Michael Bay on HD-DVD

Harry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixThe HD-DVD release of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix offers a revolutionary new DVD feature called “Live Community Screening”:

Gather your own army of fellow wizards for a live community screening party. Invite other owners of the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix HD DVD to simultaneously watch from their own internet-accessed players and text with your remote, PC or cell phone. When you host an invitation-only viewing, you control the film by pausing and playing the feature on everyone’s machine. You can chat live with your friends as you watch.

But the question is, will anybody actually use this feature? It requires all parties to own the HD-DVD disc, and a HD-DVD player with internet access features.

Meanwhile, Transformers director Michael Bay is at it again, this time he is spouting off conspiracy theories about how Microsoft is trying to sabotage the High Definition DVD format war:

“What you don’t understand is corporate politics. Microsoft wants both formats to fail so they can be heroes and make the world move to digital downloads. That is the dirty secret no one is talking about. That is why Microsoft is handing out $100 million dollar checks to studios just embrace the HD DVD and not the leading, and superior Blu Ray. They want confusion in the market until they perfect the digital downloads. Time will tell and you will see the truth.”

I don’t think Bay is seeing the big picture. Microsoft has more to gain from the success of HD-DVD than they do digital downloads (but the truth of the matter is they have much to gain from both). I do believe that this format war will have no winner, and digital downloads and on demand will triumph.

So what do you guys think:

  • Would you use the “Live Community Screening” feature?
  • Is Microsoft trying to sabotage the HD format wars?
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