AVN IMterview: Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD
You ask and we provide. Today we talked to Kathee Brewer, former technology editor for the Adult Video News about the adult industry and the format wars. Read on for her take on this sticky situation.
Gizmodo: Ok. Well, tell us about your beat at AVN.
Gizmodo: And do you guys have all kinds of sexy parties?
Kathee: I was the technology editor for many years (about 5), and now I'm "editor at large"
Kathee: sexy parties? I wish! lol
Kathee: it's very dull around the offices, actually
Kathee: except for the occasional porn babe parading through on her way to an interview
Gizmodo: Well, they're saying that where the adult industry goes, the tech industry follows. So let's discuss next gen DVDs.
Gizmodo: Have you gotten a chance to see them both?
Kathee: I have seen HD-DVD product
Kathee: Blu-ray is a bit trickier for the adult industry, because Sony is proprietary about it
Kathee: there are a couple of products emerging that allow HD-DVD authoring, though
Gizmodo: so you're saying that Sony is going to shoot itself in the foot by being closed? Is that accurate?
Gizmodo: Or is it a "wait and see" sort of thing?
Kathee: apparently so
Kathee: on the shooting in the foot thing
Gizmodo: Poor sony.
Kathee: pretty much
Kathee: one company, Hi-Deff XXX, has been beta-testing authoring programs
Gizmodo: See, I was under the impression that Blu-ray had great studio and tech company backing.
Kathee: and has released content in that format, I think
Kathee: it does, in the mainstream!
Gizmodo: so would you say that the adult industry is as important as it used to be in this matter?
Kathee: but apparently the companies that are going to be able to duplicate product on Blu-ray discs are going to be so busy working with mainstream companies that they won't have a lot of time left to squeeze adult products onto their lines
Kathee: if the adult industry can figure out a way to make an end-run, it will — so I do think it's still important to the adoption of the technology
Kathee: most studios seem to be taking a "whichever way the ball falls is the direction we'll go" approach
Gizmodo: so which comes first, the HD content chicken or the adult egg?
Kathee: the ones I've talked to all say they've been shooting in HD for quite some time now, so it's just a matter of encoding the content for one format or the other (or both) and having it duplicated
Gizmodo: will they wait to see who makes out the best before releasing content?
Gizmodo: or do they intend to release in both camps?
Kathee: some will release in both camps, at least until one or the other comes out on top
Kathee: and some also are looking at a third minor entrant in the space, too
Gizmodo: which one?
Gizmodo: on-line distribution?
Kathee: just a sec — I need to look up the name of the company
Kathee: New Medium Enterprises' Versatile Multilayer Disc
Kathee: it sort of snuck onto the scene at CeBit in March
Gizmodo: i remember that, i think.
Gizmodo: not quite DVD
Kathee: not quite
Gizmodo: so in your expert opinion, what do you think will happen?
Kathee: but one of the things about the adult industry is that if something looks like it might catch some attention, the industry will take it seriously and investigate it
Gizmodo: so they can simply move faster than everyone else
Gizmodo: if blu-ray takes off, they'll follow it.
Gizmodo: if hd-dvd takes off, they'll follow that.
Kathee: "they" being the adult industry, yes
Gizmodo: how will that effect the market, do you suspect?
Kathee: and you'll probably see at least some content coming out in both formats, at least for a while
Kathee: adult is an early adopter of any new technology, because it can be
Gizmodo: have you seen any special - errrr - features?
Kathee: the industry has the money to invest in new technologies and try them out — "prove" them, if you will
Gizmodo: coming out with HD?
Kathee: adult studios are exceptionally fond of producing "DVD extras"
Kathee: and most have stockpiles of that kind of thing just lying around
Gizmodo: but these extras better be amazing, because then they might as well be just turning out DVDs
Kathee: it hasn't been used in the past because there wasn't room for it on standard DVDs, so it's "new" content as far as consumers are concerned
Gizmodo: i think our readership - I'm a mormon, so I've never seen pornography - might like to see that angle feature they were planning for DVDs.
Kathee: interviews with stars, outtakes, deleted scenes
Kathee: you're a Mormon, and you're writing about porn?
Gizmodo: well, i'm considering mormonism.
Gizmodo: i hear they have wonderful benefits.
Kathee: love those garments
Gizmodo: anyway, any advice to the budding porn purchasers?
Gizmodo: should they get a Blu-ray or HD-DVD player right now?
Gizmodo: or wait until things shake out?
Kathee: I can tell you I'm waiting until things shake out a bit
Kathee: like every new technology, the first models will be incredibly expensive
Kathee: and that probably is going to determine, to a large extent, which format takes off in the public
Kathee: or with the public
Kathee: although it's not a plane, so....
Kathee: taking off with the public sounds like it's going to contain them
Gizmodo: like on lost
Kathee: sorry — it's early and I haven't had enough coffee yet
Gizmodo: and half of the island will have blu-ray
Gizmodo: and half will have HD-DVD
Gizmodo: and then they'll start killing each other as offerings to the DVD gods
Gizmodo: but what's in the hatch!
Kathee: uh.... the real mccoy?
Gizmodo: the proverbial money shot.
Kathee: the money shot to end all money shots
Gizmodo: ok. thanks so much. we'll keep our eyes peeled.
Kathee: always glad to be of very little help