Betamax, DIVX and HD... Not Again!

Been there, done that and still got the betamax.
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I have a Sanyo Betamax (that still works, last time I checked) left over from the dreaded format wars of the 1980's. Mine is the "official 1984 Olympics Edition"-woo-hoo!

When DIVX came out in the 90's, I looked the sales manager at Circuit City in the eye and told him that it flat out would fail. He wasn't very happy with that comment. When he defensively asked why I said that I responded: "because I don't want someone else to control what I can play on my home machine". He replied that Circuit City was totally behind the format and supporting it. I told him that was their mistake.

Anyone got DIVX now? Didn't think so.

AC-3 or THX or Dolby Digital? Does your surround support these? For a while there was yet another format war in the sound side. Only us geeks really knew it though. Most people didn't get beyond the built in speakers in their TV. By the way AC-3 is non-existent at this point so I won't leave you hanging.

Yes, my surround sound is an AC-3 unit that also does Dolby Digital, thank goodness.

What about Plasma? Bought that yet? Three years ago a flat screen set you back $10,000. Now you can grab 26" for about $800 (ecost.com). Prices are still falling. Yet many people still have the old tube. If you already have one, you likely just paid too darn much for it. Sure you enjoy it, but at what cost? IF you could do it again, would you shell out the extra $3 grand that could have bought something like a used pickup to have around when you need one?

We'll all have to get new TV's in three years. My old 36" pip Mitsubushi dual tuner with faux surround will be a nice 200-lb paperweight by then. I'm having to use the degaus button every time I turn it on so I'm wondering how long it will last.

Now comes news of the looming DVD format war. What gives? Is it blue light or HD discs? History repeats itself! (It's circular again, II!)

I've got news for the manufacturers: I ain't buying another betamax/AC3 unit. I ain't spending more for my TV than my car. I'm pretty happy with DVD clarity and I am definitely convinced that HD is completely mind-blowing at the right price. If an electronics geek like me isn't fired up to spend the dough, you guys will fail in this format war.

I keep the beta in my entertainment setup to remind me of that debacle. I'm sure not the only person who has an odd format laying around to remind them not to jump on a short lived bandwagon.

And no, I still don't have an I-pod because I like stereo better than mono.