DAM: DVD Wars

There’s a very well written 1-page piece on in the 10/16/06 New Yorker about the battle between Toshiba and Sony for the next generation of DVD technology. You may have seen the ads for Sony’s Blu-ray or Toshiba’s HD DVD already, or you will soon. Is it VHS vs. Beta all over again? These formats will offer a higher resolution viewing experience to maximize the quality of the latest HD TV’s. Blu-ray is also being used for Sony’s Playstation 3 video games.

Why does this matter to photographers? As the file size goes up on digital cameras, backing up your photos becomes an even bigger issue. Blu-ray DVDs are about 50GB capacity, and HD DVD is 30GB. While the best DAM strategy is to have live and local backup on a harddrive(s), which are also getting bigger and cheaper, burning images to “write-once media” like a DVD is a good insurance policy against viruses and file corruption. They are also easy to store off-site. The jury is still out as far as how long they’ll last, and when we’ll see computers with Blu-ray or HD DVD drives.