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Universal boss takes swipe at Blu-ray


Source: AV Science Forum

Recently there has been some speculation from the Blu-ray camp that Universal, currently the only one of the big-name studios exclusively committed to HD DVD (as opposed to Paramount and Warner, who release for both formats, and Sony, Disney and Fox, who are currently Blu-ray exclusives), would begin releasing Blu-ray material as well. A comment from Universal Home Entertainment president Craig Kornblau, however, has pretty much put the final nail in that coffin:

“The reviews are in and HD DVD is hands down the leader in picture quality, audio experiences and interactive capabilities that have never been seen before,” said Kornblau.

“Look at the blogs, look at the reviews by the early adopters and even look at the mainstream media - HD DVD has maintained its first-to-market advantage and delivered on the promises of providing the best high definition image and sound quality at the best value for consumers today. Take today’s announcement of new players from Toshiba, new PC hardware from Niveus and new titles like ‘The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift,’ and add the hardware and movies that are coming this Fall and you can see why HD DVD is poised for a strong holiday.”

Given that, in order to succeed, HD DVD is going to need all the support it can get, this should certainly be welcome news for backers of the format.

Posted: Monday, September 18, 2006 at 11:43 AM | Comments: 7
Categories: Blu-ray | Cinema | HD DVD | Technology



I was with him until he mentioned 'The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift'.

Seriously, I hope the rumours were just shit-stirring from the Blu-ray camp. Universal shouldn't even contemplate releasing Blu-ray product. It would be like putting HD DVD's head on the block.

Sony seem to be getting cocky the last few weeks. I've even seen the old "Blu-ray is bound to win" talk resurfacing. Is there any justification for it?

Posted by: Philly Q, September 18, 2006 1:17 PM


Had I been in his shoes, I wouldn’t have mentioned The Fast and the Furious either - surely something like King Kong would be more likely to draw in the crowds?

I think Sony is getting worried rather than cocky. Firing the head of their Blu-ray branch, cutting the number of PS3 shipments… to me, this suggests that things really aren’t going as planned and they’re therefore returning to spreading their misinformation. It amazes me how many people continue to believe that Blu-ray discs have a capacity of 50 GB, despite the fact that we haven’t seen a single dual-layer disc yet, and even when they are finally released, they’ll be restricted to a small number of select titles.

Still, the HD DVD camp is not above lying out of their backsides as well. Just last night I saw a technology show on BBC News 24 where the narrator claimed that Blu-ray players couldn’t read normal DVDs. A harmless error or something to do with the fact that the BBC have bought into HD DVD? Either way, I would imagine that a few people not in the habit of going online to look up the correct details will have just ruled out buying a Blu-ray player. Which, in the long run, may prove to be a good thing.

Posted by: Whiggles, September 18, 2006 1:23 PM


On a side note, a number of Blu-ray supporters are definitely guilty of blatant double standards. In the eyes of more than one poster in the AVS Forums thread I linked to, “Universal should be ashaimed [sic] of themselves” for not going dual-format, whereas Sony, Disney and Fox, who are doing exactly the same thing, except with Blu-ray, are beyond reproach.

Posted by: Whiggles, September 18, 2006 1:32 PM


I tried to read the whole thread, but all those 180-degree polarised opinions started giving me a headache. Everybody's taking sides, but the Blu-ray fanboys are like religious fundamentalists. They're almost maniacal.

How can they accuse Universal of dragging out the war by only supporting one format, when that's no different from what the Blu-ray-only studios are doing? Blinkered buffoons.

The HD DVD supporters don't seem to be taking such a one-sided view. I wonder if that's quiet confidence, or a feeling that despite all the hyperbole, broken promises and sub-standard product, Blu-ray could STILL come out on top? I really don't know.

Posted by: Philly Q, September 18, 2006 3:38 PM


Again, the equation M$-haters = Sony fanboys = Blu-Ray fanboys still stands. Many contenders come from XBOX vs PS debates, but also (sigh) from MS vs Linux holy wars. All very childish, but at least they seem to have fun.

For what I've seen so far, the real contender to HD-DVD is time, because if High-Def be the "big thing" now, it would clearly win. Fact is, many people still perceive normal resolution DVD on normal resolution TVs to be more than enough for their viewing needs, now and forever. And we know that DVD picture quality when made by real dedicated people could be much better than what it "normally" is (Lyris proved it with his home made dvds) - but common Joes couldn't care less of picture quality: they're more than satisfied with their blurred, softened, badly compressed, discounted dvds on 15" screens (ok, wouldn't want to sound too snob :))

Posted by: MCP, September 18, 2006 9:57 PM


"but common Joes couldn't care less of picture quality: they're more than satisfied with their blurred, softened, badly compressed, discounted dvds on 15" screens"

Yeah, and we keep being told how great it's going to be to download films to mobile phones. 2-inch screens, for feck's sake.

Posted by: Philly Q, September 18, 2006 11:47 PM


"but common Joes couldn't care less of picture quality: they're more than satisfied with their blurred, softened, badly compressed, discounted dvds on 15" screens"

Should have added: "..or on their just-bought-to-show-the-friends 42" 852x480 plasma screens (yeeeuuch!)"

Posted by: MCP, September 19, 2006 1:00 PM

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