Format war

Format war

A format war describes competition between mutually incompatible proprietary formats, typically for data storage devices and recording formats for electronic media. It is often characterized by political and financial influence on content publishers by the developers of the technologies. Developing companies may be characterized as engaging in a format war if they actively oppose or avoid interoperable open industry technical standards in favor of their own.


*Player Pianos: In stark contrast to almost every other entertainment medium of the 20th century and beyond, a looming format war involving paper roll music for player pianos was averted when industry leaders agreed upon a common format in Buffalo, New York in 1908. The agreed upon format was a roll 11.25 inches wide with holes spaced 9 per inch. This allowed any roll of music to be played in any player piano, regardless of who manufactured it.

*Early recording media formats: cylinder records versus disk records. In 1877 Thomas Edison invented sound recording technology using a tin cylinder record, and soon thereafter mass-marketed the wax "Edison cylinder". In 1886 Berliner invented disk records. By the late 1890s cylinders and disks were widespread. Cylinders were more expensive to manufacture, but most cylinder players could make recordings. Disks saved space and were cheaper, but due to the constant angular velocity (CAV) of their rotation, the sound quality varied noticeably from the long outer edge to the short inner portion nearest the center; and disk record players could not make recordings. Edison refused to produce the disks until Berliner's patent expired in the late 1910s.

*78 rpm gramophone record formats: lateral versus vertical "hill-and-dale" groove cutting. When Edison finally introduced his "diamond disc" (using a diamond instead of a steel needle), it was cut hill-and-dale, meaning that the groove modulated on the vertical axis as it had on all cylinders — unlike other manufacturers' disks which were cut laterally, meaning that the groove modulated on the horizontal axis. In 1929 Thomas Edison bowed out of the record industry altogether, ceasing all production of his disks, and also cylinders which he had also manufactured up to that point. In addition, there were several more minor "format wars" between the various brands using various speeds ranging from 72 to 96 rpm. The Edison disks rotated at about 80 rpm. In 1958, the stereophonic record was introduced which uses perpendicular modulations for each channel, providing backward compatibility to the lateral-cut monaural recording. ] . Microsoft's Xbox 360 is a DVD player, and also offers consumers an optional HD-DVD external player. Initially, Blu-Ray garnered support from a greater number of movie studios and offered more movie titles. However, Toshiba used aggressive pricing to attempt to influence consumers to support the HD-DVD format. Then, the format war went largely in Blu-Ray's favor after the largest movie studio supporting HD DVD, Warner Brothers, decided to abandon releasing films on HD-DVD in January 2008 [ [ BBC NEWS | Technology | Warner backs Sony Blu-ray format ] ] . Shortly thereafter, several major North American rental services and retailers announced the exclusive support for Blu-ray products in February 2008. On 19 February 2008, Toshiba made an official announcement that it will no longer develop or manufacture HD-DVD players and recorders. [ [ Toshiba : Press Releases 19 February, 2008 ] ]

*Ultra-wideband networking technology — in early 2006, an IEEE standards working group disbanded because two factions could not agree on a single standard for a successor to Wi-Fi. (WiMedia Alliance, IEEE 802.15, WirelessHD)


ee also

*High definition optical disc format war
*Total Hi Def
*Videotape format war
*War of Currents (Alternating Current vs. Direct Current [late 19th century] )

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Videotape format war — The videotape format war was a period of intense competition or format war of incompatible models of video cassette recorders (VCR) in the late 1970s and the 1980s. It has gone down in marketing history as a classic example of technological… …   Wikipedia

  • High definition optical disc format war — The high definition optical disc format war was a format war between the Blu ray Disc and HD DVD optical disc standards for storing high definition video and audio. These standards emerged between 2000 and 2002 and attracted both the mutual and… …   Wikipedia

  • War (disambiguation) — War is a large scale conflict.War may also refer to:In Places: * War, West Virginia * West Antarctic Rift * Warwickshire county in EnglandIn Music: * War (band), a 1970s funk band * War (Swedish band), a Swedish black metal band * War (album), a… …   Wikipedia

  • War comics — is a genre of comic books that gained popularity in English speaking countries following World War II.HistoryAmerican war comicsShortly after the birth of the modern comic book in the mid to late 1930s, comics publishers began including stories… …   Wikipedia

  • War (U2 album) — War Studio album by U2 Released 28 February 1983 …   Wikipedia

  • WAR (format de fichier) — WAR (Web Application ARchive) Java Web Application Archive Extension .war Type MIME application/java archive Développé par Sun Microsystems Type de format Archive (avec Compression de données) Extension du …   Wikipédia en Français

  • War photography — War photographer redirects here. For the 2001 documentary, see War Photographer. The field at Antietam, American Civil War by Alexander Gardner, 1862. War photography captures photographs of armed conflict and life in war torn areas. Although… …   Wikipedia

  • War crimes of the Wehrmacht — are those carried out by traditional German armed forces during World War II. While the principal perpetrators of the Holocaust amongst German armed forces were the Nazi German political armies (the SS Totenkopfverbände and particularly the… …   Wikipedia

  • WAR — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. {{{image}}}   Sigles d une seule lettre   Sigles de deux lettres > Sigles de trois lettres …   Wikipédia en Français

  • War Child (Album) — War Child Studioalbum von Jethro Tull Veröffentlichung 1974 Label Chrysalis …   Deutsch Wikipedia