I’m the first to admit that getting all the details right is difficult in this business. The biggest problem is that it’s so easy to pass along “common knowledge” items that contain true statements but that are misleading or even wrong in the whole. For example, DisplaySearch is a major market research firm that covers HDTVs and other related technologies. This week, they’re holding their annual HDTV conference in Los Angeles. One of their emails promoting the event emphasized the battle between HD DVD and Blu-ray. The following week, they issued a revised version of the email, which led off with the following:
CORRECTION: It has come to our attention that Blu-ray Disc is not the exclusive next-generation DVD provider to Target and Blockbuster, as indicated in the release we distributed last Friday. HD DVDs can be found in an estimated 250 Blockbuster stores and Blockbuster Online. In addition, Toshiba’s HD DVD players are currently merchandised at Target.com and Microsoft’s HD DVD player is currently merchandised in store and on Target.com. We sincerely apologize for the error on our end and have updated the release accordingly.
Yes, Blockbuster is renting HD DVDs, and Target is selling HD DVD players. The publicity machine of the Blu-ray camp has never claimed otherwise, but has presented its position in a way that implies an exclusive relationship with those companies. The bottom line here is that you have to be careful when working from any press release, and you need to dig a little deeper in order to report accurately. It’s not easy. So if you’re ever puzzled by a claim about some HDTV topic, please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best to get to the bottom of it.