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Universal HD DVD exclusive already expired

updated 01:25 pm EST, Thu January 10, 2008

Universal HD DVD Expiring

Universal's obligation to support HD DVD alone has already ended and may see Blu-ray titles soon, according to a claim by the Hollywood magazine Variety. Though not hinting at its sources, the publication's online edition says that Universal's commitment "has ended" and that the studio can publish Blu-ray titles at any time. A run of multiple promotions is likely to keep the studio producing HD DVD titles for the next few months, according to the report. However, no details have been provided as to whether Universal will opt to release movies in both formats or remain with HD DVD alone until the promotional campaign is over.

The report also echoes recent allegations that Paramount can opt out of HD DVD at any time through a special clause in its contract with HD DVD supporters which is said to allow an exit when a clear majority of studios are signed on to an opposing standard. Such conditionswere created last Friday when Warner Bros. announced its switch to Blu-ray just days ahead of this year's Consumer Electronics Show, where HD DVD was expected to feature prominently. Paramount remains publicly committed to HD DVD but is reportedly waiting for the right conditions to announce its own switch.

The ability of Toshiba and other supporters of HD DVD will have the opportunity to maintain the disc standard is doubtful, Variety notes. Though Toshiba has promised to continue support, retailers may begin scaling back the amount of shelf space dedicated to computers, movies, and players that support the format. The full effect on the industry is not expected to be felt until June at the earliest, when Warner says it will begin releasing movies only in Blu-ray versions.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. superdynamite

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2008

    0

    Last one, biggest loser

    Who will be left holding the dead cat?

    Which ever it is, Paramount or Universal, they will go down in history. Forever to be known as, “The Last to Jump the Sinking ship.”

    The one with the LEAST amount of vision for the future.

  1. scottnichol

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999

    0

    seems like....

    the writing is on the walls for toshiba. i mean, it all started out with less disk space than the competitor. honestly! how far did they think they would get?

  1. vasic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005

    0

    Just like VHS - Beta

    It just may have been a similar story. Plenty here (and elsewhere) argue that HD-DVD standard is more complete than Blu-Ray. Still, looks like larger storage capacity won in the end.

    When Betamax was fighting it out with VHS, it was a better-quality format. VHS won because people could tape the entire baseball game on a single tape. That's what made the difference.

    The sooner one of these two is left standing, the better for the consumers.

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2005

    0

    Universal will be last...

    Paramount's only reason for HD-DVD support were 200 million dollars given to them by Microsoft. Universal and NBC have a more ego driven reason to hate Apple, and thus hold out - because endorsing BluRay, especially after next Tuesday, will invariably mean they will have to crawl back into the iTunes fold -- yet to Apple's conditions.

    'Better to look foolish, than to act smart', seems to be Universal's sole motivator.

  1. tindrum

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2004

    0

    Huh?

    I didn't realize that a condition of supporting Blu-Ray was inclusion in the iTunes Store. And I'm pretty sure that in a year, nobody is going to remember which studio chose which format in the nascent days of this format war. I'm not gonna begrudge Paramount a purchase of "Wrath of Khan" next year, remembering how they were one of the last to move over to my PS3. It wasn't a lack of vision that led their choice, but a consideration of technologies. Universal and Paramount aren't supporting HD-DVD to spite you, they really have technical and market reasons to do so. The market reasons seem to be drying up.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    more huh

    Paramount's only reason for HD-DVD support were 200 million dollars given to them by Microsoft.

    Right, and do you have proof of that? And what's with that, being that Microsoft, with the HD-DVD in the XBox, wants to make sure there is content to support it?

    Universal and NBC have a more ego driven reason to hate Apple, and thus hold out - because endorsing BluRay, especially after next Tuesday, will invariably mean they will have to crawl back into the iTunes fold -- yet to Apple's conditions.

    Right, because Blu-Ray is ALL about Apple. Man, you people are so mac-centered you'd think there was just one company doing anything out there. And as tindrum said, what the h*** does iTunes/Apple have to do with Blu-Ray? They're not selling blu-ray movies on the iTMS, and Apple has no desire to sell you discs.

  1. aristotles

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Jul 2004

    0

    Testudo.....

    Paramount never denied the payoff and neither did Toshiba although they did try to suggest that most of it were incentives/discounts and promises of future sales.

    Before the switch to HD DVD, Paramount's sales ratios between Blu-ray and HD DVD were around 2:1 in favor of Blu-ray just like every other neutral studio at the time.

    Would you care to explain to me why a studio would drop Blu-ray if they were selling a lot more on that format without a pay off?

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