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(Knock Knock) Who’s There? Porn!

The pornography industry has always been on the cutting edge: over the past two centuries we have gone from waiting months for a naked picture to be painted to minutes for a poorly lit home video of celebrity sex to make it around the world and across headlines everywhere. Porn made home broadband access catch on like wildfire and, once again, it could very well determine what format wins the Blu-Ray/HD-DVD war. As Nerd Approved recently suggested, Sony’s reported refusal to allow porn onto Blu-Ray discs might well be the deciding factor in all of this.

Technology analysts are certainly looking to the pornography industry for guidance, and initial reports suggest that based on numbers alone, HD-DVD might win out because of the fact that it is cheaper to produce and doesn’t require any significant overhauls of existing technology. Of course if Sony bows out, then that would no longer be a factor. The wild card here is going to be Sony, which needs good news for investors right now, and although I certainly doubt a rousing cry of “Porn on Blu-Ray!” will be heard over Wall Street, it would certainly give consumers one more reason to go out and purchase that PS3.

As far as I’m concerned Sony’s refusal to allow porn on Blu-Ray is illogical. As the average porn store becomes less seedy and the online order less personal, people who have money will be willing to put it into what they want to really see. It’s now acceptable for women and men to acknowledge the industry and to enjoy it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen Candida Royale’s name pop up in otherwise stodgy women’s magazines.

Quality is important in pornography like in no other film genre: the ability to really see the action in intimate and immaculate detail is, ahem, invigorating – and that drives people to purchase what they could see in poor scaled down formats for cheap, or probably even free. As ZDNet suggests, the potential of a higher capacity format lends itself not only to better quality images, but to what they’re calling “creative expression– like giving viewers choice of camera angles.” The ability to select the standard side view or maybe under the guy or even the unique through the boobs view would definitely make the viewing that much more personal.

Bottom line: if Sony makes the decision for the porn industry, the HD-DVD format will win by default. This is exactly what happened with VHS vs Sony’s Betamax, and for one reason or another, Sony is unwilling to learn from it’s mistakes. However, if they allow Blu-Ray distributors to make their own business decisions the porn industry won’t make its decision arbitrarily, nor with revenge on Sony in mind: it will make its decision based on the consumer. Expect telemarketing surveys to start with: “Is an adult over age eighteen available? Sir, I’d like to ask you a few questions today about your pornography viewing habits.”

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