Mark Cuban is on the move:
Cuban and Wagner plan to buck the Hollywood system of releasing movies over many months, through separate windows for theaters, pay-per-view, DVD, and broadcast TV. Instead, Cuban said, they intend to attempt "day-and-date releases," in which their films premiere simultaneously on Landmark screens, HDNet, and DVD. "We think it’s a way of maximizing our revenues, controlling marketing costs, and adding value to our brands," he said. "And we don’t think giving people alternatives to going to the theater will hurt us at the box office. It’s just like with the Mavericks: We still sell out the games even though they’re on free TV."
Even more heretical is Cuban’s opinion of DVDs, which is that they suck — or, at least, that they’re inferior to hard drives as a medium for storing digital content. "Why would we invest in DVD," he asked, "knowing that hard drives are going to grow in capacity, shrink in size and price, and can also be erased and rewritten?" He imagines selling HD movies stored on key-chain drives — or putting multiple films on larger drives, "like software used to be packaged on PCs." Moreover, he added, "with ever-expanding storage, we can increase picture quality for years to come by taking advantage of new cameras and better compression schemes. With DVDs, we can’t."
Cuban’s bottom line?
"We’re on the brink of a war for the living room between the PC and electronics companies," he said. "And the thing we know about death wars like that is that the consumer always wins."
Here is the full story. I’ll jump on board when a hard drive crash occurs less than every five years; I’ve never had a TV break on me. Right now for me "convergence" would be a nightmare. Simpler is better, it is the time constraints that bind, and all the rest is about giving me something I don’t (yet?) want.
Addendum: Here is a good short article on where the DVD is headed.