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Make your mind up, Warner!


Source: High-Def Digest

Seemingly intent on dragging this misbegotten format war out for as long as possible, Warner is set to announce HD DVD/Blu-ray hybrid discs at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), due to begin on January 8th. What exactly does this mean for the industry? In reality, I suspect not a whole lot. It means that studios supporting both formats will be able to release a single disc for both, but it’s unlikely to suddenly bring Blu-ray only or HD DVD only studios into the dual-format fold. It will also probably mean more expensive discs for consumers, which is never a good thing if you want a new format to succeed.

In an exclusive pre-CES interview with the Times, Barry M. Meyer, the chairman and chief executive of Warner Brothers, claims the studio created the idea of Total HD as it became apparent that while neither the Blu-ray or HD DVD formats would be going away anytime soon, continued consumer reluctance to invest in rival technologies could stall the widespread adoption of high-definition.

“The next best thing is to recognize that there will be two formats, and to make that not a negative for the consumer,” said Meyer. “We [Warner] felt that the most significant constituency for us to satisfy was the consumer first, and the retailer second. The retailer wants to sell hardware and doesn’t want to be forced into stocking two formats for everything. This is ideal for them.”

As for CES in general, who knows how things are going to pan out? One visitor asked me for my predictions regarding the show, so I might as well reiterate them here:

  • A least one major manufacturer will announce an HD DVD player
  • Warner will announce the Matrix trilogy and perhaps some Hitchcock and Kubrick titles, in addition to some more recent blockbusters like A Scanner Darkly
  • Universal will do likewise, perhaps with some Hitchcocks and more recent offerings
  • Paramount will continue their lacklustre support of both formats
  • Perhaps a couple of TV box sets
  • If any Blu-ray supporter makes a commitment to HD DVD, it will be Lions Gate
  • New Line may or may not say something with regard to their HD plans

Bear in mind that these are mere guesses, not informed predictions, so don’t take them as in any way reliable. Still, it’ll be interesting to see how many, if any, turn out to be accurate.

Posted: Thursday, January 04, 2007 at 2:58 PM | Comments: 1
Categories: Blu-ray | Cinema | HD DVD | TV | Technology



yea I saw this on AVS this morning. This is just really confounding. I will be for it only if it drives some BD studios to go neutral, but good luck getting me to pay more than $27.95 for an HD DVD knowing that I'm also subsidising the 'enemy'

Posted by: aw, January 4, 2007 8:09 PM

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