Digital videodisc (DVD) must exist in a connected world if it is to achieve its full potential.
This was the warning that George Welles, president of US consultant Imaging Futures, gave to delegates in his opening keynote speech at the European DVD summit today.
"DVD is growing faster than the audio CD, but it exists in a connected world and it is not an island unto itself," he said.
Welles predicted that DVD copyright will be difficult to protect in the wired environment. "When it comes to encryption and DVD regions the film and music industries are old economies trying to understand the new," he said.
"Instead of trying to understand new technology and consumer drive, they are trying to put toothpaste back into the tube.".
Welles said that these industries will have to start understanding how to exploit DVD-connected technologies. "DVD is more than films on a disk, it is a very powerful platform," he added.
He also stressed that DVD is not without strong competition from other sectors, notably low-cost, high-speed hard drives, personal and digital video records, broadband networks and holographic storage.
"If the DVD industry fails to address these challenges then DVD could well have a shorter live than the CDRom," said Welles.
However, he predicted that it will not be long before the arrival of $100 devices that enable consumers to control DVD over the internet through their PCs.
Illume Technologies, for example, has developed a prototype DVD networking arm wrestling game that can be played live across the internet. The game could be available as early as this year.
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