Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
-- George Santayana
This adage is particularly appropriate in the market for consumer video formats and players. Consistently, manufacturers have been unwilling or unable to develop formats compatible over a broad range of CE devices, and consumers have suffered as a result.
It seemed, when the industry established a single (and ultimately successful) DVD format in 1994, that manufacturers had learned from the VHS/Betamax format conflict. Fast forward to the 21st century, and we find electronics manufacturers have not heeded Santayana's warning.
The industry has failed to agree on a single standard for HD content, the successor to the DVD format. While the HD DVD and Blu-ray formats have more similarities than differences, they are not interchangeable and have forced another battle similar to the VHS and Betamax clash of the 1980s.