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Warner drops HD DVD in favor of Blu-ray

updated 04:30 pm EST, Fri January 4, 2008

Warner Blu-ray Exclusive

In a potentially major upset in the conflict between movie standards, Warner Brothers today said it would drop its support for the HD DVD format, switching all its future titles to the competing Blu-ray standard for HD versions. The move is prompted by an evident shift by movie buyers towards the Blu-ray format and is meant both to consolidate Warner's efforts and prevent users from having to choose between competing formats for the same title. The choice is a reversal but a necessary one in an industry where the field appears to be destroying itself, Warner says.

"Warner Bros. has produced in both high-definition formats in an effort to provide consumer choice, foster mainstream adoption and drive down hardware prices," says Warner chief Barry Meyer. "[But this] is a strategic decision focused on the long term and the most direct way to give consumers what they want. The window of opportunity for high-definition DVD could be missed if format confusion continues to linger."

HD DVD versions of movies will continued to be produced until May 2008, when Warner switches to producing only Blu-ray titles as well as lower-resolution DVD discs.

The decision could prove fatal to the primarily Toshiba-backed HD DVD format both for movie players and computers. As noted in previous leaks that have now been confirmed by the announcement, Warner's switch is expected to lead to 70 percent of all HD movies shipping only in Blu-ray, giving customers little incentive to buy either HD DVD movie readers or equivalent drives in computers. This is expected to have indirect repercussions for Microsoft, which has heavily endorsed HD DVD for both Windows PCs and through the Xbox 360's HD DVD add-on.

Sony is often considered the chief proponent of Blu-ray but has also received support from several large AV and computer firms for the standard, including Dell and Pioneer. Other firms such as Apple and HP have so far remained relatively neutral and have either declined to commit to a particular format in hardware so far (in Apple's case) or have supported both (such as HP).



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Dave Barnes

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2002

    0

    This a huge

    Finally. Hopefully. Only 1 format.

  1. blahblahbloo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2006

    0

    not over yet

    This move makes it very unlikely that the format war will have any outcome other than a Blu-ray victory, but that might not happen for a year or more with Paramount and Universal still exclusive to HD DVD. There will probably be some good deals on HD DVD movies next holiday shopping season.

  1. Makosuke

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Hurry the h*** up

    Frankly I could care less which format "wins", since we all basically lose as long as there's competition. Why they couldn't have pulled their collective corporate heads out of their collective corporate hindquarters before going on the market (which, for all its shortcomings, WAS done with DVD) is beyond me.

    Though I do have to admit, as little love as I have for Sony it's nice to see MS's horse fall behind in the race.

  1. sixcolors

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2001

    0

    Disk is dead

    Frankly, disk is dying already and will be dead within a few years. Networks are just too fast and cheap. I can download a movie in less time than it takes to drive to the store to buy a disk. I can also rip it and put it on my network h.d. and watch it on Apple TV, Xbox 360 or any of my computers, iPods or iPhone.

    I see no reason to buy disks to watch media anymore. I don't even use them in my car, nor do I use them for data storage or transfer. Heck I don't even use flash drives anymore. Gigabit wired and 802.11n wireless are so fast I don't see the point.

  1. Herod

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007

    0

    ok

    where is my f@#king batman? DIE M$!

  1. pt123

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007

    0

    disc for me

    My network is only 1.5 Mbps and I don't have an AppleTV or iPhone, so keep those DVD's coming. I have an iPod but ripping is a pain and so is watching video on that little screen. And those video files take up too much disk space. So yeah, keep those DVD's coming for a long time.

  1. blahblahbloo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2006

    0

    disk is not dead

    Blu-ray tops out at something like 46 Mbps as I recall. Not many people have Internet connections that can match that.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2004

    0

    price

    Had nothing to do with the format wars...when wal-mart sold the hd-dvd player at $99, it flew off the shelves.

    Consumers want the price down. Without competition, thats going to be a slower process.

    The competition for hi-def, is DVD. Until it comes near DVD pricing, it will be for the few.

  1. BelugaShark

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2007

    0

    x

    BlueRay is far more superior than HDDVD in quality and storage 50GB. However HDDVD is cheaper because the technology is almost identical to the aging DVD. If BlueRay becomes the standard it will be as affordable as HDDVD.

  1. Rezzz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    0

    hddvd: we hardly knew ye

    sony just blu you away. (see what i did there? try the veal...)

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