesomely that customers will buy Intel based PCs so that they can watch movies.
And then there’s the much anticipated announcements from Ultraviolet (the consortium) based on the work they have completed to create the future of entertainment. However, on the eve of CES, the top hit on news was something about the discovery that exposing carrot slices to ultraviolet light actually boosts the antioxidant activity of the colorful veggie.
La Même Chose
But my concern of much of the upcoming noise is that, well, so what. We all still like to watch movies on DVDs and Blu-Rays. When I talk to my friends about how they watch movies, they all mostly rent from Netflix and buy an occasional DVD. I also get a sense that because of all these new offers and confusing array of prices and windows – like day and date VOD, changing rental prices through iTunes, different HD and DVD prices, DVDs becoming available so soon after it’s in the theaters – that we as consumers are just waiting ‘til content is cheap enough and convenient enough to consume.
I get a sense that even with all this new stuff out there, we are all just doing the same things we ever did. While there is so much change out there, everything kind of is still the same. But, I’m hopeful that CES won’t disappoint…I think.