Skip to comments.Warner Bros. Endorses Blu-ray (The move will be the beginning of the end for HD DVD.)
Posted on 01/05/2008 7:24:48 AM PST by Las Vegas Dave
Washington, D.C. (January 4, 2008) -- Warner Bros. today said it will endorse Blu-ray exclusively in the high-def format war against HD DVD.
(See commentary below.)
The move, which was predicted last month by this web site, now gives Blu-ray the exclusive backing of five major studios while HD DVD has just two.
Worse news for HD DVD: Warner releases have been among the format's top sellers. However, the studio said that it will stop releasing films in HD DVD this May. Until now, Warner released movies in both formats.
(Until May, Warner says it will release HD DVD titles "after a short window following their standard DVD and Blu-ray releases.")
The studio defended its decision today by saying that consumers have demonstrated a preference for Blu-ray over HD DVD. For the past year, Blu-ray titles have outsold HD DVD by a 2-1 margin.
"The window of opportunity for high-definition DVD could be missed if format confusion continues to linger," said Barry Meyer, Warner's chairman and CEO. "We believe that exclusively distributing in Blu-ray will further the potential for mass market success and ultimately benefit retailers, producers, and most importantly, consumers."
Warner's announcement comes less than 72 hours prior to the start of the Consumer Electronics Shows in Las Vegas. The studio had been scheduled to appear at HD DVD's press event on Sunday night.
Why did Warner shed its neutrality and endorse Blu-ray?
As I said in my prediction last month, the studios have grown increasingly frustrated with the lagging sales of both high-def DVD players and discs. Confused by the format war, consumers have decided not to embrace the new high-def disc category.
Consequently, Warner decided that the only way to boost sales was to endorse one format over another -- and bring this war to a quick end.
And with four major studios already backing Blu-ray, it was an easy decision to choose Blu-ray. The Warner endorsement now gives Blu-ray a huge advantage over HD DVD.
The question now is: Will other studios follow suit and join Warner in endorsing Blu-ray.
And will Toshiba and Microsoft, the leading backers of the HD DVD format, take this battle to its last drop?
Toshiba issued this comment this evening in response to Warner's decision:
"Toshiba is quite surprised by Warner Bros.' decision to abandon HD DVD in favor of Blu-ray, despite the fact that there are various contracts in place between our companies concerning the support of HD DVD. As central members of the DVD Forum, we have long maintained a close partnership with Warner Bros. We worked closely together to help standardize the first-generation DVD format as well as to define and shape HD DVD as its next-generation successor.
We were particularly disappointed that this decision was made in spite of the significant momentum HD DVD has gained in the US market as well as other regions in 2007. HD DVD players and PCs have outsold Blu-ray in the US market in 2007.
We will assess the potential impact of this announcement with the other HD DVD partner companies and evaluate potential next steps. We remain firm in our belief that HD DVD is the format best suited to the wants and needs of the consumer."
Pinging the HDTV list..
I have neither, is there really a difference?
No difference in picture quality. Is that what you meant?
Can you explain the difference between the two?
Both HD picture qualities are nearly equal, per Consumer Reports studies.
I think they’re shooting themselves with this. I’d bet that people like me will sit it out and wait for whichever format comes out ahead. Just like the VHS/BETA thing... I waited until one of them died out before I bought.
I know that the HD DVD's will not play on my old DVD player. I've got a John Wayne HD DVD that is just sitting there with not an eyeball in it's future without a HDDVD player.
I think I’m probably a year out from making a selection on this. If you pick wrong you are left with an expensive paper weight.
Re Blu Ray, you can't play Blu Ray on a standard DVD player, so I guess the reverse is also true.
Well I guess that explains the sale on the HD DVD player, I bought my husband for Christmas.
No, both Blu-ray and HD-DVD players play standard DVDs just fine - and actually upscale them so that they look better than on regular players.
This makes paying $400 for a playstation3 the steal of 2007. Thanks Sony.
Yes, and the players will upconvert older DVD's to 1080i or in some models 1080p, but the quality will not be equal to either HD DVD format.
“yeah, I’m in the fog about this one. Can I play my old DVD’s on Blue Ray or HD DVD players.
I know that the HD DVD’s will not play on my old DVD player. I’ve got a John Wayne HD DVD that is just sitting there with not an eyeball in it’s future without a HDDVD player.”
Yes you can play old DVDs on either.
The claims of HD DVD players selling better are specious, as they don’t include the PS3 (has a Blu Ray player), which has vastly outsold the HD DVD players.
Also, Blockbuster says Blu-ray out-rents HD DVD by more than 2 to 1. Blockbuster is moving exclusively to Blu-ray.
The picture quality of PS3/Blu-ray and our 63” Mitsubishi TV is great!
It appears to me that the computer/software industry supports one, while the movie industry supports the other. So my hunch is that one is more conducive to write/rewrite applications while the other is more conducive to encryption. Backwards compatibility issues with DVD writers might be a concern for the computer/software industry too.
These are just hunches.
Blu-Ray can hold twice as much data, and deliver that data at a higher data rate.
This allows more room for lossless audio, special features, and the highest data rate encoding (improved motion, color, etc.), however, because of the two competing formats, movies released on both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD have tended to hold themselves to the lowest common denominator.
With this announcement, which pretty much ends the HD format war, that may no longer be an issue and we ought to see more Blu-Ray titles using the additional space and speed.
“will Toshiba and Microsoft, the leading backers of the HD DVD format, take this battle to its last drop?” (and wasn’t Bill Gates at CES?)
BOOST FOR BLU-RAY!
Warner Bros Will Release High-Def Titles Exclusively In That Format
Deadline Hollywood Daily | 1/4/08 | Nikki Finke
Posted on 01/04/2008 4:20:53 PM EST by Yossarian
Warner goes Blu-ray exclusive
Engadget | Jan 4th 2008 3:47PM | Darren Murph
Posted on 01/04/2008 4:22:21 PM EST by ECM
I bought a Toshiba HD-A2 four weeks before the $98 Wal-Mart special, I thought $195 was a good price when I bought.
It will be interesting to see what Toshiba says in the next few weeks.
I find it amusing that Sony has been reduced to marketing the PS3 as a low cost Blu-ray player since it completely flopped as a game console.
I'm with you. My kids still tease me about my being an early adopter of a Betamax.
Id bet that people like me will sit it out and wait for whichever format comes out ahead. Just like the VHS/BETA thing...
You obviously don’t own a PS3 or you wouldn’t make that comment.
Thanks ... So the better technology wins. Nothing wrong with that. We don’t rent or buy movies, the local library has a HUGE stock of DVDs — They get new releases as fast or faster than the rent places. You can check out 6 for days, so we stick with DVDs.
Looks like 2008 will be the year I buy HDTV. Our old 36 inch Sony is getting a little long in the tooth. The motion fuzz on LCD HDTV bothers my eyes terribly, which has held back my buying. with the new 120 hz LCD refresh rate, that problem looks solved. Probably get a blu-ray for the media PC.
Being an old buzzard I have experienced the $1500.00 video cassette player. I have learned to stay away from the “cutting edge technologies”. One often finds himself looking rather stupid.
what IS a betamax? (ti asks innocently) (Gabz warns her to duck and run)
Will any HD TV transmit both Blu-ray or HD DVD formatted DVD's?
Betamax is inbetween alpha and beta.
HD DVD is currently exclusively backed by Universal Studios (including subsidiaries Focus Features and Rogue Pictures), Paramount Pictures (including Paramount Vantage, Nickelodeon Movies, MTV Films, DreamWorks Pictures and DreamWorks Animation), and The Weinstein Company (including Dimension Films).
Blu-ray Disc is currently exclusively supported in the United States by Sony Pictures Entertainment and MGM (20% of MGM's stake is owned by Sony) as well as Disney, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema and Lionsgate.
Studios that support both formats include HBO, First Look Studios, Image Entertainment (including the Discovery Channel), Magnolia Pictures, Brentwood Home Video, Ryko,and Koch/Goldhil Entertainment.
Blu-ray players are way more expensive.
And Apple is apparently going to announce new Macs with Blu-ray drives at MacWorld in a couple of weeks. I think you can pretty much stick a fork in HD-DVD.
I didn't comment on the PS3 quality now did I????
I said it flopped as a game-console (for those in Rio-Linda that means SALES) -- it is far behind the 360 and the Wii in sales (mainly because of cost).
Also, turn on your TV and tell me what you see in advertising -- the advertisements for the PS3 are now SOLELY "look at all the blu-ray movies the PS3 can play" NOTHING about it being a game console.
NOW, that said, the more people that buy a PS3 as a Movie player will also increase the number of people that see it's awesome game play ability.
Yep, both types of players can output a signal any HDTV can decode. At least... for now ;-), until they make HDMI required for 1080p signals — making those of us with component input (pre-HDMI) have to upgrade.
Thanks to DRM concerns of course.
betamax was a video recording format from Sony that competed with the VHS format back in the day .... it's real death knell came when the porn industry settled on VHS.
I know nothing really about technology although a thousand years ago, I had two Betamax’s. Lo, these many years later, I am somewhat more informed. Microsoft is said to be involved with one of these systems, I will take the other one.
I think Dell and HP are also Blu-Ray backers.
For the longest time I was fairly neutral in the HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray debacle. Until Micro$oft stuck their noses in it again.
Once again, a Microsoft partner will suffer due to dancing with the devil. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer pair.
And once again, Microsoft tries to turn market forces for their own dubious benefits (Just to find a platform for Windows CE in HD-DVD players. Real nice.)
Did Toshiba forget about PlaysForSure and other Microsoft betrayals as well?
Microsoft and Intel are both backing the HD-DVD.
My question is how dose this affect my computer? Will we be getting a blue ray player/recorder to replace the dvd now in computers?
I am NOT CHANGING all my DVD’s again!!! Sorry, charlie.
I wish I would have been smart enough to wait....I went with Beta and, of course, you know the rest of the story. I am definitely waiting this one out!
got it.....I’ll file it next to my hubby’s eight track system on a shelf in the basement.
So, for best results, your TV should have at least one HDMI port and be capable of displaying 1080p resolution. Normal TV displays at around 480i. Many less expensive or older HD TVs will display 720p or 1080i, which is still visibly very, very much nicer than 480i. 1080i and 1080p do not look all that different on displays smaller than 32 inches.
Probably the best way to do Blu-Ray right now is with a Sony PlayStation 3.
$399 buys a 40GB PlayStation 3 with a built in Blu-Ray player. The PS3 is Internet connected via Ethernet or wireless, can stream movies and music from your PC, plays games at up to 1080P, upscales and upconverts your existing DVDs nicely and its Internet network is free. (Unlike X-Box Live...)
The PlayStation 3's Operating System, and its Blu-Ray player’s firmware is easily updated from the Internet so the player is, and will remain, up to date with the current Blu-Ray Specification.
Also included as an option in the PlayStation 3 Operating System is Stanford’s “Folding at Home” application for performing distributed computing protein folding science to find cures for misfolded protein deseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s, etc. when your PS3 isn’t being used to play movies or games.
FreeRepublic has a protein folding team. (#36120)
See Here for more information, and/or click the top part of the pic below to link directly to Stanford's Folding @ Home page.
Did they REALLY cost that much at one time? Wow.
When I was in high school, I used to call my parents “the last American family without a VCR.” If what you say is true, chances are my uber frugal dad took one look at original prices and said never in this house! :) They finally got one around 1988.
I’ve also heard that Sony laid down the gauntlet - absolutely no porn on its Blu-Ray technology .... so maybe the porn industry, if nothing else, will keep HD alive.
So, are more porn flicks coming out in Blu-ray or HD?
If neither format wins in the next year or two, I wouldn't be surprised to see an even higher quality format come out to supercede the other two.
I gave up waiting and went with Blu-ray a few weeks ago. HD movies look terrific, as expected; even older movies redone for HD (Blade Runner, 2001, Close Encounters in particular). I was surprised at how good the 1080p up-convert looks for standard DVDs. My older standard DVD player also up-converted, but not all the way to 1080p, and the difference is easily discernable.
If I guessed wrong, and Universal Studios movies end up never being available for Blu-ray, I’ll deal with it by buying a cheap HD-DVD player to go along with the Blu-ray. Not a very elegant solution, but so what. The deciding factor for me will be what happens to LOTR on HD. My wife will want those movies on HD pretty quickly when they are released, and if they are only on HD-DVD then I’ll be looking for one of those $99.00 HD-DVD specials.
Not true. You have missed the motorstorm, uncharted, assassin's creed spots to name a few? I believe Sony to be warming up being just 1 year into the launch. The 360 was the 1st next gen console by a couple of years so already had an extensive library to ensure it would see more sales at the PS3 launch. The Wii is a gimmicky console (yes I own one) at a much lower price, aimed at the casual and new gaming audience. The 3 has become my family's almost exclusive piece of hardware used for entertainment. Movies, music, web surfer and games. The Blu-ray player is just one facet of a great piece of technology IMHO. To say it was a complete flop is disingenuous.
Cool. You should see it on a 120" 2:35 Cinamascope AT movie screen. Phenominal. I heartily endorse 1080p Blu-Ray, and look forward to the prices coming down, as they eventually will.
BTW, there IS a limitation to how far this will go. This time technology is limited to the extent of the difference of the resolution the human eye can discern.
Time to seriously think about Blu-Ray.....