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Warner Bros. Chooses Blu-Ray As Exclusive HD Format
Warner Bros. Chooses Blu-Ray As Exclusive HD Format
January 4, 2008 | By Brandon Boyer

January 4, 2008 | By Brandon Boyer
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Warner Bros. Entertainment has announced that is has sided exclusively with Blu-Ray as its high-definition video format of choice beginning later this year, as it phases out HD DVD production by May of 2008.

The announcement was jointly made by Warner Chairman and CEO Barry Meyer and Warner Bros. Entertainment president Kevin Tsujihara. In a statement, Warner confirmed that it would continue to release titles in both Blu-Ray and standard DVD for the foreseeable future.

Meyer categorized the decision as one "focused on the long term and the most direct way to give consumers what they want."

"The window of opportunity for high-definition DVD could be missed if format confusion continues to linger," he said. "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."

In June of last year, the company delayed its initiative to produce discs containing both formats until 2008, saying in part the decision was meant to give retailers more of an opportunity to designate new sections for the double-format.

Video rental giant Blockbuster also sided exclusively with Blu-Ray last year, saying the format was chosen more than 70 percent of the time in trial stores that offered both. HD DVD discs will still be available via its online rental service.

Paramount and Dreamworks remain two of the largest studios to side with HD DVD, with DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg saying, "We believe the combination of this year's low-priced HD DVD players and the commitment to release a significant number of hit titles in the fall makes HD DVD the best way to view movies at home."

Said Warner's Tsujihara, "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."

He concluded, "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."


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Comments


Eric Diepeveen
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I'm still using DVD's and I haven't even considered buying any of the new formats. I don't care actually. Dvd's are cheaper and have the biggest library available. I don't see that changing any time soon, so I won't be too.

Nathaniel Smith
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this is huge. I wonder what Toshiba is planning to comeback this major blow to their format.They need to secure a movie studio or retail chain to exclusively support their format. I predict Toshiba has one more major blow like this to take and they're gonna pull out of the format war.

Matt Ponton
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I still don't understand how "A two-format landscape has led to consumer confusion" and "Consumers have clearly chosen Blu-ray" makes sense and aren't conflicting. Consumer chose DVD, don't be saying that they chose Blu-ray when Blu-ray and HD DVD are at best 3% of the market.

Anonymous
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It makes perfect sense given DVD isn't one of the two formats. HDDVD and BD have nothing to do with standard DVD; thus there is no conflict and at this time aren't even targeting the same markets. That will change as movie prices start to come down and there are already plenty of $15 and $20 titles on shelves. Most new releases on the standard DVD side are in this price range or even higher, so HD prices aren't that much more expensive. BD has a huge sales advantage all over the world and 70% of studios back it, so this time next year there will probably be very few HDDVD around.

Matt Ponton
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After re-reading Tsujihara's comments I understand what he's saying. This was a severe blow to HD DVD and the chances of them succeeding in the HD war are slim-to-none.



I don't buy much of the HD format. Personally I'd rather put my $30 towards a game.


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