Dec 01, 2020
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Headline, Technology News

Warner Bros. backs Blu-ray

Warner Bros. will throw all its weight behind Blu-ray mid-way through this year in what could serve as a death blow to the rival HD DVD format.

The studio, which hinted a move could be coming after the holidays, said it was making the decision to back only Blu-ray due to customer preference for the high-def format developed by Sony. Announcement comes on the eve of the annual consumer electronics confab in Las Vegas next week.

For the last few months, Warner has been the sole major backing both formats. Paramount initially backed both formats but decided to drop Blu-ray in favor of HD DVD mid-way last year, due in part to marketing incentives proffered by Toshiba and belief the lower cost of HD DVD would drive greater sales.

However, hardware manufacturers for both sides offered sizable discounts for players during the holidays, reducing the price gap between the two formats. And studios offered incentives on the software as well.

In recent months Warner has begun to signal its eagerness to stop supporting both formats, which carries a significant cost for the studio. And homevid topper Ron Sanders recently expressed concern that the prolonged format war could hinder the adoption of either format (Variety, Dec. 17-23).

And indeed, in announcing the shift, Warner execs sounded a similar note.

"The window of opportunity for high-definition DVD could be missed if format confusion continues to linger," chair and CEO Barry Meyer Meyer 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."

Warner home entertainment topper Kevin Tsujihara said that consumers "have clearly chosen Blu-ray" and that the studio is making the move in recognition of that.

"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.

Warners’ Blu-ray shift has been rumored for some time, but the studio insisted it would wait to see how both formats fared during the crucial fourth-quarter sales period. The studio will continue to release discs on both formats until May 31, then switch to Blu-ray only on the high-def front.

This move leaves only Universal and Paramount supporting HD DVD. Paramount’s exclusive deal with HD DVD is believed to run through this year. Warner sister studio New Line has also released discs on both formats, but Warner distributes those, and New Line is expected to follow Warner as a Blu-ray only studio.

Studios and manufacturers have been fighting a pitched battle for the future of high-def because there is so much at stake: Sales of standard DVD has started to decline and digital downloads are even smaller than high-def at this point. DVD sales generate around $16 billion annually for the studios, with rental biz contributing another $8 billion or so to the annual domestic homevid spending.

Blu-ray format got off to a later start than HD DVD but has always had the strength in numbers on the software side and a Trojan horse in the PlayStation 3 console, which can play movies. Sony, Disney, Fox and Lionsgate threw their weight behind Blu-ray, which also has greater storage capacity than its rival, from the start. Warners, Paramount and Universal supported HD DVD from the outset, although at first Warners and Par supported both formats.

<font size=1>Source: Variety</font>

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Headline, Technology News

Warner Bros. backs Blu-ray

Warner Bros. will throw all its weight behind Blu-ray mid-way through this year in what could serve as a death blow to the rival HD DVD format.

The studio, which hinted a move could be coming after the holidays, said it was making the decision to back only Blu-ray due to customer preference for the high-def format developed by Sony. Announcement comes on the eve of the annual consumer electronics confab in Las Vegas next week.

For the last few months, Warner has been the sole major backing both formats. Paramount initially backed both formats but decided to drop Blu-ray in favor of HD DVD mid-way last year, due in part to marketing incentives proffered by Toshiba and belief the lower cost of HD DVD would drive greater sales.

However, hardware manufacturers for both sides offered sizable discounts for players during the holidays, reducing the price gap between the two formats. And studios offered incentives on the software as well.

In recent months Warner has begun to signal its eagerness to stop supporting both formats, which carries a significant cost for the studio. And homevid topper Ron Sanders recently expressed concern that the prolonged format war could hinder the adoption of either format (Variety, Dec. 17-23).

And indeed, in announcing the shift, Warner execs sounded a similar note.

"The window of opportunity for high-definition DVD could be missed if format confusion continues to linger," chair and CEO Barry Meyer Meyer 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."

Warner home entertainment topper Kevin Tsujihara said that consumers "have clearly chosen Blu-ray" and that the studio is making the move in recognition of that.

"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.

Warners’ Blu-ray shift has been rumored for some time, but the studio insisted it would wait to see how both formats fared during the crucial fourth-quarter sales period. The studio will continue to release discs on both formats until May 31, then switch to Blu-ray only on the high-def front.

This move leaves only Universal and Paramount supporting HD DVD. Paramount’s exclusive deal with HD DVD is believed to run through this year. Warner sister studio New Line has also released discs on both formats, but Warner distributes those, and New Line is expected to follow Warner as a Blu-ray only studio.

Studios and manufacturers have been fighting a pitched battle for the future of high-def because there is so much at stake: Sales of standard DVD has started to decline and digital downloads are even smaller than high-def at this point. DVD sales generate around $16 billion annually for the studios, with rental biz contributing another $8 billion or so to the annual domestic homevid spending.

Blu-ray format got off to a later start than HD DVD but has always had the strength in numbers on the software side and a Trojan horse in the PlayStation 3 console, which can play movies. Sony, Disney, Fox and Lionsgate threw their weight behind Blu-ray, which also has greater storage capacity than its rival, from the start. Warners, Paramount and Universal supported HD DVD from the outset, although at first Warners and Par supported both formats.

<font size=1>Source: Variety</font>

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Headline, Technology News

Warner Bros. backs Blu-ray

Warner Bros. will throw all its weight behind Blu-ray mid-way through this year in what could serve as a death blow to the rival HD DVD format.

The studio, which hinted a move could be coming after the holidays, said it was making the decision to back only Blu-ray due to customer preference for the high-def format developed by Sony. Announcement comes on the eve of the annual consumer electronics confab in Las Vegas next week.

For the last few months, Warner has been the sole major backing both formats. Paramount initially backed both formats but decided to drop Blu-ray in favor of HD DVD mid-way last year, due in part to marketing incentives proffered by Toshiba and belief the lower cost of HD DVD would drive greater sales.

However, hardware manufacturers for both sides offered sizable discounts for players during the holidays, reducing the price gap between the two formats. And studios offered incentives on the software as well.

In recent months Warner has begun to signal its eagerness to stop supporting both formats, which carries a significant cost for the studio. And homevid topper Ron Sanders recently expressed concern that the prolonged format war could hinder the adoption of either format (Variety, Dec. 17-23).

And indeed, in announcing the shift, Warner execs sounded a similar note.

"The window of opportunity for high-definition DVD could be missed if format confusion continues to linger," chair and CEO Barry Meyer Meyer 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."

Warner home entertainment topper Kevin Tsujihara said that consumers "have clearly chosen Blu-ray" and that the studio is making the move in recognition of that.

"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.

Warners’ Blu-ray shift has been rumored for some time, but the studio insisted it would wait to see how both formats fared during the crucial fourth-quarter sales period. The studio will continue to release discs on both formats until May 31, then switch to Blu-ray only on the high-def front.

This move leaves only Universal and Paramount supporting HD DVD. Paramount’s exclusive deal with HD DVD is believed to run through this year. Warner sister studio New Line has also released discs on both formats, but Warner distributes those, and New Line is expected to follow Warner as a Blu-ray only studio.

Studios and manufacturers have been fighting a pitched battle for the future of high-def because there is so much at stake: Sales of standard DVD has started to decline and digital downloads are even smaller than high-def at this point. DVD sales generate around $16 billion annually for the studios, with rental biz contributing another $8 billion or so to the annual domestic homevid spending.

Blu-ray format got off to a later start than HD DVD but has always had the strength in numbers on the software side and a Trojan horse in the PlayStation 3 console, which can play movies. Sony, Disney, Fox and Lionsgate threw their weight behind Blu-ray, which also has greater storage capacity than its rival, from the start. Warners, Paramount and Universal supported HD DVD from the outset, although at first Warners and Par supported both formats.

<font size=1>Source: Variety</font>

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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