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HD DVD camp may lose more of its supporters

January 10th, 2008 by Maxim · 2 Comments · 2,916 Views


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After Warner Bros. decided to commit to Blu-Ray and stop releasing their movies on HD-DVD in May 2008, the HD-DVD camp has been reduced to just Universal Studio and Paramount as far as Hollywood studios go. The latter has an “escape” clause in their contract to switch to Blu-Ray should Warner Bros. switch too (WB is the biggest studio). Warner’s sister companies, HBO and Lionsgate, are also switching to Blu-Ray.

Paramount at the moment states that it will keep supporting HD-DVD, to which it comitted exclusively as recently as August, 2007.

It’s been rumored that Universal Studio’s commitment to HD DVD exclusively has expired today.

Microsoft, the largest backer of HD-DVD after Toshiba, confirmed that they will not support Blu-Ray for as long as Toshiba wants to make HD-DVD hardware. Sales of Toshiba’s hardware, HD-DVD players such as HD A2, HD A3, HD XA2 and HD A35 have been very strong in the 4th quarter of 2007, especially on Amazon and Buy.com. The strength of sales of their hardware, which is much cheaper then most Blu-Ray players, is the biggest hope of Toshiba for survival, if not success, of HD-DVD format.

However, the last nail in the coffin of HD-DVD may be the decision of retailers to sell HD-DVD players and movie titles. If retailers have too big of inventory of HD-DVD players, they may try to put them on sale, which ironically may contribute to spike in HD-DVD sales.

 Another interesting question is whether we need HD disks at all. There’s so much fiber-optic infrastructure now that a new breed of hardware and services can emerge – HD movie downloads. They may replace HD formats the way MP3 stores replaced audio CDs.

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Bruce Baxter // Jan 12, 2008 at 4:47 pm

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    I said this in another post, but it bears repeating. It isn’t the RECORDERS that will win this “war” it’s the WRITERS. Toshiba and it’s affiliates have to start saturating the market with HD-DVD WRITERS, in all avenues. They can and must do it at the minimum profit, and head towards aggressive and fast price drops. This goes for the media as well. Blu-Ray cannot keep up with the low prices that HD-DVD has the luxury of being able to utilize right now – and it will be a long, long time before it will ever be on a “level playing field” in that respect.

    But Toshiba must realize that fighting in the read only device market is a losing strategy, and go to the recording side – where it is too costly for Blu-Ray to compete. Since recorders also read, guess what? Market saturation! Then, the movie studios will come back, and Sony will be wondering what the heck happened.

  • 2 Ari // Jan 12, 2008 at 7:19 pm

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    Studios care about movie sales not how many HD DVD players were bought by HD DVD supporters. You only need go to AVSforum or High Deg Digest to see a number of HD DVD fans with multiple players in their signatures or profiles.

    The fact is that Blu-ray outsold HD DVD 10:1 if you count PS3 sales and even without them, Blu-ray had over 50%. They also outsold HD DVD in movie sales (BD: 64:36 in NA, 73: 27 in Europe and 90:10 in Japan).

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