The tech is still very immature. Just because it seams like technically good thing, does not mean it will be adopted. If that was the case, we'd all have replaced DVDs with 5GB discs the size of a quarter by now.
You are generally some months (and sometimes years) ahead of the rest of us, in the US. But already some people are watching HD movies from BD discs on their hi rez TV sets in Australia. I think there was an initial problem (and perhaps still is) with the first internal computer BD players/burners being able to play HD movies, and that would be a sign of the immaturity of the technology, but I think that's now been fixed.
As for competing formats, yes it actually is a bad thing. Neither format offers anything unique with the exception of storage space (BD) and audio support (HD-DVD). The format war is about DRM and licensing deals. This is the whole reason why we have two formats and not one. Competition of products is a good thing. Competition of the formats is only good before it hits store shelves as it gives the industry an opportunity to choose the standards they'll use before they build around it. A format war after it hits the store shelves it does nothing but add confusion, cost and frustration for the consumer. Anything you buy now could very well become obsolete in a short time.
I agree there are bad aspects. There's always the danger of something becoming obsolete. I got caught out myself once. I bought a Syquest drive that recorded onto re-writable 1 & 2GB magnetic media, before I bought my first CD burner. Got my fingers burned there.
My gut feeling is, the huge leap in performance of blu-ray, far greater than the leap in performance of DVD over CD, will ensure it's success. The public might well be confused. They often are. Tough! Get educated! I'm not confused .
The demand should be great enough to support both formats for perhaps a long time. The fact that already you can buy a player/burner that supports both formats should ensure that no-one is left stranded with material that cannot be read, if (when) one format collapses.
We are actually in a different era to VHS versus Betamax. The media is now being used for both entertainment and general storage of data. The flexibility of the computer increases the ease of cross-format interchangeability.
I'm upbeat about this and currently I'd place my money on blu-ray.
Currently 500GB drives can be had for $140 USD. 1TB hard drives have been recently announced and should be hitting store shelves very soon at around $400 further dropping the price of other drives. We'll have a single 3.5" hard drive at 1.5TB by Christmas this year at the current rate of development as well. Toshiba, Seagate and Hitachi all have officially stated this won't be difficult to achieve. By Christmas we will also still have a format war of the new optical discs unless something big and completely unexpected happens very soon to change that.
It's not clear here whether you are talking about internal or external drives. The fact is, at the current stage of technological development, blank DVDs are far cheaper per gigabyte than hard drive storage, both internal and external. Since the potential storage of a single BD disc is 200Gb, I think it reasonable to expect that some time down the track, blu-ray storage of data will also become far cheaper than the latest 10 TB hard drives.
I'm not negative. Just skeptical--and rightfully so--as this whole thing is a big song and dance I've seen many times during my 15 years dealing with computers. Simply put, I'll believe it when I see it.
It's probably going to be a bigger song and dance than you've seen before because the potential of blu-ray is so great. If I can get 200Gb of image files on a single 4 1/2" disc, before I die I could fit the whole of my life's photographic output in a wallet of discs so light I could carry on my person. Of course I expect to live long enough to see the successor of blu-ray and perhaps the successor of the successor, but you get my drift.