Here at WalletPop, we're always on the lookout for signs that the American consumer isn't a complete moron.

Every few months, we find evidence of intelligent life in America's malls. Today, the New York Times reports that the next-generation DVD formats -- Blu-Ray and HD-DVD -- aren't selling real well, and neither side is emerging as a clear winner either:

The two camps are victims of their own earlier success with DVD. The standard DVDs offered a quantum leap in quality from the picture and sound of VHS videotape, and for many that was more than adequate.

In addition, DVD players that can convert images to near high-definition quality can be found for under $100, hundreds less than a true high-definition DVD player, further reducing the urgency to upgrade to one of the new formats.

That's exactly right. DVDs offer pretty good technology. Unless your retirement is fully funded, you have no debt, own your home free and clear, and have 6-figures stashed away for your childrens' college tuition, you should not even be contemplating thinking about thinking getting one of these high definition DVD players.

Perhaps the soft economy will force people to behave as more responsible stewards of their personal finances. If so, it could be a tough stretch for gadget-makers.


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