The post-DVD optical disk market is stuck, like a compass needle, between two poles, and it can't work out which is the right way ahead.

This is going to be a real nuisance to optical disk archivers who currently use DVD for storing CCTV surveillance images, health records and other things for customers that can't afford a more up-market optical archive such as Plasmon's UDO.

What do these suppliers do? Do they jump on HD-DVD because its cheaper than Blu-ray and could match Blu-ray's capacity? Do they plump for Blu-ray because it has films from Sony Pictures and games from PlayStation 3 heading for it?

Or do they go for combo players that read and write both Blu-ray and HD-DVD? That puts up cost again even as it it removes dependency on one format or the other.

The ability of Japanese media format developers not to agree rivals that of Muslim religious factions. Last time VHS won out over Betamax. This time we're waiting .... we're waiting .... we're waiting for the winning format to emerge.

Meanwhile a supplier like Plasmon could bring out a cost-reduced UDO system and target the post-DVD optical archiving market. Let UDO 2 come out and then cost-reduce UDO 1 and give the format a new lease of life in the low-end of the archive market. These customers won't buy UDO 2 products; they are too expensive, too 'enterprise'.

It would be similar to half-height LTO drives which have successfully pro-longed the life of LTO 1 and 2 and helped LTO become the dominant tape format.

There is no other optical storage supplier that could do this. Holographic optical storage is just starting out and cannot entertain the idea. Plasmon could. I wonder if the thinking caps in Cambridge are looking at the Blu-ray/HD-DVD impasse and thinking about possibilities.

I do hope so, because the world and its brother are simply fed up with the idiot antics of the optical disk format developers and suppliers from the land of the rising, but now alas, stuck fast, sun.