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CNET Top 5: Home entertainment tech flops of the decade
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CNET Top 5: Home entertainment tech flops of the decade

3:06 /

Five home entertainment technologies that refuse to die, but should.

-My god! It's been a good run this first decade of the 21st century. We got in to HDTV, digital TV, streaming TV, TiVo in TV, and just about all of it wrapped in surround sound. Then, there were the losers. I'm Brian Cooley with top 5 home entertainment technologies that landed with a thud and it was still trying to scrape off our shoes. Number 5, HD DVD, almost a hit actually. It was that close between Sony's Blu-ray and Toshiba's HD DVD in the battle for disk space high-def. The Blu-ray format could hold more data, but HD DVD had some manufacturing advantages. In the end, it was studio support which was split until Warner said, "No. We're going Blu-ray." And Sony won it. Too bad it was a shortest victory, though. Now, that all the disks are being overshadowed by a move to a disc-less future of streaming. Number 4, CableCARD. This was suppose to get rid of those nasty dated poorly engineered cable boxes that mar your, otherwise, carefully rigged AV system. The idea was you would just plug a CableCARD into a slot on your TV and that would enable all the channels on your cable system. Simple, elegant, flexible, dead. The industry never got on the same page on this one, and it wasn't cohesively ruled out in either cable systems or televisions. And when you're trying to bridge those 2 technologies, that will kill it. Number 3, the DVD recorder. Shortly after DVD arrived on the scene, we all got excited about recording on those little silver discs lots of capacity, random access, easy to add and delete chapters of content, and also durable. Everything VHS was not ecxcept for one problem, TiVo. And the fact that recording a DVD was always cumbersome and time consuming. Just how I wanna spend time in my living room. Number 2, Sony's LocationFree TV. This one's weird, Sony laid out this vision for streaming whatever is on your home AV system to your computer over the internet and nobody got it. Sling came along with the same idea and folks got it. Chalk it up to Sony's uncanny ability to be obtuse about selling their innovations. And let's face it, Slingbox didn't exactly turned into a must-have either. But the number 1 home entertainment dud of the first decade of the 21st century has to be the towering twins of total technology, DVD Audio and Super Audio CD. Good grief. Who went into a board meeting and sold the idea of producing major new formats of discs for the audiophile in us all? Real audio nuts of which they are a few have vinyl in an artist in CDs. The rest of us are happy with the compressed slop that comes off the iTunes and Amazons stores. This idea was so bad, there was never even any hype around it. And in the tech biz, that's amazing. I'm Brian Cooley. Thanks for watching.

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