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Warner Waves Goodbye to HD DVD

LAS VEGAS--Right before CES, Warner Home Video ended its neutrality in the high-definition video format war. Instead of shipping movies in both of the two competing, incompatible formats--Blu-Ray and HD DVD--it announced that it would ship high-def copies of its titles in only Blu-Ray, starting in May.

I sat down with two Warner executives, WHV president Ron Sanders and Kevin Tsujihara, president of Warner Bros.' Home Entertainment Group, this morning to talk about Warner's switch.

They said that sales of high-definition movies determined the move--in terms of them lagging behind DVD sales and being tilted towards Blu-Ray.

"Sales of both high-definition formats were a little disappointing and a little behind where they needed to be," Sanders said. "Of those who did buy, it was clearly a Blu-Ray vote... roughly a 60-40 split in favor of Blu-Ray."

He added that he thought uncertainty over future video formats depressed even the sales of regular DVDs, which were down about 3 percent this year.

Blu-Ray does incorporate stricter usage restrictions than HD DVD, but Sanders and Tsujihara said that didn't affect the company's decision. (See these summer and winter 2006 columns for more on how these formats work.)

So what about customers who had believed in Warner's format neutrality and had purchased HD DVD players in the expectation that they'd get to watch Warner's releases on them? Sanders said, "We've gotten some e-mails from some vocal consumers. That's one of the reasons why we wanted to announce sooner rather than later." He said the company is "talking to retailers this week about what should be done if anything to help those consumers who bought HD DVD players."

The executives aren't banking on a move to HD video downloads anytime soon. Tsujihara said it will be a long time, "particularly in the U.S., before you're moving high-definition files around the Internet." That's just about the opposite of what the Motion Picture Association of America seems to think, but Tsujihara said most broadband connections in the U.S. aren't fast enough--and that it's not as easy to grab a title you want off BitTorrent as some people make it out to be.

Have you bought into either high-def video disc format? If so, how do you feel about Warner's move?

By Rob Pegoraro  |  January 7, 2008; 2:07 PM ET
Categories:  CES 2008 , Video  
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Yes, in December I got a HD-DVD player + 10 HD-DVD movies for about $170. Last week I got a Panasonic Blu-Ray player For $88 as part of HDTV package. So I was set for both formats.

Overall, I'm glad that there will be a single format. It's the right thing for customers.

Now what do I do with this HD-DVD player? For now, I can enjoy movies from Netflix in either HD format. Eventually, the HD-DVD player will be obsolete.

I hope there's a trade-in program for get Blu-Ray versions of the HD-DVD movies I own.

Posted by: SM | January 7, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I bought a HD-DVD player, so it looks like I'll be missing out on new Warner releases. Not really a big deal, as I didn't pay much for my player (under $200) and I only rent HD-DVDs through Netflix. The HD-DVD player upconverts regular DVDs, so if it's not available on HD-DVD, DVD is just fine. The one thing I won't be doing any time soon is running out to buy a Blu-ray player. At least not until prices fall to the same level as what I paid for the HD-DVD player.

Posted by: M Street | January 7, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

the market is big enough for both formats to make their money (greedy b@stards)...imagine if we only had one choice to buy cars?

Posted by: jaylyn | January 7, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

The star product at the CES should have been a $150 portable dual Blu-Ray HD-DVD player with an HDMI port to connect to a big HDTV. This would be the best mouse trap. Why no such thing?

Posted by: Jkoch | January 7, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

To respond to Jaylyn:

OK, for example, we have only two types of cars, gasoline and diesel. Now then, we only have one kind of fuel. Or a very limited source of one of the fuels.

jkoch: I don't know why both formats couldn't be combined in one palyer, other than royalty payments (follow the money).

Posted by: blasher | January 7, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

My view: it doesn't matter which format wins, so long as the stalemate ends. If Warner's move ends the stalemate, good for them.

Major electronics retailers could help by cutting off HD-DVD product sales and offering trade-in deals for the hardware (with help from Sony and its Blu-Ray partners, of course).

Posted by: Going Blue | January 7, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

People who bought HD-DVD players and invested in the movies are the real losers here. The writing is on the wall and Toshiba and Microsoft should make this better for their customers and offer a trade in program of some sort so they don't feel so scorned.

Posted by: Vern | January 7, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Two questions:

1) What kind of financial consideration did Warners get from Sony?

2) Aren't Paramount and Universal still locked into their HD-DVD pacts? How do they get out early?

Posted by: Ronnie | January 7, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I bought an HD DVD player a little over a year ago and have a collection of roughly 80 movies (half of which are Warner). I feel a bit betrayed by what Warner calls "The consumer's choice". While I do appreciate that the stalemate needed to end one way or another... I would feel a lot less scorned if they DO offer some sort of trade in program. Good for them for even considering it. THAT will help the huge amount of HD DVD owners make a more peaceful transition to the new "standard"

Posted by: Matt | January 7, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I believe that the reason for the slow sales of hd dvds is because the studios are focusing on the blu ray format only and are releasing the bigger blockbusters only on blu ray.If the same films were releaqsed together things would be different as i believe hd would win hands down due to the prices of the players.if it wasnt for the ps3 blu ray wouldnt even get a look in.

P.s toshiba have release a dual format player (blu ray & hd) this is at present 700pounds in the uk

god help us

Posted by: Steve | January 7, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I have a PS3 and did quite a bit of research before buying into the format war. Blu-Ray was winning the software sales ratio by at least 2:1 for 2007, the PS3 had a Blu-Ray player in it and was easily outselling HD DVD standalone players. More studios were releasing films in the Blu-Ray format. I love Disney movies and they are Blu. I figured that if Blu-Ray for some reason ended up on the losing end, I could always continue to use as a movie player for the discs I have as well as gaming. Pretty easy choice.

I think this decision is good for the industry and will help promote hi-def DVD's especially as they compete against regular DVD.

I also think that the Blu-Ray Forum would be wise to extend an olive branch to current owners of HD DVD players by offerring coupons or discounts on Blu-Ray players. Just a thought.

Posted by: Claude | January 7, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Competition is good in most cases. In some cases it is counter productive. In this case, when the format war is over, there will be a significant economic cost to society.

My biggest complaint is that the negatives of this "war" have been overlooked. On the other hand, the positives have been hyped beyond reasonable rationality.

1. For the consumers who have invested in the losing format, their monetary investment has been vaporized. When discussing this issue, I also like to through in all the cell phones that had to be thrown away because of incompatibility issues. These items are not free, someone had to work to earn money to pay for this now worthless stuff. Corporations when they purposely obsolesce a useful product to maximize their profits on the backs of consumers should be brought task on this.

2. The format "war" delayed the introduction of HDTV content. Had we simply accepted a unified standard years ago, we would have had the critical consumer mass for HDTV content years ago.

3. Introducing DRM into the HDTV has resulted in increased hardware instability and technical problems. At the moment the adverse impact of DRM technologies on your ability to enjoy HD content has not yet fully hit the proverbial fan. When it does, the consumer will finally realize that they have been sold a bill of goods. For now DRM is a nearly silent ticking bomb.

Posted by: Steve R. | January 7, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

i bought an hd dvd player a week before the warner announcment and took the thing back yesterday. screw disks all together, i'll just pay for a movie ticket and theater hope untill my brain is filled with hollywood RUBISH!

Posted by: to hell with all disks! | January 7, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

i bought an hd dvd player a week before the warner announcment and took the thing back yesterday. screw disks all together, i'll just pay for a movie ticket and theater hop untill my brain is filled with hollywood RUBISH!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Back in the days of VHS and Beta, titles were freely released for both formats. Eventually VHS was more affordable, PQ slowly got better "HQ and 4 head technology", and VHS eventually "won". It wasn't so much a battle in that, titles were readily available for both. It took many years before beta eventually faded away, it was not an overnight thing.
VHS movie and player cost became very cheap, and everyone with 99.00 could afford it.

HD-DVD can still win if:

a.) they open up hd-dvd licensing such that making a hd-dvd player/movies is the same or cheaper than for standard DVD. Eventually hd-dvd will get pushed out and considered a "free" feature. So instead of a 99.00 DVD player, push out a 99.00 DVD player, with free feature to play HD-DVD. Once the standalone base is in significant numbers, it will be hard for studios NOT to make an hd-dvd title, since the HD "feature" is now standardized for all entry level DVD players.

A battle here was won by Sony, but the war is not yet over.

Posted by: GadgetPig | January 7, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I think Toshi can still win this battle and the war is far from over. If they were going to pay out the nose for studio support say 400 million dollars... They could easily move that money now and subsidize a hd-dvd player price it for 99 bucks and boost the install base. Do it while warner is still releasing movies to show them the consumer has really decided and not the 500 million dollars in marketing and probbably free replication of discs.

This was taken from forbes as of today
LONDON - Warner Brothers exclusive backing of the Blu-Ray high-definition DVD format has not only warmed the hearts of Sony investors, it's good news for the companies that produce the discs.

There are only a few such firms in the world, along with Sony (nyse: SNE - news - people ). One of them, Germany's Singulus Technologies, saw its stock surge 21.0%, or 1.44 euros ($2.12), to 8.30 euros ($12.22), on Monday afternoon in Frankfurt.

The choice of Blu-Ray over HD DVD is obviously good news for Singulus, which makes machines for both types of disc. That's because DVD-makers like Germany's Bertelsmann or Canada's Cinram have to buy whole new machines for producing Blu-Ray discs, but they only have to upgrade their current disc-making machines to make HD DVDs.

The rub is that while upgrading to an HD machine costs close to $37,000, buying a whole new Blu-Ray disc maker costs $1.2 million. Though Singulus has sold 8 Blu-Ray machines so far, the product has prospects for some deliciously high margins.

But investors should be wary of this technology firm--the profit it makes from extra machines churning out Time Warner's movies won't last forever, and that won't be enough to revive is flagging stock. Singulus shares have fallen by a third in the last year.

The problem is the demand for DVDs themselves. Some analysts believe that while Blu-Ray may be winning the battle with HD DVD to be the next generation DVD format, neither will win the war, since future consumers will probably choose to download their movies and transport them on memory disk. "They know this is a dying business," said Berenberg Bank analyst Thomas Wissler

Though its Blu-Ray machines have been its biggest money maker, the German technology company has thus diversified into other areas, where it can replicate its expertise for metalization, i.e. the process of coating plastic with a thin layer of metal. Singulus now makes machines for coating things from DVDs to packaging to camera lenses.

Wissler thinks that's a bad idea: "In the long run this helps the company to survive, but in the short-to-mid-term, with so many different segments, you have to spend more on research and development, you need to have distribution channels. It all costs money," he said. "I'm very pessimistic on the stock."

Singulus' only competitors for producing Blu-Ray machines are Sony--which produces discs exclusively for its own movie studio--and Oerlikon of Switzerland.

Until now Blu-Ray has been in the lead over HD DVD for the number of movie titles it has in its ranks--446 to HD's 395. Its champions include Dell (nasdaq: DELL - news - people ), Panasonic, Philips Electronics (other-otc: PHGZF - news - people ) and, of course, Sony, while Toshiba (other-otc: TOSBF - news - people ), Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT - news - people ) and Sanyo (other-otc: SANYY - news - people ), support HD DVD.

Blu-Ray discs have the benefit of a larger capacity, meaning that film studios can add extra features, but HD discs are popular because they are cheaper to produce.

That's 1.2 million dollars per machine... how do independent companies feel that press discs??? Probbably not to happy with Warner obviously. Just like the consumer. It is sad warner is just doing it for money. They have denied it they did, just like paramount did to blu-ray they got 150 mil but denied it. But if they stay then it's there choice because there contract is open ended for them to leave if hd-dvd fails. SHAME ON YOU WARNER FOR DESTROYING X-MAS PLAYERS... YOU SAID A WEEK BEFORE CES THERE WOULD BE NO STUDIO EXLUSIVES TO ONE SIDE FOR YOU... YOU SAID FORMAT NEUTRAL FOR 2008 TO SEE WHAT WOULD HAPPEN.. YOU LIE YOU GOT PAID!!!!! SHAAAAMMMEEEE. PEOPLE BOUGHT PLAYERS BASED UPON YOUR ANSWERS. I'll be keeping my player and might one day think about buying your movies for right now i think not.

Posted by: Juggs | January 7, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh and on hidef media the market only made 300 million for 2007 as for dvd made 16 billion. Warner got paid!!

Posted by: Juggs | January 7, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Hey the war ain't over yet.
This is firmly about PS3 vs xBox. & I will wait to see what MS does. They need to stick a HD player INTO an xBox so that there sales wont be eaten by BR before the nexr redesign.
If the push downloads well:

Downloadable content esp. movies are years away.
We are always on here railing vs. the cables & fiber for their bad service & high prices.

Do you think we would pay to sit there waiting 10 hrs to download a high def movie?

A lot of things need to happen before any format can be called a winner.

You can't out smart physics with simple money for sure.

Posted by: Victor | January 7, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Any one who bought a player before the war ended should stop whining. Neither Sony and Blu Ray or Toshiba HD DVD really care about you. All they care about is the bottom line. Having two formats was dumb.
Now the high end manufacturers will produce like Esoteric, Krell, ML, Audio Research, CJ, Classe et all will produce better Blu Ray players.

And remember Betamax delivered better picture and audio quality over VHS and LPS still sound better than any other format !

Posted by: Dave | January 7, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

BluRay has region coding, so it can go to hell as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by: Mike | January 7, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

I used to work for Warner developing HD content. Sony's SDK to develop HD extras for Blu-ray is such crap that most Blu-ray content is scrapped. I quit this week because I will not degrade myself to using sub par Sony development tools.

Posted by: Jeff | January 7, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

I had purchased a hd-dvd player assumingboth formats would be available for a long time.

Back in the day I kept my hifi-beta machine for many years. I bought tons of movies as rental places cleared them out. - so I assumed that even if I made the 'wrong' choice, there would be some consolation. Unfortunately the war ended too quickly for there to be enough surplus stock of films.

Posted by: Don B | January 7, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Warners make a good step here to put at ease to those who own blu-ray but does not have HD-DVD. I wanted to buy some movies that is available ib HD-DVD but not in Blu-ray. I hope that warner move will encourage all movies that comes out in high definition at a cost less than USD 20 per pop. I like to see the price at the current DVD pricing at year end.

(Hi Def)--War, what is it good for ? NOTHING..Without a war, I hope all get to enjoy

Posted by: Alistair | January 7, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't mind if Blu-ray won on its merits but I do dislike the consumer being forced to buy the more expensive option because of back office deals between Sony, which has a clear bias since it manufactures both hardware and software, and the other studios. What happened to competition and free markets?

Posted by: Ian | January 7, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

The same thing happened back in the early Eighties. Anyone remember RCA capacitance discs (aka "SelectaVision")? It lost the format war to LaserDiscs and bankrupted RCA in the process.

Posted by: scooter | January 7, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: steve ballmer | January 7, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Don't buy into this propaganda.

Posted by: Mike | January 7, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Warner has said they dropped HD DVD based on the consumer's best interest, and that one format was best for the consumer..

That is totally not true and we all know it. They are lying to consumers, and it may be because they are going to be paid by the Sony/Blu-ray group to say so.

All the back and forth of the format war has left many home integrators and their customers on the sidelines, waiting for one format to emerge victorious before investing in high-def equipment and DVD titles is also not true. High prices have been the show stopper and well continue to be, until the price of HD players comes down to where standard DVD players are now.

I hope that people in high places are investigating if there are grounds for a class action lawsuit against the Warner/Sony Blu-ray group, based on the facts, and their intent to help the Sony/Blu-ray group create a product monopoly.

There are over one million plus owners of HD DVD players in North America (myself being one). I also own a Blu-ray player. The sale and ownership of HD DVD standalone HD DVD has been steadily growing to a point where they have being out pacing the sales of standalone Blu-ray players (not Play Station 3).

Warner is basing their justification for consumer acceptance of Blu-ray over HD DVD based on the sales numbers of the Play Station 3. The Play Station 3 is being mainly sold as game machine, not a DVD player. Eventually sales of the game machine will slow down (like they did before Xmas) because most consumers are not interested in a game machine for their home theater system. They are just interested in a reasonably priced standalone HD Player, and that's what the increase in sales of the Toshiba HD DVD Players was providing.

Remember HD media (HD DVD & Blu-ray) is only at about 2% of the overall world market at this time. HD still has a long up road to increase HD media ownership. The market is big enough for both formats to make their money (It's just greed). Imagine if we only had one choice to buy cars?

Look at pass completing technologies that have survived.

Microsoft operating system computers and the Apple operating system computer. Apple is still here despite Microsoft's dominance.

Video game machine makers like Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. They all exist completing against each other, giving consumer a choice.

The consumer should be able to choose what ever format/hardware they wish to purchase. The software manufacturers should not be allowed to help a hardware manufacturer create a product monopoly in the market place. I though there laws against this practice, to protect consumers.

People have spent good money buying HD DVD players with the understanding that the software would be available for sale. Warner has mislead the consumer in 2007 indicating that they would stay neutral and provide consumers with both Blu-ray and HD DVD media. They lied.

So what about customers who had believed in Warner's format neutrality and had purchased HD DVD players in the expectation that they'd get to watch Warner's releases on them? Warner Bros Sanders said, "We've gotten some e-mails from some vocal consumers. That's one of the reasons why we wanted to announce sooner rather than later." He said the company is "talking to retailers this week about what should be done if anything to help those consumers who bought HD DVD players."

Yes! Good luck, we are talking about over a million consumers.

Posted by: Rod | January 7, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I just got a Pioneer Elite Blu-ray player for Christmas so this is good news!

Posted by: donkool | January 7, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Sony can kiss my ass

Posted by: Jared | January 7, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Rod makes some excellent points.
Multi platform competition exist everywhere namely wireless & OS.

Why we are being forced as consumers to go against the free market mechanism is beyond me I guess.

Looks like I will wait for the next platform because paying more for less isn't an ideal situation for me.

Posted by: Victor | January 7, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

this sucks, all greedy slant eyed japs in the end!

Posted by: jake | January 7, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

I'll continue to stay on the sidelines and let these formats wither on the vine, or conversely I'll let everyone who has to have this stuff now pay for Sony's bribes. DVDs are good enough for me for the time being, perhaps forever. I'm not going to spend more than $10 for a disk, ever.

Posted by: Robert17 | January 8, 2008 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Blu Ray disks only sold becuase of the PS3, users had no games to play so they bought films instead.. annoyed HD player owner who will still buy HD DVD.

Posted by: Johnster | January 8, 2008 7:49 AM | Report abuse

At such an early stage how can 'roughly a 60-40 split in favor of Blu-Ray' mean its sensible to stop producing movies on HD-DVD. Most people havent even decided which to purchase, but i guess now the decision is made for you.

Posted by: Chris | January 8, 2008 7:52 AM | Report abuse

I've been a technologist for 42 years and consumer electronics has always been my favorite joke. First create the "need" and then let the market create the standard. What a corporate rape of consumers. We, as consumers, need to laugh at industry and demand standards first. After all, none of us NEED HD. It is just the usual corporate push to keep us consuming so the cash flows. Just say NO!

It will be years before our nationwide, non-integrated networks have the capability to deliver data rates that can support HD to the home. Just more hype...

Posted by: aikibob1 | January 8, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

We are being forced to go with a more expensive HD format because of Sony's games console.

Posted by: Alan | January 8, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

DVD is good enough for me right now, no need to buy either. IMO, the HD hype is crazy. People are throwing away perfectly good TV sets just because they want the latest thing. My daughter is considering a Playstation purchase, so she will be the first to get Bluray.

Posted by: MSchafer | January 8, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

You should have asked him about the $500 million payoff that WB reportedly received.

It turns out that this really wasn't a format war after was a bidding war.

Posted by: Reston | January 8, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

While the idea of a dual format player at reasonable cost is initially "risk free" for consumers, ultimately a single format is the least costly for all and will, like anything, result in lower manufacturing and distribution costs for players and DVDs. So it was with DVD. ($20 players available today). Blu-Ray, merely by having the most growth built in (capacity) is the better format. Toshiba and Microsoft walked away from single format talks. Consumers have voted: despite the initial higher cost of the players, the preferred format is Blu-Ray in purchasing discs.
It will be _many_ years before TRUE, lossless, HD over the net is available (1080p compliant).

Blu-Ray it is.
Get over it.
Get on with it.

Posted by: Allen Braun | January 8, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

While this blog is not truly representative of the HDM buying public as a whole, I am still surprised at the near unanimous view of what this was as Reston called it: a bidding war.

Not what WB & Sony would have you believe huh...

Posted by: Victor | January 8, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Rob, the correct spelling is "Blu-ray"

Posted by: Arlington | January 8, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I'll just wait until the war is over and go with the winner, which may well be web download. Whatever the case, the price will be less by then.

Posted by: tharriso | January 8, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Warner was apparently offered roughly the same payment by Toshiba (and Microsoft?) to go the other way so the discussion about supposed bribes is moot. Warner would have been in the same financial situation either way.

The sales ratio (according to unbiased tracking services) was 70-30 or better in favor of Blu-Ray not 60-40.

The price differential between Blu-Ray and HD-DVD players is now under $100 and is closing.

The real reason seems to be that Warner wants to end the format war. They see too many people standing on the sidelines. Standard DVD is no longer the cash cow it was and the studios want HD discs to become the new cash cow. The format war was slowing this up.

Downloads will eventually win but everyone needs a lot more bandwidth than is available right now at anything like a reasonable price to make that work for HD content. We need discs for a few more years.

I took a personal hit in this too because I bought a not cheap dual format player right before Warner made its announcement.

Posted by: JazzGuyy | January 8, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I believe Tosh and MS offered about $3-400 million to Warner but once Fox was "re-purchased" by Sony/BDA, WB took the bigger paycheck and the chance to end this.

Posted by: Reston | January 8, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

DRM sucks from both formats. I hope they choke on the DVD monster trying to fight it. I will encourage everyone with an HD Set to get an OPPO.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 8, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I have held off on buying a player for this very reason. Seriously, who amongst believes the issue is settled...and that a single format has won? Most new reports indicate quite clearly that we are still in the midst of the format one must be either somewhat naive or disingenious to express shock at this point that they have invested in a format that may not be the ultimate format.

My advice - buy whatever player you want, but make sure that you spend only as much as you can afford to write off in a couple of years...and then RENT disks. You will enjoy the benefits of HD without much risk.

Posted by: ScubaSteve | January 9, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Warner sucks! I'm going to have to boycott their movies now. I also bought an HD-Dvd player right after Christmas with the amazing HD-Dvd sales that were going on. They finally got down as cheap as a regular DVD player which was what I was waiting for. I also got 9 free HD movies and bought another 15 at $14.99 each. I was banking on the fact that Warner said they would stay neutral, then I read that Warner would be speaking at Toshiba's press conference at CES 2008, so it looked like they would either stay neutral or possibly go HD-DVD exclusive. This slimy company must have been paid off by Sony at the last minute!

Posted by: John | January 9, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I like HD-Dvd better then Blu-ray and will stick with HD-Dvd. Here are some of the reasons:

1) HD-DVD is less mired down in DRM
Blu-Ray is definitely a ticking time bomb with DRM
2) HD-DVD is not region coded - this is the way it should be. I can buy Blu-Ray exlusive movies in HD-DVD format from Europe right now, so I could care less if Warner goes Blu-Ray exclusive.
3) HD-DVD has a triple layer 51GB spec in their format, so Blu-Ray does not have the big advantage that people keep harping on.
4) Blu-ray keeps coming out with newer profiles - 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, etc. This means many people who bought Blu-ray players will end up with obsolote equipment as well!
5) The 60-40 numbers Warner through out there must be old, because the statistics show HD-DVD outsold Blu-Ray during November and December. Also, Warner has yet to see how many HD-DVD's they sell now after the 100's of thousands of HD-DVD players sold in November and December. Walmart alone apparently sold over 100,000 HD-DVD players with their $99 sale.
6) This leads to my next point - HD-DVD players are much less expensive. You can buy a good close to high-end HD-DVD player for $100 less then the cheapest low end Blu-ray player. And it won't be obsolete due to Sony profile changes!

Posted by: Bob | January 9, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

If HD looses the consumer looses. I have been buying the dual format HD DVDs that I can use in all my DVD players. With Blu Ray you can look forward to having to buy 2 disks instead of one. I have read several reviews of people who returned a Blu-Ray player and bought a HD DVD player but have never seen a review of someone who returned a HD for Blu-Ray. I love my HD DVD player and stand by it, hang in there HD fans hopefully people will realize that just because Blu-Ray is over priced doesn't make it better.

Posted by: Kezia | January 18, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

a year ago, i bought my hd-dvd player after an extensive research. at that time, hd-dvd player can only play at 1080i, and the blu-ray camp was already promoting theirs at 1080p. even at 1080i, the hd-dvd player was far more superior. blu-ray movies were so grainy and hd was just plain perfect. i was so glad when firmware update came by for hd player to play 1080p. it has even had an update to increase the blackness of the signal. (my hd-dvd player was xbox) this was all done through the internet i didn't had to look for it. i just got a prompt one day, informing me that an update was available. with the 1080p update, hd was clearly a more stable and a better format.

i feel really cheated. warner should go to hell. they never considered about the 1 million customers who had bought hd-dvd player. they said that they will be neutral for 2008, but they didnt.

There should be a full inquiry on the payout that was made to Warner, and someone must be punished.

i live in canada. since warner headquarter is in the US, i believe americans must file petitions for the government officials to launch a massive investigation. this is another example of corporate greediness and manipulation.

Posted by: HD lover | March 17, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

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