If the Consumer Electronics Show succeeded at one thing, it was at creating a great deal of confusion about the video download market for the average consumer.
At least in audio things are easy. You rip an mp3 or buy music in the iTunes music store and play it only on your iPod or computer. You can buy songs from other online music stores, but Apple rules with an 85 per cent market share.
But Apple hasn't yet had a chance to claim a similar share of the video market. Every mayor TV network in the US has partnered with a different download service/platform, be it with Apple, Google or Intel Viiv.
This alone could very well hold back the breakthrough of a video download market. Just picture yourself standing in a store and considering which system to buy, and then the store clerk tells you that it all depends on what kind of video content you want to watch. Desperate housewives requires Mac, Star Trek a PC running Google's video player. I'll bet you that instead of figuring it all out, most consumers will just walk away.
DRM might be a necessary evil to ensure that the copyright owners get paid for their efforts, but the lack of a video DRM standard will paralyze the market.
Google's Larry Page might have noble goals with his video download services, but he's also making things more complicated.
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