Format war
A format war describes competition between mutually incompatible proprietary formats that compete for the same market, typically for data storage device
Data storage device
thumb|200px|right|A reel-to-reel tape recorder .The magnetic tape is a data storage medium. The recorder is data storage equipment using a portable medium to store the data....

s and recording formats for electronic media
Electronic media
Electronic media are media that use electronics or electromechanical energy for the end-user to access the content. This is in contrast to static media , which today are most often created electronically, but don't require electronics to be accessed by the end-user in the printed form...

. It is often characterized by political and financial influence on content
Content (media and publishing)
In media production and publishing, content is information and experiences that may provide value for an end-user/audience in specific contexts. Content may be delivered via any medium such as the internet, television, and audio CDs, as well as live events such as conferences and stage performances...

 publishers by the developers of the technologies. Developing companies may be characterized as engaging in a format war if they actively oppose or avoid interoperable
Interoperability is a property referring to the ability of diverse systems and organizations to work together . The term is often used in a technical systems engineering sense, or alternatively in a broad sense, taking into account social, political, and organizational factors that impact system to...

 open industry technical standards in favor of their own.

A format war emergence can be explained because each vendor is trying to exploit cross-side network effects in a two-sided market.
There are also a social force to stop a format war: when one of them wins as de facto standard
De facto standard
A de facto standard is a custom, convention, product, or system that has achieved a dominant position by public acceptance or market forces...

, it solves a coordination problem for the format users.

19th Century

  • Rail gauge in North America
    Rail gauge in North America
    The vast majority of North American railroads are standard gauge. Exceptions include some streetcar, subway and rapid transit systems and some narrow gauge lines particularly in the West, e.g. the isolated White Pass and Yukon Route system, and the former Newfoundland Railway.As well as the usual...

    : Russian gauge
    Russian gauge
    In railway terminology, Russian gauge refers to railway track with a gauge between 1,520 mm and . In a narrow sense as defined by Russian Railways it refers to gauge....

     vs. standard gauge
    Standard gauge
    The standard gauge is a widely-used track gauge . Approximately 60% of the world's existing railway lines are built to this gauge...

    . During the initial period of railroad building, standard gauge was adopted in most of the north-eastern United States, while the wider gauge later called "Russian" was preferred in most of the southern states. In 1886, the southern railroads agreed to coordinate changing gauge on all their tracks. Over a period of 36 hours, tens of thousands of workers pulled the spikes from the west rail of all the broad gauge lines in the South, moved them 3 in (76 mm) east and spiked them back in place. By June 1886, all major railroads in North America were using approximately the same gauge.

  • War of Currents
    War of Currents
    In the "War of Currents" era in the late 1880s, George Westinghouse and Thomas Edison became adversaries due to Edison's promotion of direct current for electric power distribution over alternating current advocated by several European companies and Westinghouse Electric based out of Pittsburgh,...

    : In the late 1880s, George Westinghouse
    George Westinghouse
    George Westinghouse, Jr was an American entrepreneur and engineer who invented the railway air brake and was a pioneer of the electrical industry. Westinghouse was one of Thomas Edison's main rivals in the early implementation of the American electricity system...

     and Thomas Edison
    Thomas Edison
    Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. In addition, he created the world’s first industrial...

     became adversaries due to Edison's promotion of direct current
    Direct current
    Direct current is the unidirectional flow of electric charge. Direct current is produced by such sources as batteries, thermocouples, solar cells, and commutator-type electric machines of the dynamo type. Direct current may flow in a conductor such as a wire, but can also flow through...

     (DC) for electric power
    Electric power
    Electric power is the rate at which electric energy is transferred by an electric circuit. The SI unit of power is the watt.-Circuits:Electric power, like mechanical power, is represented by the letter P in electrical equations...

     distribution over alternating current
    Alternating current
    In alternating current the movement of electric charge periodically reverses direction. In direct current , the flow of electric charge is only in one direction....

     (AC) advocated by several European companies and Westinghouse Electric based out of Pittsburgh, PA. Ultimately AC power system prevailed. Three phase 60 Hz at 208/120 volts became the dominant system in North America while 380-415/220-240 volts at 50 Hz became the standard in Europe.

  • Musical box
    Musical box
    A music box is a 19th century automatic musical instrument that produces sounds by the use of a set of pins placed on a revolving cylinder or disc so as to pluck the tuned teeth of a steel comb. They were developed from musical snuff boxes of the 18th century and called carillons à musique...

    es: Several manufacturers introduced musical boxes that utilised interchangeable steel disks that carried the tune. The principal players were Polyphon, Symphonion (in Europe) and Regina (in the United States). Each manufacturer used its own unique set of disc sizes (varying depending on the exact model purchased) thus assuring that once the purchaser had bought his music box, he had to buy the music discs from the same manufacturer.


  • Player Pianos
    Player piano
    A player piano is a self-playing piano, containing a pneumatic or electro-mechanical mechanism that operates the piano action via pre-programmed music perforated paper, or in rare instances, metallic rolls. The rise of the player piano grew with the rise of the mass-produced piano for the home in...

    : In stark contrast to almost every other entertainment medium of the 20th century and beyond, a looming format war involving paper roll music for player pianos was averted when industry leaders agreed upon a common format at the Buffalo Convention
    Buffalo Convention
    The Buffalo Convention of December 10, 1908 established two future roll formats for the US-producers of piano rolls for self-playing pianos. The two formats had different punchings of 65 and 88 notes, but the same width...

     held in Buffalo, New York
    Buffalo, New York
    Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City. Located in Western New York on the eastern shores of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River across from Fort Erie, Ontario, Buffalo is the seat of Erie County and the principal city of the...

     in 1908. The agreed upon format was a roll 11.25 inches wide with holes spaced 9 per inch. This allowed any roll of music to be played in any player piano, regardless of who manufactured it. As the music played, the paper winds on to the lower roll from the upper roll, which means any text or song lyrics printed on the rolls is read from the bottom to the top.


  • Early recording media formats: cylinder records versus disk records. In 1877 Thomas Edison
    Thomas Edison
    Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. In addition, he created the world’s first industrial...

     invented sound recording technology using a tin cylinder record, and soon thereafter mass-marketed the wax "Edison cylinder". In 1886 Emile Berliner
    Emile Berliner
    Emile Berliner or Emil Berliner was a German-born American inventor. He is best known for developing the disc record gramophone...

     invented disk records. By the late 1890s cylinders and disks were widespread. Cylinders were more expensive to manufacture, but most cylinder players could make recordings. Disks saved space and were cheaper, but due to the constant angular velocity
    Constant angular velocity
    In optical storage, constant angular velocity is a qualifier for the rated speed of an optical disc drive, and may also be applied to the writing speed of recordable discs...

     (CAV) of their rotation, the sound quality varied noticeably from the long outer edge to the short inner portion nearest the center; and disk record players could not make recordings. Edison refused to produce the disks until Berliner's patent
    A patent is a form of intellectual property. It consists of a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for the public disclosure of an invention....

     expired in the late 1910s.


  • "78 rpm" gramophone record formats: lateral versus vertical "hill-and-dale" groove cutting. When Edison finally introduced his "diamond disc" (using a diamond instead of a steel needle), it was cut hill-and-dale, meaning that the groove modulated on the vertical axis as it had on all cylinders — unlike other manufacturers' disks which were cut laterally, meaning that the groove modulated on the horizontal axis. In France, Pathe Freres also adopted the hill and dale system, but this was done at the behest of the French government to create a deliberate incompatibility to prevent French citizens from playing 'inappropriate' foreign records. In 1929 Thomas Edison bowed out of the record industry altogether, ceasing all production of his disks and cylinders, which he had also manufactured up to that point. In addition, there were several more minor "format wars" between the various brands using various speeds ranging from 72 to 96 rpm not mention varying needle or stili radii varing from 0.018 inches up to 0.042 inches - the current 0.03 inch radius needle or stylus is a compromise as no company actually used this size. The Edison disks rotated at about 80 rpm.


  • 240-line versus 405-line television
    Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

     broadcasts. In 1936, the BBC Television Service
    BBC One
    BBC One is the flagship television channel of the British Broadcasting Corporation in the United Kingdom. It was launched on 2 November 1936 as the BBC Television Service, and was the world's first regular television service with a high level of image resolution...

     commenced television broadcasting from Alexandra Palace
    Alexandra Palace
    Alexandra Palace is a building in North London, England. It stands in Alexandra Park, in an area between Hornsey, Muswell Hill and Wood Green...

     in North London. They began by using two mutually incompatible television standards broadcasting on alternate weeks. The 240-line Baird
    John Logie Baird
    John Logie Baird FRSE was a Scottish engineer and inventor of the world's first practical, publicly demonstrated television system, and also the world's first fully electronic colour television tube...

     sequential system (now inaccurately called progressive
    Progressive scan
    Progressive scanning is a way of displaying, storing, or transmitting moving images in which all the lines of each frame are drawn in sequence...

    ) was broadcast using a mechanically scanned apparatus. In the intervening weeks, EMI
    The EMI Group, also known as EMI Music or simply EMI, is a multinational music company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the fourth-largest business group and family of record labels in the recording industry and one of the "big four" record companies. EMI Group also has a major...

    -People:*Guglielmo Marconi, Italian-born radio pioneer*David Marconi, American screenwriter*Dominic Anthony Marconi, American Roman Catholic bishop*Enrico Marconi, also known as Henryk Marconi, architect*Gloria Marconi, Italian long-distance runner...

     broadcast in 405 line interlaced using fully electronic cameras. Early sets had to support both systems, adding to their complexity. It was the BBC's intention to run the two systems side by side for a six-month trial to determine which would be finally adopted and which would be dropped. The BBC quickly discovered that the fully electronic EMI system had a superior picture quality and less flicker. Also the camera equipment was much more mobile and transportable (Baird's intermediate-film cameras had to be bolted to the studio floor as they required a water supply). In the event, the trial was brought to a premature end after three months by a disastrous fire in the Baird studios which destroyed most of Baird's equipment.


  • Vinyl record formats: Columbia Records
    Columbia Records
    Columbia Records is an American record label, owned by Japan's Sony Music Entertainment, operating under the Columbia Music Group with Aware Records. It was founded in 1888, evolving from an earlier enterprise, the American Graphophone Company — successor to the Volta Graphophone Company...

    ' 12-inch (30 cm) Long Play (LP) 33⅓ rpm microgroove record versus RCA Victor's 7-inch (17.5 cm) / 45 rpm Extended Play (EP) during the years 1948–1950. Ended in a compromise because each format found a separate marketing niche, and eventually record players were designed to play either type. Vinyl records are still used by niche audiences such as disc jockeys and audiophile
    An audiophile is a person who enjoys listening to recorded music, usually in a home. Some audiophiles are more interested in collecting and listening to music, while others are more interested in collecting and listening to audio components, whose "sound quality" they consider as important as the...

  • The National Television System Committee NTSC
    NTSC, named for the National Television System Committee, is the analog television system that is used in most of North America, most of South America , Burma, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, and some Pacific island nations and territories .Most countries using the NTSC standard, as...

     was formed to settle the existing format incompatibility between the original 441 scan line RCA system and systems designed by the DuMont Television Network
    DuMont Television Network
    The DuMont Television Network, also known as the DuMont Network, DuMont, Du Mont, or Dumont was one of the world's pioneer commercial television networks, rivalling NBC for the distinction of being first overall. It began operation in the United States in 1946. It was owned by DuMont...

     and Philco
    Philco, the Philadelphia Storage Battery Company , was a pioneer in early battery, radio, and television production as well as former employer of Philo Farnsworth, inventor of cathode ray tube television...

    . In March 1941 the committee issued its plan for what is now known as NTSC, which has been the standard for television signals in the United States
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

     and most countries influenced by the U.S. until the adoption of digital and HD television formats with the official adoption of ATSC (standards) on June 12, 2009.


  • The National Television System Committee NTSC
    NTSC, named for the National Television System Committee, is the analog television system that is used in most of North America, most of South America , Burma, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, and some Pacific island nations and territories .Most countries using the NTSC standard, as...

     was reconvened in January 1950 to decide the revision to their original format to allow for color broadcasting. There were competitive format options offered by the Columbia Broadcasting System that were not downwardly compatible with the existing NTSC format.
  • In the early 1950s, 12 volt electric systems were introduced to automobiles in an effort to provide more starting power for big engines which were getting popular at the time; while reducing the current. 6 volt systems were still popular since they were commonplace prior to the decade. However, 12 volt systems became the standard as it was the optimal voltage for DC electric systems on automobiles.


  • Portable audio formats: 8-track
    8-track cartridge
    Stereo 8, commonly known as the eight-track cartridge, eight-track tape, or simply eight-track, is a magnetic tape sound recording technology. It was popular in the United States from the mid-1960s through the late 1970s, but was relatively unknown in many European countries...

     and four-track cartridges vs. Compact Cassette
    Compact Cassette
    The Compact Cassette, often referred to as audio cassette, cassette tape, cassette, or simply tape, is a magnetic tape sound recording format. It was designed originally for dictation, but improvements in fidelity led the Compact Cassette to supplant the Stereo 8-track cartridge and reel-to-reel...

     not to mention the lesser known and largely forgotten Deutsche Cassette (introduced by Grundig). While notably successful into the mid-to-late 1970s, the 8-track eventually lost due to technical limitations, including variable audio quality and inability to be rewound. Similarly the smaller formats of microcassette
    A Microcassette is an audio storage medium introduced by Olympus in 1969. It uses the same width of magnetic tape as the Compact Cassette but in a much smaller container. By using thinner tape and half or a quarter the tape speed, microcassettes can offer comparable recording time to the compact...

     developed by Olympus and minicassette
    The Mini-Cassette, often written minicassette, is a tape cassette format introduced by Philips in 1967. It is used primarily in dictation machines and was also employed as a data storage for the Philips P2000 home computer...

     developed by Sony for applications requiring lower audio fidelity such as dictation and telephone answering machines.

  • FM radio stereo broadcast formats: The Crosby system
    Crosby system
    The Crosby system was an FM stereophonic broadcasting standard, developed by Murray G. Crosby, that used an FM subcarrier for higher fidelity. It competed with the Zenith/GE system that used an AM subcarrier...

     and the GE/Zenith system. The Crosby system was technically superior, especially in transmitting clear stereo signals, due to its use of an FM subcarrier
    A subcarrier is a separate analog or digital signal carried on a main radio transmission, which carries extra information such as voice or data. More technically, it is an already-modulated signal, which is then modulated into another signal of higher frequency and bandwidth...

     for stereo sound rather than the AM subcarrier employed by GE/Zenith. Many radios built in this period allowed the user to select Crosby or GE/Zenith listening modes. However the Crosby system was incompatible with lucrative SCA
    Subsidiary Communications Authority
    Subsidiary Communications Authorization in the United States, and Subsidiary Communications Multiplex Operation in Canada, is a subcarrier on a radio station, allowing the station to broadcast additional services as part of its signal.-Background:"Subsidiary Communications Authorization" is the...

     services such as in-store broadcasting and background music. FM station owners successfully lobbied the FCC to adopt the GE/Zenith system in 1961, which was SCA-compatible.


  • Various Quadraphonic
    Quadraphonic sound – the most widely used early term for what is now called 4.0 surround sound – uses four channels in which speakers are positioned at the four corners of the listening space, reproducing signals that are independent of one another...

     encoding methods: CD-4, SQ, QS-Matrix, and others. The expense (and speaker placement troubles) of quadraphonic, coupled with the competing formats requiring various demodulators and decoders, led to an early demise of quadraphonic, though 8-track tape experienced a temporary boost from the introduction of the Q8 form of 8-track cartridge. Quadraphonic sound returned in the 1990s substantially updated as surround sound
    Surround sound
    Surround sound encompasses a range of techniques such as for enriching the sound reproduction quality of an audio source with audio channels reproduced via additional, discrete speakers. Surround sound is characterized by a listener location or sweet spot where the audio effects work best, and...

    , but incompatible with old hardware.

  • JVC
    , usually referred to as JVC, is a Japanese international consumer and professional electronics corporation based in Yokohama, Japan which was founded in 1927...

    The Video Home System is a consumer-level analog recording videocassette standard developed by Victor Company of Japan ....

     vs. Sony Betamax
    Betamax was a consumer-level analog videocassette magnetic tape recording format developed by Sony, released on May 10, 1975. The cassettes contain -wide videotape in a design similar to the earlier, professional wide, U-matic format...

     vs. Philips Video 2000
    Video 2000
    Video 2000 was a consumer videocassette recorder system and analog recording videocassette standard developed by Philips and Grundig to compete with JVC's VHS and Sony's Betamax video technologies...

    , the analog video
    Analog video
    Analog video is a video signal transferred by an analog signal. An analog color video signal contains luminance, brightness and chrominance of an analog television image...

     videotape format war
    Videotape format war
    The videotape format war was a period of intense competition or "format war" of incompatible models of consumer-level analog video videocassette and video cassette recorders in the late 1970s and the 1980s.- Overview :...

    . The competition started in 1976 and by 1980, VHS controlled 70% of the North American market. VHS's main advantage was its longer recording time. From the consumer perspective, VHS blank media held more hours and therefore was less expensive.

The first small format video recording devices were open reel-to-reel 1/2" "portable" EIAJ-1
EIAJ-1, developed by the Electronic Industries Association of Japan in 1969, was the first standardized format for industrial/non-broadcast videotape recorders...

 recorders, most of which came with television tuners to record off the air TV. These never caught on in the consumer market but did find their way into educational television
Educational television
Educational television is the use of television programs in the field of distance education. It may be in the form of individual television programs or dedicated specialty channels that is often associated with cable television in the United States as Public, educational, and government access ...

 and were the mainstays of early public-access television
Public-access television
Public-access television is a form of non-commercial mass media where ordinary people can create content television programming which is cablecast through cable TV specialty channels...

 stations. The uniformity of the EIAJ-1 format, was the result of a developmental format war between Sony and Panasonic, each of whom were aiming at this marketplace. The existence of the Electronic Industries Association of Japan
Electronic Industries Association of Japan
Founded in 1948, the Electronic Industries Association of Japan was one of two Japanese electronics trade organizations that were merged into the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association ....

 (EIAJ) was the Japanese electronics industry's answer to settle some potential format wars.

  • Capacitance Electronic Disc (CED) vs. LaserDisc
    LaserDisc was a home video format and the first commercial optical disc storage medium. Initially licensed, sold, and marketed as MCA DiscoVision in North America in 1978, the technology was previously referred to interally as Optical Videodisc System, Reflective Optical Videodisc, Laser Optical...

     (LD) vs. VHD (Video High-Density), non-recordable video disc formats. All of these ultimately failed to achieve widespread acceptance, although LD found a considerable videophile
    A videophile is one who is concerned with achieving high-quality results in the recording and playback of movies, TV programs, etc....

     niche market that appreciated its high quality image, chapter select and widescreen presentation. The Laser Disc remained available until the arrival of the DVD. Mainstream consumers preferred the recordable videotape for capturing live television and making home movies, quickly making VHS the de-facto standard video format for almost 20 years (circa 1982 to 2002).

  • Dolby vs. Dbx
    Dbx (noise reduction)
    dbx is a family of noise reduction systems developed by the company of the same name. The most common implementations are dbx Type I and dbx Type II for analog tape recording and, less commonly, vinyl LPs. A separate implementation, known as dbx-TV, is part of the MTS system used to provide stereo...

     noise reduction systems for audio cassettes developed by Dolby Laboratories and DBX respectively. These two were mutually incompatible. Dolby B became the de-facto standard for store-bought, pre-recorded cassettes.


  • Home computers often had incompatible peripherals such as joysticks, printers, or data recording (tape or disk). For example if a Commodore 64
    Commodore 64
    The Commodore 64 is an 8-bit home computer introduced by Commodore International in January 1982.Volume production started in the spring of 1982, with machines being released on to the market in August at a price of US$595...

     user wanted a printer, they would need to buy a Commodore-compatible unit, or else risk not being able to plug the printer into his computer. Similarly, disk formats were not interchangeable without third party software since each manufacturer (Atari, IBM, Apple, et al.) used their own proprietary format. Gradually computer and game systems standardized on "Atari 2600
    Atari 2600
    The Atari 2600 is a video game console released in October 1977 by Atari, Inc. It is credited with popularizing the use of microprocessor-based hardware and cartridges containing game code, instead of having non-microprocessor dedicated hardware with all games built in...

     connectors" for joysticks and mice (during the 1980s), parallel port
    Parallel port
    A parallel port is a type of interface found on computers for connecting various peripherals. In computing, a parallel port is a parallel communication physical interface. It is also known as a printer port or Centronics port...

     for printers (mid-1980s), the MS-DOS-derived FAT12
    File Allocation Table
    File Allocation Table is a computer file system architecture now widely used on many computer systems and most memory cards, such as those used with digital cameras. FAT file systems are commonly found on floppy disks, flash memory cards, digital cameras, and many other portable devices because of...

     format for floppy disks (mid-1990s), and so on. The main standards used on today's post-2000 computers for inter-compatibility are USB for external devices or FAT32
    File Allocation Table
    File Allocation Table is a computer file system architecture now widely used on many computer systems and most memory cards, such as those used with digital cameras. FAT file systems are commonly found on floppy disks, flash memory cards, digital cameras, and many other portable devices because of...

     for pre-formatted hard drives. Some incompatibilities still exist between computers with Windows-based machines and Macintosh file formats, due to the restrictions on filename length and which characters are allowable as part of the filename.

  • AM stereo
    AM stereo
    AM stereo is a term given to a series of mutually incompatible techniques for wireless radio broadcasting stereo audio in the AM band in a manner that is compatible with standard AM receivers...

     was capable of fidelity equivalent to FM
    FM broadcasting
    FM broadcasting is a broadcasting technology pioneered by Edwin Howard Armstrong which uses frequency modulation to provide high-fidelity sound over broadcast radio. The term "FM band" describes the "frequency band in which FM is used for broadcasting"...

     but was doomed in the USA by competing formats during the 1980s with Motorola
    Motorola, Inc. was an American multinational telecommunications company based in Schaumburg, Illinois, which was eventually divided into two independent public companies, Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions on January 4, 2011, after losing $4.3 billion from 2007 to 2009...

    's C-QUAM
    C-QUAM is the method of AM stereo broadcasting used in Canada, the United States and most other countries. It was invented in 1977 by Norman Parker, Francis Hilbert, and Yoshio Sakaie, and published in an IEEE journal....

     competing vigorously with three other incompatible formats including those by Magnavox
    Magnavox is a US electronics company founded by Edwin Pridham and Peter L. Jensen, who invented the moving-coil loudspeaker in 1915 at their lab in Napa, California. They formed Magnavox in 1917 in order to market their inventions....

    , Kahn/Haseltine, and Harris
    Harris Corporation
    Harris Corporation is a Florida-based international communications equipment company that produces wireless equipment, electronic systems, and both terrestrial and spaceborne antennas for use in the government, defense, and commercial sectors. It is also the largest private-sector employer in...

    . It is still widely used in Japan, and sees sporadic use by broadcast stations in the United States despite the lack of consumer equipment to support it.

  • Video8 vs. VHS-C
    VHS-C is the compact VHS videocassette format introduced in 1982 and used primarily for consumer-grade compact analog recording camcorders. The format is based on the same video tape as is used in VHS, and can be played back in a standard VHS VCR with an adapter...

     and later Hi8 vs. S-VHS-C tape formats (see camcorder
    A camcorder is an electronic device that combines a video camera and a video recorder into one unit. Equipment manufacturers do not seem to have strict guidelines for the term usage...

    ). This is an extension of the VHS vs. Betamax format war, but here neither format "won" widespread acceptance. Video8 had the advantage in terms of recording time (4 hours versus 2 hours maximum), but consumers also liked VHS-C since it could easily play in their home VCRs, thus the two formats essentially split the camcorder market in half. The UK market saw the 8mm formats take a clear lead as various manufacturers such as Sharp
    Sharp Corporation
    is a Japanese multinational corporation that designs and manufactures electronic products. Headquartered in Abeno-ku, Osaka, Japan, Sharp employs more than 55,580 people worldwide as of June 2011. The company was founded in September 1912 and takes its name from one of its founder's first...

     abandoned VHS-C in favour of 8mm, before miniDV and then other digital recording media replaced analogue camcorders entirely by 2011.

  • Several different versions of the Quarter Inch Cartridge
    Quarter Inch Cartridge
    Quarter inch cartridge tape is a magnetic tape data storage format introduced by 3M in 1972, with derivatives still in use as of 2009. QIC comes in a rugged enclosed package of aluminum and plastic that holds two tape reels driven by a single belt in direct contact with the tape. The tape was...

     used for data backup.

  • Composite video
    Composite video
    Composite video is the format of an analog television signal before it is combined with a sound signal and modulated onto an RF carrier. In contrast to component video it contains all required video information, including colors in a single line-level signal...

     and RF
    RF connector
    A coaxial RF connector is an electrical connector designed to work at radio frequencies in the multi-megahertz range.RF connectors are typically used with coaxial cables and are designed to maintain the shielding that the coaxial design offers. Better models also minimize the change in transmission...

     channel 3 F-connectors
    F connector
    The F connector is a type of coaxial RF connector commonly used for "over the air" terrestrial television, cable television and universally for satellite television and cable modems, usually with RG-6/U cable or, in older installations, with RG-59/U cable. It was invented by Eric E...

     were two ways of connecting entertainment devices to television sets
    Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

    . This was not so much of a format as the RF option was an adaptation necessary for plugging in such devices on television sets that did not come equipped with a composite video input. RF was a noticeably inferior substitute. The competition between options mainly manifested itself as competition between television set manufacturers and their individual models that offered composite video.

  • Micro Channel Architecture
    Micro Channel architecture
    Micro Channel Architecture was a proprietary 16- or 32-bit parallel computer bus introduced by IBM in 1987 which was used on PS/2 and other computers through the mid 1990s.- Background :...

     (MCA) vs. Extended Industry Standard Architecture
    Extended Industry Standard Architecture
    The Extended Industry Standard Architecture is a bus standard for IBM PC compatible computers...

     (EISA). Up to the introduction of MCA, personal computers had relied on a 16 bit expansion system which was later christened 'Industry Standard Architecture
    Industry Standard Architecture
    Industry Standard Architecture is a computer bus standard for IBM PC compatible computers introduced with the IBM Personal Computer to support its Intel 8088 microprocessor's 8-bit external data bus and extended to 16 bits for the IBM Personal Computer/AT's Intel 80286 processor...

    ' (ISA). IBM
    International Business Machines Corporation or IBM is an American multinational technology and consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States. IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware and software, and it offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting services in areas...

     introduced a new range of personal computers featuring a new 32 bit expansion system which they called MCA. It was at this point that the rest of the personal computer industry named the existing expansion system as ISA. IBM wanted substantial royalties from any manufacturer wishing to adopt the MCA system (largely in an attempt to recover lost royalties that they believed that they were owed due to the wholesale cloning of their original 'PC', a task that was greatly simplified by the 'off the shelf' nature of the design). IBM's competitors jointly responded by introducing the EISA expansion system which, unlike MCA, was fully compatible with the existing ISA cards. In the event, neither MCA nor EISA really caught on.


  • Philips' Digital Compact Cassette
    Digital Compact Cassette
    Digital Compact Cassette was a magnetic tape sound recording format introduced by Philips and Matsushita in late 1992 and pitched as a successor to the standard analog cassette. It was also a direct competitor to Sony's MiniDisc but neither format toppled the then ubiquitous analog cassette...

     (DCC) vs. Sony's MiniDisc
    The disc is permanently housed in a cartridge with a sliding door, similar to the casing of a 3.5" floppy disk. This shutter is opened automatically by a mechanism upon insertion. The audio discs can either be recordable or premastered. Recordable MiniDiscs use a magneto-optical system to record...

     (MD): both introduced in 1992. Since affordable CD-R
    A CD-R is a variation of the Compact Disc invented by Philips and Sony. CD-R is a Write Once Read Many optical medium, though the whole disk does not have to be entirely written in the same session....

     was not available until 1995, DCC and MD were an attempt to bring CD-quality recording to the home consumer. Restrictions by record companies fearful of perfect digital copies had limited an earlier digital system (DAT
    DAT or Dat may refer to:Biology:* Direct agglutination test, any test that uses whole organisms as a means of looking for serum antibody* Direct antiglobulin test, one of two Coombs tests...

    ) to professional use. In response Sony introduced MiniDisc which provided a copy control system that seemed to allay record companies' fears. Philips introduced their DCC system at approximately the same time using the same copy control system. Philips' DCC was discontinued in 1996, however MD successfully captured the Asia Pacific market (e.g. Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc.). The consumers in other parts of the world chose neither format, preferring to stick with analog Compact Cassettes for home audio recording, and eventually upgrading to CD recordable discs and lossy-compressed MP3 formats. MiniDisc systems are still available (though in the later Hi-MD
    In January 2004, Sony announced the Hi-MD media storage format as a further development of the MiniDisc format. With its release in later 2004 came the ability to use newly-developed, high-capacity 1 gigabyte Hi-MD discs, sporting the same dimensions as regular MiniDiscs.- Main features :* The...


  • Rockwell X2 vs K56flex – In the race to achieve faster telephone line modem speeds from the then-standard 9.6 kbit/s, many companies developed proprietary formats such as V32.terbo (19.2 kbit/s) or TrailBlazer (23.0 kbit/s) or V.FAST (28.8 kbit/s), hoping to gain an edge on the competition. The X2 and K56flex formats were a continuation of that ongoing battle for market dominance until the V.90 standard was developed in 1999. For some time, online providers needed to maintain two modem banks to provide dial-up access for both technologies. (See "modem
    A modem is a device that modulates an analog carrier signal to encode digital information, and also demodulates such a carrier signal to decode the transmitted information. The goal is to produce a signal that can be transmitted easily and decoded to reproduce the original digital data...

    " for a complete history.)

  • Portable media digital hard drives, with several incompatible formats, both a small market of write-once optical drives (requiring the use of a protective, plastic carrier) and several more successful but also incompatible magnetic read-write cassette drives. The Iomega
    Iomega is an American producer of consumer external, portable and networking storage hardware. Established in the 1980s, Iomega has sold more than 410 million digital storage drives and disks. On April 8, 2008, EMC Corporation announced its plans to acquire Iomega for a consideration of US $213M...

     Zip format ultimately prevailed, with capacities of 100 and 250 megabytes, but these media and their drives were quickly supplanted by the much slower but far cheaper recordable compact disc CD-R
    A CD-R is a variation of the Compact Disc invented by Philips and Sony. CD-R is a Write Once Read Many optical medium, though the whole disk does not have to be entirely written in the same session....

     (early models used a disc caddy to ensure proper alignment). The CD-R had the advantage of existing wide industry standards support (the Redbook
    Red Book (audio CD standard)
    Red Book is the standard for audio CDs . It is named after one of the Rainbow Books, a series of books that contain the technical specifications for all CD and CD-ROM formats.The first edition of the Red Book was released in 1980 by Philips and Sony; it was adopted by the Digital Audio Disc...

     standard for both audio and data read-only CD), with the low-level recording format based upon the popular and low-cost read-only compact disc used for audio and data.

  • External bus transfer protocols: IEEE 1394 (FireWire) vs. USB. The proliferation of both standards has led to the inclusion of redundant hardware adapters in many computers, unnecessary versioning of external hardware, etc. Although FireWire has been marginalized to high-throughput media devices (such as high-definition videocamera equipment) and legacy hardware.

  • 3D graphics hardware ports: AGP vs. PCI Local Bus. Again, the unnecessary duplication and competition of standards led to hardware incompatibilities, unnecessary versioning of display adapters and ports in motherboards, etc.

  • 3D graphics APIs: DirectX
    Microsoft DirectX is a collection of application programming interfaces for handling tasks related to multimedia, especially game programming and video, on Microsoft platforms. Originally, the names of these APIs all began with Direct, such as Direct3D, DirectDraw, DirectMusic, DirectPlay,...

     vs. OpenGL
    OpenGL is a standard specification defining a cross-language, cross-platform API for writing applications that produce 2D and 3D computer graphics. The interface consists of over 250 different function calls which can be used to draw complex three-dimensional scenes from simple primitives. OpenGL...

     vs. Glide API
    Glide API
    Glide is a 3D graphics API developed by 3dfx Interactive for their Voodoo Graphics 3D accelerator cards. Although it originally started as a proprietary API, it was later open sourced by 3dfx. It was dedicated to gaming performance, supporting geometry and texture mapping primarily, in data...

    . In the latter half of the 1990s, as 3D graphics became more common and popular, several video formats were promoted by different vendors. The proliferation of standards (each having many versions with frequent and significant changes) led to great complexity, redundancy, and frustrating hardware and software compatibility issues. 3D graphics applications (such as games) attempted to support a variety of APIs with varying results, or simply supported only a single API. Moreover, the complexity of the emerging graphics pipeline (display adapter -> display adapter driver -> 3D graphics API -> application) led to a great number of incompatibilities, leading to unstable, underperforming, or simply inoperative software.

  • Video disc formats: MMCD versus SD. In the early 1990s two high-density optical storage standards were being developed: one was the MultiMedia Compact Disc (MMCD), backed by Philips and Sony, and the other was the Super Density disc (SD), supported by Toshiba
    is a multinational electronics and electrical equipment corporation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. It is a diversified manufacturer and marketer of electrical products, spanning information & communications equipment and systems, Internet-based solutions and services, electronic components and...

    , Matsushita and many others. MMCD was optionally double-layer while SD was optionally double-sided. Movie studio support was split. This format war was settled before either went to market, by unifying the two formats. Following pressure by IBM, Philips and Sony abandoned their MMCD format and agreed upon the SD format with one modification based on MMCD technology, viz. EFMPlus
    Eight-to-Fourteen Modulation
    Eight-to-fourteen modulation is a data encoding technique – formally, a channel code – used by compact discs and pre-Hi-MD MiniDiscs. EFMPlus is a related code, used in DVDs and SACDs. EFM and EFMPlus were both invented by Kees A...

    . The unified disc format, which included both dual-layer and double-sided options, was called DVD
    A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

     and was introduced in Japan in 1996 and in the rest of the world in 1997.

  • More video disc formats: VideoCD versus the DVD. While the MMCD and SD war was going on, Philips developed their own video format called the VideoCD. While the format was declared a flop in the US, in Europe and Japan the battle waged on fiercely, as the VideoCD's lower production cost (and thus sales price) versus the DVD's superior audiovisual quality and multimedia experience resulted in a split market audience, with one end wanting cheap media without minding the quality and multimedia richness, while the other willing to pay a premium for the better experience DVD offered. The battle was settled by the movie industry who rapidly refused to issue any more VCD discs once CD burners became available. Unlike DVD, VCD had no copy protection mechanism whatsoever.

  • Digital video formats: DVD
    A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

     versus DIVX
    DIVX was an unsuccessful attempt by Circuit City and the entertainment law firm Ziffren, Brittenham, Branca and Fischer to create an alternative to video rental in the United States.-Format:...

     (not to be confused with DivX
    DivX is a brand name of products created by DivX, Inc. , including the DivX Codec which has become popular due to its ability to compress lengthy video segments into small sizes while maintaining relatively high visual quality.There are two DivX codecs; the regular MPEG-4 Part 2 DivX codec and the...

    ). DIVX was a rental scheme where the end consumer would purchase a $2–3 disc similar to DVD but could only view the disc for 48 hours after the first use. Each subsequent view would require a phoneline connection to purchase another $2–3 rental period. Several Hollywood studios (Disney
    The Walt Disney Company
    The Walt Disney Company is the largest media conglomerate in the world in terms of revenue. Founded on October 16, 1923, by Walt and Roy Disney as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, Walt Disney Productions established itself as a leader in the American animation industry before diversifying into...

    , 20th Century Fox
    20th Century Fox
    Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation — also known as 20th Century Fox, or simply 20th or Fox — is one of the six major American film studios...

    , and Paramount Pictures
    Paramount Pictures
    Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American film production and distribution company, located at 5555 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. Founded in 1912 and currently owned by media conglomerate Viacom, it is America's oldest existing film studio; it is also the last major film studio still...

    ) initially released their movies exclusively in the DIVX format. However, video rental services found the multi-use DVD more attractive, and videophiles who collected films rejected the idea of a pay-per-view
    Pay-per-view provides a service by which a television audience can purchase events to view via private telecast. The broadcaster shows the event at the same time to everyone ordering it...


  • Memory card
    Memory card
    A memory card or flash card is an electronic flash memory data storage device used for storing digital information. They are commonly used in many electronic devices, including digital cameras, mobile phones, laptop computers, MP3 players, and video game consoles...

    s, a four-way contest: CompactFlash
    CompactFlash is a mass storage device format used in portable electronic devices. Most CompactFlash devices contain flash memory in a standardized enclosure. The format was first specified and produced by SanDisk in 1994...

     vs. Memory Stick
    Memory Stick
    Memory Stick is a removable flash memory card format, launched by Sony in October 1998, and is also used in general to describe the whole family of Memory Sticks...

     vs. MultiMediaCard
    The MultiMediaCard is a flash memory memory card standard. Unveiled in 1997 by Siemens AG and SanDisk, it is based on Toshiba's NAND-based flash memory, and is therefore much smaller than earlier systems based on Intel NOR-based memory such as CompactFlash. MMC is about the size of a postage...

     / Secure Digital card
    Secure Digital card
    Secure Digital is a non-volatile memory card format developed by the SD Card Association for use in portable devices. The SD technology is used by more than 400 brands across dozens of product categories and more than 8,000 models, and is considered the de-facto industry standard.Secure Digital...

     vs. SmartMedia
    SmartMedia is a flash memory card standard owned by Toshiba, with capacities ranging from 2 MB to 128 MB. SmartMedia memory cards are no longer manufactured.- History :...

    . The format war became a five-way contest with the introduction of xD-Picture Card
    XD-Picture Card
    xD-Picture Card is a flash memory card format, used mainly in older digital cameras. xD stands for Extreme Digital.xD cards are available in capacities of 16 MiB up to 2 GiB.- History :...

     in the next decade, although by then SmartMedia was falling into disuse. This ongoing contest is complicated by the existence of multiple variants of the various formats. Some of these, such as miniSD, are compatible with their parent formats, while current generations of Memory Sticks break compatibility with the original format. However, it appears that SD card is winning as of 2010, since companies such as Fujifilm
    is a multinational photography and imaging company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.Fujifilm's principal activities are the development, production, sale and servicing of color photographic film, digital cameras, photofinishing equipment, color paper, photofinishing chemicals, medical imaging...

    , Olympus
    Olympus Corporation
    is a Japan-based manufacturer of optics and reprography products. Olympus was established on 12 October 1919, initially specializing in microscope and thermometer businesses. Its global headquarters are in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan, while its USA operations are based in Center Valley, Pennsylvania,...

     and Sony
    , commonly referred to as Sony, is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan and the world's fifth largest media conglomerate measured by revenues....

     that had exclusively supported other formats in the past are now releasing products that can use SD cards.

  • Hi-fi digital audio discs: DVD-Audio
    DVD-Audio is a digital format for delivering high-fidelity audio content on a DVD. DVD-Audio is not intended to be a video delivery format and is not the same as video DVDs containing concert films or music videos....

     versus SACD
    Super Audio CD
    Super Audio CD is a high-resolution, read-only optical disc for audio storage. Sony and Philips Electronics jointly developed the technology, and publicized it in 1999. It is designated as the Scarlet Book standard. Sony and Philips previously collaborated to define the Compact Disc standard...

    . These discs offered all the advantages of a CD but with (purported) higher audio quality. The players and discs were reverse compatible (the new Hi-fi players could play most 12 cm optical disc formats) but listening to the newer formats require a hardware upgrade. SACD was acclaimed by Sony marketeers as offering slightly better technical quality through its new PDM
    Pulse-density modulation
    Pulse-density modulation, or PDM, is a form of modulation used to represent an analog signal with digital data. In a PDM signal, specific amplitude values are not encoded into pulses of different size as they would be in PCM. Instead, it is the relative density of the pulses that corresponds to...

     "bitstream" system and a greater number of SACD titles available. However, the two formats continue to coexist due to "hybrid" players that play both formats with equal ease. Neither DVD-Audio nor SACD won a significant percentage of the recorded audio market. A significant reason was the customer preference for easy-to-transport lossy compressed formats such as MP3
    MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III, more commonly referred to as MP3, is a patented digital audio encoding format using a form of lossy data compression...

     and AAC
    Advanced Audio Coding
    Advanced Audio Coding is a standardized, lossy compression and encoding scheme for digital audio. Designed to be the successor of the MP3 format, AAC generally achieves better sound quality than MP3 at similar bit rates....

    . Blu-Ray discs with PCM audio are currently gaining popularity as a replacement.

  • Television auxiliary video inputs: Composite video
    Composite video
    Composite video is the format of an analog television signal before it is combined with a sound signal and modulated onto an RF carrier. In contrast to component video it contains all required video information, including colors in a single line-level signal...

     vs. S-video
    Separate Video, more commonly known as S-Video and Y/C, is often referred to by JVC as both an S-VHS connector and as Super Video. It is an analog video transmission scheme, in which video information is encoded on two channels: luma and chroma...

    . Composite video inputs had more widespread support since they used the ubiquitous RCA connector previously used only with audio devices, but S-video used a 4-pin DIN connector exclusively for the video bus.

  • Wireless communication standards: Through the late 1990s, proponents of Bluetooth
    Bluetooth is a proprietary open wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances from fixed and mobile devices, creating personal area networks with high levels of security...

     (such as Sony-Ericsson) and WiFi
    WIFI is a radio station broadcasting a brokered format. Licensed to Florence, New Jersey, USA, the station is currently operated by Florence Broadcasting Partners, LLC.This station was previously owned by Real Life Broadcasting...

     competed to gain support for positioning one of these standards as the de facto computer-to-computer wireless communication protocol. This competition ended around 2000 with WiFi the undisputed winner (largely due to a very slow rollout of Bluetooth networking products.) However, in the early 2000s, Bluetooth was repurposed as a device-to-computer wireless communication standard, and has succeeded well in this regard. Today's computers often feature separate equipment for both types of wireless communication, although Wireless USB
    Wireless USB
    Wireless USB is a short-range, high-bandwidth wireless radio communication protocol created by the . Wireless USB is sometimes abbreviated as "WUSB", although the USB Implementers Forum discourages this practice and instead prefers to call the technology "Certified Wireless USB" to distinguish it...

     is slowly gaining momentum to become a competitor of Bluetooth.

  • Disk image
    Disk image
    A disk image is a single file or storage device containing the complete contents and structure representing a data storage medium or device, such as a hard drive, tape drive, floppy disk, CD/DVD/BD, or USB flash drive, although an image of an optical disc may be referred to as an optical disc image...

     formats for capturing digital versions of removable computer media (particularly CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs): ISO vs. CUE/BIN vs. NRG vs. MDS vs. DAA, etc. Although the details of capturing images are complex (e.g., the oddities of various copy protection technologies applied to removable media), image formats have proliferated beyond reason - mainly because producers of image-creating software often like to create a new format with touted properties in order to bolster market share.

  • Streaming media formats: AVI, Quicktime (MOV), Windows Media (WMV), RealMedia (RA), MPEG, DivX, XviD, and a large host of other streaming media formats cropped up, particularly during the internet boom of the late 1990s. The wildly large number of formats is very redundant and leads to a large number of software and hardware incompatibilities (e.g., a large number of competing rendering pipelines are typically implemented in web browsers and portable video players.)


  • Recordable DVD formats: DVD+R
    DVD+R is part of optical disc recording technologies. It is a format for optical disc data storage that utilizes digital recording. It is similar to, but incompatible with, the older DVD-R standard...

     versus DVD-R
    DVD-R is a DVD recordable format. A DVD-R typically has a storage capacity of 4.71 GB. Pioneer has also developed an 8.5 GB dual layer version, DVD-R DL, which appeared on the market in 2005....

     and DVD-RAM
    DVD-RAM is a disc specification presented in 1996 by the DVD Forum, which specifies rewritable DVD-RAM media and the appropriate DVD writers. DVD-RAM media have been used in computers as well as camcorders and personal video recorders since 1998.-Design:DVD-RAM is one of three competing...

    . DVD-RAM has largely relegated to a niche market, but both of the other recordable DVD formats remain available. Since practically all PC based DVD drives and most new DVD recorders support both formats (designated as DVD±R recorders), the 'war' is effectively moot.

  • Digital audio
    Digital audio
    Digital audio is sound reproduction using pulse-code modulation and digital signals. Digital audio systems include analog-to-digital conversion , digital-to-analog conversion , digital storage, processing and transmission components...

     data compression formats: MP3
    MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III, more commonly referred to as MP3, is a patented digital audio encoding format using a form of lossy data compression...

     versus Ogg Vorbis versus MPEG4 Advanced Audio Coding
    High-Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding is a lossy data compression scheme for digital audio defined as a MPEG-4 Audio profile in ISO/IEC 14496-3. It is an extension of Low Complexity AAC optimized for low-bitrate applications such as streaming audio...

     versus HE-AAC/AACplus versus Windows Media Audio
    Windows Media Audio
    Windows Media Audio is an audio data compression technology developed by Microsoft. The name can be used to refer to its audio file format or its audio codecs. It is a proprietary technology that forms part of the Windows Media framework. WMA consists of four distinct codecs...

    A codec is a device or computer program capable of encoding or decoding a digital data stream or signal. The word codec is a portmanteau of "compressor-decompressor" or, more commonly, "coder-decoder"...

    s versus Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC). Each format has found its own niche — MPEG1 audio layer 3, abbreviated MP3, was developed for audio encoding of the DVD and has remained a de facto standard for audio encoding. A technically better compression technique, MPEG4 (more commonly known as AAC) was subsequently developed and found favor with most commercial music distributors. The addition of Spectral Band Replication (AACplus or HE-AAC) allows the format to recreate high-frequency components/harmonics missing from other compressed music. Vorbis is most commonly used by game developers who have need for a high-quality audio, do not want to pay the licensing fees attached to other codecs, and did not need existing compatibility and name-recognition of MP3. Flac, a lossless format, emerged later and has become accepted by audiophiles. Consumer outcry against software incompatibility has prompted portable music player manufacturers such as Apple and Creative to support multiple formats.

  • High-definition
    High-definition video
    High-definition video or HD video refers to any video system of higher resolution than standard-definition video, and most commonly involves display resolutions of 1,280×720 pixels or 1,920×1,080 pixels...

     optical disc
    Optical disc
    In computing and optical disc recording technologies, an optical disc is a flat, usually circular disc which encodes binary data in the form of pits and lands on a special material on one of its flat surfaces...

     formats: Blu-ray Disc versus HD DVD
    High definition optical disc format war
    A format war took place between the Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD optical disc standards for storing high definition video and audio.These standards emerged between 2000 and 2002 and attracted both the mutual and exclusive support of major consumer electronics manufacturers, personal computer...

    . Several disc formats that were intended to improve on the performance of the DVD were developed, including Sony's Blu-ray and Toshiba's HD-DVD, as well as HVD
    High-Definition Versatile Disc
    High-Definition Versatile Disc is an Asian standard of advanced high-definition technology originally developed in China by AMLogic Inc., for high-definition video. The format resolutions support 720p, 1080i, or 1080p on version 1 discs...

    , FVD
    Forward Versatile Disc
    FVD, or Forward Versatile Disc, is an offshoot ofDVD developed in Taiwan jointly by the Advanced Optical Storage Research Alliance and the Industrial Technology Research Institute as a less expensive alternative for high-definition content...

     and VMD
    Versatile Multilayer Disc
    Versatile Multilayer Disc is a high-capacity red laser optical disc technology designed by New Medium Enterprises, Inc....

    . The first HD-DVD player was released in March 2006, followed quickly by a Blu-ray player in June 2006. In addition to the home video standalone players for each format, Sony's PlayStation 3
    PlayStation 3
    The is the third home video game console produced by Sony Computer Entertainment and the successor to the PlayStation 2 as part of the PlayStation series. The PlayStation 3 competes with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles...

     video game console offers a Blu-ray Disc player and its games use that format as well. The format war
    High definition optical disc format war
    A format war took place between the Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD optical disc standards for storing high definition video and audio.These standards emerged between 2000 and 2002 and attracted both the mutual and exclusive support of major consumer electronics manufacturers, personal computer...

     went largely in Blu-ray's favor after the largest movie studio supporting HD DVD, Warner Brothers, decided to abandon releasing films on HD-DVD in January 2008. Shortly thereafter, several major North American rental services and retailers such as Netflix
    Netflix, Inc., is an American provider of on-demand internet streaming media in the United States, Canada, and Latin America and flat rate DVD-by-mail in the United States. The company was established in 1997 and is headquartered in Los Gatos, California...

    , Best Buy
    Best Buy
    Best Buy Co., Inc. is an American specialty retailer of consumer electronics in the United States, accounting for 19% of the market. It also operates in Mexico, Canada & China. The company's subsidiaries include Geek Squad, CinemaNow, Magnolia Audio Video, Pacific Sales, and, in Canada operates...

    , Wal-Mart
    Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. , branded as Walmart since 2008 and Wal-Mart before then, is an American public multinational corporation that runs chains of large discount department stores and warehouse stores. The company is the world's 18th largest public corporation, according to the Forbes Global 2000...

    , etc. and disc manufacturers such as CMC Magnetics
    CMC Magnetics
    - Products :CMC produces CD and DVD storage media products, including: CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, DVD-RAM, Floppy Diskettes, Media Packaging.CMC media is sold by HP, Maxprint, Imation, Memorex, Philips, TDK, Verbatim, Staples, Office Depot brand and many OEM brands. Mr. Data is CMC's own brand...

    , Ritek, Anwell
    Anwell Technologies Limited
    Anwell Technologies Limited is a supplier of manufacturing equipment with trading and manufacturing business in optical disc and solar cell. They vertically integrated into manufacturing business of optical disc and solar cell in 2007 and 2008...

    , and others, announced the exclusive support for Blu-ray products, ending the format war.

  • Ultra-wideband
    Ultra-wideband is a radio technology that can be used at very low energy levels for short-range high-bandwidth communications by using a large portion of the radio spectrum. UWB has traditional applications in non-cooperative radar imaging...

     networking technology — in early 2006, an IEEE standards working group disbanded because two factions could not agree on a single standard for a successor to Wi-Fi. (WiMedia Alliance
    WiMedia Alliance
    The WiMedia Alliance is a non-profit open industry association that promotes and enables the rapid adoption, regulation, standardization and multi-vendor interoperability of ultra-wideband worldwide....

    , IEEE 802.15
    IEEE 802.15
    IEEE 802.15 is a working group of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers IEEE 802 standards committee which specifies wireless personal area network standards. It includes seven task groups.-Task group 1 :...

    , WirelessHD
    WirelessHD is an industry-led effort to define a specification for the next generation wireless digital network interface for wireless high-definition signal transmission for consumer electronics products. The consortium currently has over 40 adopters; key members behind the specification include...


  • Satellite radio
    Satellite radio
    Satellite radio is an analogue or digital radio signal that is relayed through one or more satellites and thus can be received in a much wider geographical area than terrestrial FM radio stations...

    : In 2001, XM Satellite Radio
    XM Satellite Radio
    XM Satellite Radio is one of two satellite radio services in the United States and Canada, operated by Sirius XM Radio. It provides pay-for-service radio, analogous to cable television. Its service includes 73 different music channels, 39 news, sports, talk and entertainment channels, 21 regional...

     launched with the first pay satellite radio company in the U.S. In 2002, Sirius Satellite Radio
    Sirius Satellite Radio
    Sirius Satellite Radio is a satellite radio service operating in North America, owned by Sirius XM Radio.Headquartered in New York City, with smaller studios in Los Angeles and Memphis, Sirius was officially launched on July 1, 2002 and currently provides 69 streams of music and 65 streams of...

     followed suit. The two companies operated through different receivers, each required consumers to purchase a subscription package, and they offered different, exclusive programming. For example, Sirius had an exclusive contract for all NFL Football
    National Football League
    The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

     broadcasts on satellite radio, while XM Radio owned the exclusive satellite radio rights to broadcast live Major League Baseball
    Major League Baseball
    Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

     games. In 2008, the companies merged to form Sirius XM Radio.

  • Automotive interfaces for charging mobile devices;- cigar lighter receptacle
    Cigar lighter receptacle
    The cigarette lighter receptacle in an automobile, initially designed to power an electrically heated lighter, became a de-facto standard DC connector to supply electrical power for portable accessories used in or near an automobile...

     and USB respectively had 12 volt and 5 volt sysems. The 5 volt system derived from data buses for PC
    Personal computer
    A personal computer is any general-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and original sales price make it useful for individuals, and which is intended to be operated directly by an end-user with no intervening computer operator...

    s whereas the 12 volt system derived from the automobile's native voltage system. The popularity of car chargers for cell phones is what later lead to this movement, and later on newer models of automobiles were equipped with both (sometimes USB right on the car radio
    Car radio
    Car radio may refer to:*a radio in a car. See car audio and in car entertainment*"Car Radio", a song by Spoon from their 1998 album A Series of Sneaks...



  • HTML5 video
    HTML5 video
    HTML5 video is an element introduced in the HTML5 draft specification for the purpose of playing videos or movies, partially replacing the object element...

    : H.264 versus WebM
    WebM is an audio-video format designed to provide a royalty-free, open video compression format for use with HTML5 video. The project's development is sponsored by Google....

     and Theora
    Theora is a free lossy video compression format. It is developed by the Xiph.Org Foundation and distributed without licensing fees alongside their other free and open media projects, including the Vorbis audio format and the Ogg container....

  • 4G
    In telecommunications, 4G is the fourth generation of cellular wireless standards. It is a successor to the 3G and 2G families of standards. In 2009, the ITU-R organization specified the IMT-Advanced requirements for 4G standards, setting peak speed requirements for 4G service at 100 Mbit/s...

     wireless broadband Wimax
    WiMAX is a communication technology for wirelessly delivering high-speed Internet service to large geographical areas. The 2005 WiMAX revision provided bit rates up to 40 Mbit/s with the 2011 update up to 1 Gbit/s for fixed stations...

     versus LTE Advanced
    LTE Advanced
    LTE Advanced is a preliminary mobile communication standard, formally submitted as a candidate 4G system to ITU-T in late 2009, was approved into ITU, International Telecommunications Union, IMT-Advanced and expected to be finalized by 3GPP in early 2011...

See also

  • De facto standard
    De facto standard
    A de facto standard is a custom, convention, product, or system that has achieved a dominant position by public acceptance or market forces...

  • High definition optical disc format war
    High definition optical disc format war
    A format war took place between the Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD optical disc standards for storing high definition video and audio.These standards emerged between 2000 and 2002 and attracted both the mutual and exclusive support of major consumer electronics manufacturers, personal computer...

  • Total Hi Def
    Total Hi Def
    Total Hi Def Disc, also called Total HD or THD, was a planned optical disc format that included both of the rival high-definition optical disc formats, Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD. It was officially announced January 8, 2007 at the Warner Bros. press conference held at CES 2007...

  • Vendor lock-in
    Vendor lock-in
    In economics, vendor lock-in, also known as proprietary lock-in or customer lock-in, makes a customer dependent on a vendor for products and services, unable to use another vendor without substantial switching costs...

  • Videotape format war
    Videotape format war
    The videotape format war was a period of intense competition or "format war" of incompatible models of consumer-level analog video videocassette and video cassette recorders in the late 1970s and the 1980s.- Overview :...

  • Browser war
  • War of Currents
    War of Currents
    In the "War of Currents" era in the late 1880s, George Westinghouse and Thomas Edison became adversaries due to Edison's promotion of direct current for electric power distribution over alternating current advocated by several European companies and Westinghouse Electric based out of Pittsburgh,...

     (Alternating Current vs. Direct Current late 19th century)
  • Not Invented Here
    Not Invented Here
    Not invented here is a term used to describe persistent social, corporate, or institutional culture that avoids using or buying already existing products, research, standards, or knowledge because of their external origins. It is normally used in a pejorative sense, and may be considered an...

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