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Wednesday, 07 November 2007 13:20

Suggestions that WHV will go Blu-ray are premature

Written by David Stellmack

ImageImage

Warner to continue to support both formats

Recently
we saw and heard some whispers that Warner Home Video had elected to drop HD DVD support in favor of going all Blu-ray with future releases. When we first started hearing this we found it to be quite strange that one of the studios that had claimed from the beginning that they were in the business to just sell movies, and that they would do it in both formats in response to consumer demand, would just make a drastic u-turn mid stream and announce a plan to go Blu-ray exclusively. After all, they were the ones that had developed the “Total HD” format, which sandwiched both the HD DVD and Blu-ray formats together in the same package. It turns out that these reports were totally false and could be traced to a comment that was taken out of context from a WHV employee during a recent Blu-ray event.

According to the reports, WHV continues to examine its strategies going forward, but right now they seem to be content to support both formats. It is obvious that WHV does not want the stigma that has become associated with supporting one format or the other. Many early adopters of the hi-definition movie format have started to become quite unhappy with the studios that have elected to support one format over the other, unless the format happens to be the one that the consumer supports.

We have written many times about how the HD format war is dividing the industry at a time when they could be benefiting from a renewed interest in movies in general. Still, many consumers continue to lash out at the manufacturers, studios, standards groups, and even at the hacks in the media that just don’t see things their way. It still appears that the rumors and PR spins from each side will continue to fan the flames on a road to nowhere.

As things stand right now, it is hard to believe that either format is going anyplace in the short term, but over the long haul it seems that dual format players might be the only solution to satisfy consumers. Until the dual format players are affordable, however, we think that we will not see an end in sight to the misleading statements that cause consumers of the opposite format to panic. In the meantime, we suggest that consumers continue to examine their options carefully and make an educated decision as to which format is best for them.

Right now, I am not sure how anyone that has even a slight interest in watching HD movies can say “no” to a player that is retailing for under US$100.  Even those that purchase these low-priced HD DVD players will have movies to watch on them for the time being, and our advice to those that purchased them is to enjoy the quality of your HD movies and let the format war sort itself out.

Last modified on Wednesday, 07 November 2007 13:41

David Stellmack

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