Friday, May 4, 2007

Hard Core Technology

Remember back in the day when the video world was breathlessly waiting to figure out which trend would take over the industry, BetaMax or VHS? BetaMax went the way of the 8 Track Tape, Milli Vanilli's music career and MC Hammer's money while VHS is still around. Even in the age of DVDs, you still see some VHS tapes for sale. They'll be done, too, once DVD recorders become commonplace.

Anyone know the biggest reason VHS tapes grabbed the spotlight? Indirectly it was because more and more people bought them. But the real reason is because the porn industry favored the VHS format. Therefore, they only released their movies on VHS, which is why more and more people bought them. Bye bye BetaMax. Nice to know you. Now people could enjoy their porn in the comfort of their mother's basement. No more going to that gross, sticky Combat Zone movie theater.

Anyone want to guess what spurred the success of the internet? It wasn't the vast amounts of information riding the superhighway. The internet really took off when the porn industry started streaming content online. Now you could enjoy your porn without having to trudge into that video store back room to rent 'Die Hard-on' or 'My Gal Humper' while avoiding eye contact with the teenage girl behind the counter. Um...not that I'd know.

Since we're playing guessing games, do you know which industry was the first to release a DVD? That's right!! It was 'Virtual Sex' produced by Digital Playground and was released way back in 1993. Don't think I had even heard the term DVD back then.

It seems the porn industry has become the unofficial leader in pushing technology forward. They keep pushing and pushing, harder and harder....sorry. They are pioneers in getting smut as quickly and easily into our lives as possible. Horay for porn! Who knew they were a full service industry?

This also means that more people watch other people having sex than we could possible know. If it was just a minor percentage of the population that watched porn on a regular basis the technical direction the industry went wouldn't matter nearly as much. This leads me to believe that not only do a lot of people watch porn, but an overwhelming majority do so. This then makes me think that people like my parents or my boss or my sister watches, too. This, in turn, makes me want to stab myself in the frontal lobe with a number 2 pencil and attempt to manually erase that thought.

Why am I bringing this up, you ask? Well, I don't really need an excuse to discuss porn, but in this case there are two. A new service is being offered by Vivid Video that will allow you to purchase, download, and burn to DVD (just once) a full length porno movie. No kidding! Not sure how the software works, but say you're sitting in an airport and decide 'Hey, I need some jerk off material for my hotel room!' First, congrats on thinking ahead. Second, you might want to think about getting a girlfriend or a more constructive hobby. Third, go to Vivid's site, pay for a movie, have it download and viola! Some hand lotion and you're in business! Just don't do it on the plane, ok? Technically you still won't be part of the 30,000 mile club.

There is another, more economic reason. We've all heard of Blu Ray discs, right? The supposed successor to the DVDs we currently watch now. Well, there is a battle between Blu Ray and HD DVDs currently going on. Blu Ray's have better quality and more capacity (or so I hear). HD DVDs are cheaper to produce and buy. Personally, I think the standard DVDs already offer fantastic picture quality, so not sure what all the fuss is about. Whatever. My point is the porn industry has decide to go the HD DVD route since they're cheaper and easier to work with.

So does this mean the end for Blu Ray? Time will tell, but if the BetaMax - VHS decision means anything, you might want to think twice about buying shares.

I find Vivid's new service is a bit more intriguing. Will this open up doors for newer, better, online movie watching? I noticed that NetFlix is already offering to let me view certain movies on my computer. It's all part of my current membership. Sure, most are older, but I did notice a few I would take a chance on. Instead of mailing my DVDs, will I soon have the choice of downloading them to my computer, burning them to DVD and watching them that way? Might be tough due to me actually owning the movie as opposed to renting, then having to return it. But what if the DVD I burn expires? So I have 30-45 days to watch it after creating the disc? That could work.

Still there are the download speeds and picture quality issues to work out. I've tried downloading 'DaVinci Code' and let it run for more than 24 hours. When I cancelled it was only 33% complete. That means it would be faster for NetFlix to mail me a movie than to download it. How is that efficient?

Bottom line seems to be that the 'scuzzy' porno guys are more technically forward thinking than many 'legitimate' businesses. They forge ahead with alternative plans and creative thinking.

They may be scumbags, but they're scumbags with an innovative business strategy.

Today's distraction: Read 'What to Expect From Sex' as dictated by porn. Very funny, but also very adult, so be warned if you're at work. Love the accidental clubbing line.

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