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Warner Decides to go Blu-Ray Exclusively: So What? January 4, 2008

Supernatural66’s Take on this announcement and my pet HD-Peeves:

Warner announced today they will not be releasing new titles on HD-DVD format after May, 2008 and from that point on all new releases will be in the Blu-Ray high definition DVD format.  It will take some time to  sell down the existing HD titles so there will be plenty of titles for consumers for some time.

How will this affect Universal and Paramount who have been steadfast promoters of the HD-DVD format? We will have to wait and see.I have both a Toshiba HD-DVD player and a Sony Blu-Ray. My wish lists of new releases that I will be buying include a lot of Universal titles so I will not be abandoning my HD system any time soon. Personally I think we will see some super players coming out that can handle multiple formats. It is just a matter of software and getting a stable electronics platform for reading the disks. So far I have not been impressed with the FOX releases- have had several Blu-Rays that just would not play out of the box and encoding is an ongoing problem with Blu-Ray. Disney has done a great job with the format and Warner seems to have their act together on both formats.

Personally I am still waiting for FOX to announce they are releasing The X-Files on Blu-Ray in a special edition with tons and tons of interviews with the cast and crew. Why isn’t this ready this year in time to coincide with the release of the upcoming X-Files movie?

A distinct lack of TV shows on HD format is a bigger concern to me than which format wins the idiotic HD format war.  Super releases of desirable titles will do more for sales of this technology than anything. So far Warner has released Smallville seasons 5&6 in high definition with season 5 in HD and season 6 in both HD and Blu-Ray. I have the HD versions and they are great- picture is gorgeous and the transfer is stunning. Heroes Season 1 released by Universal and Battlestar Galactica Season 1 are awesome- tons of bonus features and mind blowing HD picture. I am happy to spend my money on the disks- release them already! Why are programs which are broadcast in HD not being released directly to HD/BR disk at the same time that they release regular sets?

Where is there a site to request title releases in HD format? Hint to include an option for I would buy this in HD or BR if available somewhere on your sales page for every DVD not available in High Definition!

Final note for this week- DirecTV has been delivering on its promise of more HD programming than anyone on the time frame that they promised. With more and more people signing up everyday and enjoying the high-def experience, the demand for HD recordings will just continue to go up. It is silly to continue to play this waiting game- it is time for the studios to go for it and release more titles NOW not later when they feel things will be more certain.

Until next time!

Kate aka Supernatura66


Here is the official press release from Warner:

Warner Bros. Entertainment to Release its High-Definition DVD Titles Exclusively in the Blu-Ray Disc Format Beginning Later This Year
January 04, 2008

In response to consumer demand, Warner Bros. Entertainment will release its high-definition DVD titles exclusively in the Blu-ray disc format beginning later this year, it was announced today by Barry Meyer, Chairman & CEO, Warner Bros. and Kevin Tsujihara, President, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group.

“Warner Bros.’ move to exclusively release in the Blu-ray disc format is a strategic decision focused on the long term and the most direct way to give consumers what they want,” said Meyer. “The window of opportunity for high-definition DVD could be missed if format confusion continues to linger. 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 Home Video will continue to release its titles in standard DVD format and Blu-ray. After a short window following their standard DVD and Blu-ray releases, all new titles will continue to be released in HD DVD until the end of May 2008.

“Warner Bros. has produced in both high-definition formats in an effort to provide consumer choice, foster mainstream adoption and drive down hardware prices,” said Jeff Bewkes, President and Chief Executive Officer, Time Warner Inc., the parent company of Warner Bros. Entertainment. “Today’s decision by Warner Bros. to distribute in a single format comes at the right time and is the best decision both for consumers and Time Warner.”

“A two-format landscape has led to consumer confusion and indifference toward high definition, which has kept the technology from reaching mass adoption and becoming the important revenue stream that it can be for the industry,” said Tsujihara. “Consumers have clearly chosen Blu-ray, and we believe that recognizing this preference is the right step in making this great home entertainment experience accessible to the widest possible audience. Warner Bros. has worked very closely with the Toshiba Corporation in promoting high definition media and we have enormous respect for their efforts. We look forward to working with them on other projects in the future.”

Contact Info:
Jim Noonan
Warner Bros. Home Ent. Group
(818) 977-5489

Susan Fleishman
Warner Bros. Entertainment
(818) 954-1919

Scott Rowe
Warner Bros. Entertainment
(818) 954-5806