OT: WB going blu ray exclusive

blink3times wrote on 1/4/2008, 4:18 PM

Decision Made in Response to Strong Consumer Preference for Format

(January 4, 2008 - Burbank, CA) - 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.


Spot|DSE wrote on 1/4/2008, 6:56 PM

The online version isn't as in-depth as the print version, the print version goes so far as to say that if one of the majors goes to BD exclusively, it's the death knell of HD DVD. Page 27 of last week's edition (and this was written roughly a month ago/before Warner's announcement).
"It would only take one major player to shift allegiances to push the tipping point one way or another, " said Screen Digest analyst Richard Cooper.
I hope Cooper is correct, but I don't believe he is.

It's interesting to be at this juncture though, considering the fairly inflamed thread a few months back predicting the end of Blu-ray and how bad Blu-ray sucks for both professionals and consumers, and all the "BD will die" threads on the various DVD fora.
Paul Mead wrote on 1/4/2008, 7:51 PM
I haven't found any confirmation of this, but on the CNBC network today they said that Apple has chosen Blu-ray as the high-def disk in the next line of Macs. The commentary went along to say that would definitely put some weight on the Sony side of the scale and how it was a loss for Microsoft.

Yeah, I know, that's an old rumor that keeps popping up, but hey, it was on a major financial channel so there may be something to it this time.

Oh, here is the source of the latest rumor.
Spot|DSE wrote on 1/4/2008, 7:54 PM
It's not a rumor.
Sebaz wrote on 1/4/2008, 8:22 PM
A great move in my opinion. I own players of both formats, but I do prefer Blu-Ray. I only bought the Toshiba HD-A30 player because in the Xmas price crazyness Amazon brought it down to $239 from its retail price of $400, and there are some good movies only available in that format, and also you can burn high def DVDs from TV captures without recompressing, but the picture quality on my Sony BDP-S300 player is better. I can't put my finger on it, but it just looks better than HD-DVD, although to be fair I haven't rented any title on HD-DVD that I own on Blu-Ray to make a fair comparison, but having seen about 30 movies in each player so far I would give the edge to Blu-Ray. And not only picture quality, but the not so important things that are important to me, such as frame by frame advance, possible with my Blu-Ray player, impossible with the HD-DVD player; every single HD-DVD movie I played doesn't allow resume after stop, the stupid thing plays it over from the very beginning, which also happens on a few of the Blu-Ray discs I played, but not on most (and by the way, the engineers that designed a way to author HD discs of either format that doesn't allow resume should be banned from designing any piece of software or hardware ever again).
blink3times wrote on 1/4/2008, 9:02 PM
I have been looking at what BD player to buy lately and it all gives me a big head ache!

Does anybody know which machine will play BD-r, avchd on dvd media, and comes with 5.1 analogue outputs?? It's pretty simple with HD DVD but these BD machines seem to very different from one to the other.

PLEASE don't suggest the PS3! I absolutely refuse to put one of these things in my living room.
tonyatl wrote on 1/4/2008, 9:22 PM
My hd dvd uprezs look so good, Im will just go back to dvd's. They arent going anywhere for quite a while.
apit34356 wrote on 1/4/2008, 10:49 PM
"PLEASE don't suggest the PS3!" How about checking out a "Sony PlayStation III". ;-)

Sorry, blink, couldn't resist. For a guy who built an interesting computer case for his needs, why not MOD the PS3 to your front room needs------- like a pop up coffee table with "options"? Its just hardware.........make it work for you.........
4eyes wrote on 1/4/2008, 10:54 PM
I think that HD-DVD will be around for awhile.
fwtep wrote on 1/4/2008, 11:49 PM
Hey, who was the guy who said here that the war would be decided very soon after the holidays and that Blu-Ray would win? Hmmm... oh yeah, it was me.

DGates wrote on 1/5/2008, 12:10 AM
from the LA Times:

DVD format war appears to be over
Warner picks Blu-ray over HD, but some say the Net may beat both.
By Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
January 5, 2008

The fuzzy future of high-definition DVD came into sharper focus Friday after Warner Bros. said it would release movies for the home video market exclusively on the Blu-ray disc format.

The decision, announced on the eve of the influential Consumer Electronics Show, delivers a de facto knockout punch to the rival HD DVD format backed by Toshiba Corp. and others now supported by only two of Hollywood's six major movie studio

It also averts a further costly format war that has been stymieing the growth of the next generation of DVD with promises of enhanced video images and digital audio to match the popularity of flat, big-screen television sets. For the first time, sales of movies on regular DVDs declined last year, jeopardizing a longtime and important source of profits for Hollywood. The studios hope the new, higher-quality format will spur consumers to restock their DVD shelves.

In addition to Warner Bros., studios supporting the Blu-ray format include News Corp.'s 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Co., Sony Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Taken together, they represent about 70% of the home video market. HD DVD is supported by General Electric's NBC Universal, Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures and the independent studio DreamWorks Animation.

"Expect HD DVD to die a quick death," said Richard Greenfield, an analyst with Pali Research in New York, in a research note Friday.

Late Friday, the HD DVD group canceled a news conference scheduled for Sunday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. "We are currently discussing the potential impact of this announcement with the other HD DVD partner companies and evaluating next steps. We believe the consumer continues to benefit from HD DVD's commitment to quality and affordability," the group said in a statement.

The larger question, however, is how long even the winning high-definition DVD format may survive. Some analysts say the battle between Blu-ray and HD DVD may become irrelevant as high-speed Internet and on-demand video become the pipelines of movies into the home.

"I think the fat lady just sang," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst with Enderle Group in San Jose. "This gives Blu-ray a decisive lead. The question now is whether it is too little too late."

Enderle said consumers might have moved on to digital downloads to get movies rather than wait to buy them on next-generation DVDs. The next big chance to sell high-definition movie players won't be until next Christmas, he said. "By then, it may all be moot."

Warner Bros. had remained neutral as the rival technology camps spent millions to win over consumers. Each group engaged in aggressive price cutting and promotions this holiday season in an attempt to persuade consumers to take the high-definition DVD plunge.

But sales of these next-generation discs fell short of expectations, given the huge summer box office from popcorn movies, said Kevin Tsujihara, president of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group. Nor, he added, did the high-definition DVD players keep pace with the sale of high-definition TVs.

"There's a window of opportunity here," Tsujihara said. "There are a number of high-definition television sets being purchased. The best time to sell one of these high-definition DVD players is when the consumer walks out the door with that television set. That window was beginning to close on us."

Warner Bros. even sought its own solution to the format war at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show, proposing a high-definition disc that combined the Blu-ray and HD DVD formats. But Warner was the only studio to embrace the dual format, so it never reached stores.

Sony Corp.'s Blu-ray discs have had a 2-1 sales edge since the beginning of 2007, thanks to its exclusive studio deals and the sale of Sony PlayStation 3 game consoles that play films in that high-definition format.

That prompted the HD DVD camp to flash its cash to remain viable. It paid $150 million to Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Animation in August to secure exclusively the rights to such major movies as "Transformers" and "Shrek the Third" on HD DVD. Paramount had previously released movies in both high-definition formats.

"HD DVD had a lot of momentum in 2007 when they had their own defection of Paramount. That was a very big move," said J.P. Gownder, an analyst with Forrester Research in Cambridge, Mass. "Now, the balance of power shifts back to Blu-ray."

The Paramount deal reportedly sparked a furious courtship of Warner, which was the last of the major studios to support both high-definition DVD formats. Warner will begin releasing movies exclusively on Blu-ray in June.

Barry Meyer, chairman and chief executive of Warner Bros., flatly denied that the studio was offered a big check to choose the Blu-ray format.

"This was not a bidding contest between the two formats. This is a huge business for us," Meyer said. "We're the market leader globally. We're not going to make a strategic decision based on any kind of short-term financial gain."

Nonetheless, studios such as Warner are facing pressure to grow the nascent high-definition video business at a time when consumer spending on DVDs is declining.

And it's clear that the format war -- though benefiting consumers by driving down the price of high-definition DVD players -- has been confusing them too and keeping them from replacing their DVD players and their movie collection.

"Unfortunately, the loser here with the format war has been the consumer," Gownder said. "We found that 28% of people said the fact that there was a format war meant they weren't going to buy a high-definition DVD player. They weren't going to try to figure it out."

DJPadre wrote on 1/5/2008, 1:28 AM
"PLEASE don't suggest the PS3! I absolutely refuse to put one of these things in my living room."

well my friend, you'll be missing out on ALOT of additional features that a normal BD player wouldnt be able to provide.. media server for one, then theres content on HDD, not to mention a pretty decent gaming console..
craftech wrote on 1/5/2008, 4:15 AM
Suddenly realized he should have made HD DVD part of the X-Box 360 instead of an extra cost add-on:

craftech wrote on 1/5/2008, 4:27 AM

This is interesting.

Pretty "low and underhanded" goes along with the "bragging rights".

Sort of like buying an election.

Rootkit anyone?

blink3times wrote on 1/5/2008, 5:22 AM
"Sorry, blink, couldn't resist. For a guy who built an interesting computer case for his needs, why not MOD the PS3 to your front room needs------- like a pop up coffee table with "options"? Its just hardware.........make it work for you....."
Well it doesn't have a lot to do with how it looks (although they sure don't look very pretty). The living room is simply MINE and I don't want kids in it!!!

Not withstanding, The PS3 does not have 5.1 analogue outputs, and it makes a BOATLOAD of noise (relative to my A1), and I can't imagine having to listen to that fan noise through the softer spots a of movie. I also understand that the Harmony remote will not work with the PS3. I bought a Harmony because I was tired of dealing with 14 different remotes and I don't want to start that again.
blink3times wrote on 1/5/2008, 5:55 AM
"Hey, who was the guy who said here that the war would be decided very soon after the holidays and that Blu-Ray would win? Hmmm... oh yeah, it was me."
Ahh yes, here we go... "Nah-nah-nah-nah... Blu ray is winning".

Well, I wouldn't get too cocky QUITE yet. Remember what happened the last time you got cocky. Need I say.... PARAMOUNT??

We have yet to see how HD DVD responds to this. I'm not sure what avenues are left for them, but if they open the wallet enough then anything is possible.

I will say that I almost hope they DON'T respond. We can now do avchd cheaply on dvd media, but more to the point, I'm tired of living in this indecision and want this war to end. I would like to start enjoying the world of hi def without this cloud hanging over the head!

The other thing to remember is that IF hd dvd gets knocked out of the picture, it will leave Blu ray as the sole format to compete against dvd, and they are NOT in a position to do this... they're prices are much too high. Heck... HD DVD prices are still too high for that and they're prices are better than blu ray's.
craftech wrote on 1/5/2008, 6:37 AM
The HD DVD players outsold the Blu-Ray players due to low cost, and if the article I linked is true Warner would have gone HD DVD exclusive if Fox was willing to. The payoffs from Sony (according to that article) were too much for Fox to resist so Warner followed suit. Unfortunately for Toshiba, they aren't also a "movie company" like Sony is so they are at a decided disadvantage.

So lower the costs of the Blu-Ray players to that of HD DVD players already and make producing Blu-Ray discs as easy as HD DVD discs for us now that you "won".

Blu-Ray 1.0, Blu-Ray 1.1, Blu-Ray 2.0.........sheesh! Now early adopters will have a $1000 doorstop on their hands. Nice going.

blink3times wrote on 1/5/2008, 7:09 AM
Well.... IF... money changed hands then I say business is business and hd dvd is sure welcome to up the donation. But hd dvd has had the losing hand from day one and I think they have done a remarkable job at going the distance so far.

It's clear SOMETHING happened behind the scenes because it doesn't make much sense.... A month or 2 ago Sony was claiming "stalemate" and now we have Warner claiming the common folk prefer blu ray while not a whole lot has actually change between then and now.

I presently believe (and always will) that HD DVD is the better deal for the people. The machines are more complete, they're cheaper, and a standard has been set. (I've been looking at BD players and I've developed nothing but a big headache trying to figure out which one is the right one.... they all differ from one another to an absolutely stupid extent! To top it all off.... most of them are already outdated) I think however that the movie studios have chosen Blu ray for their own greedy reasons (copy protection for one), and do not have the consumer in mind at all.

Having said all of that though.... it IS time to end this war so we get actually start enjoying hi def without this level of uncertainty. If I have to transfer all of my HD DVD home movies over to BD format, then I would rather do it now then possibly in a year when I have gained that many more.
4eyes wrote on 1/5/2008, 8:45 AM
Blink,I presently believe (and always will) that HD DVD is the better deal for the people.The blu-ray format is what's better. The fan in my PS3 is so quiet I have to look at the unit to make sure it's off, I don't like leaving it on all the time.

Even in one of our local stores they now have HD-DVD's 15gig, next to them are blu-ray BD-R's-25gig.
So on one layer Blu-Ray holds 10gigs more. The price of the BD-R's are about $2.00 more if that. They also have BD-Re's at about the same cost, all 25gigs, no HD-DVD rewritables.
What do you think the customers were looking at? The disk that held the most data, the blu-ray disks.

Being familiar with trying to burn dual-layered dvd's a logical choice would be the 25gig disk that uses only one layer. Combine this with the Blu-Ray formats (m2ts containers, avchd disks) you have something that the people can use for high-definition & even standard definition video, or simply data.

I think the people should decide for themselves. What's best for me may not be best for them.
CClub wrote on 1/5/2008, 8:50 AM
Even if this all goes Blu-ray's way, they still have a long way to go to convince the masses why they should purchase these systems. As mentioned in DGates' article above, most people (including myself) have gone to movie downloads and DVR's. I just went with a large HDTV and a DVR for Christmas, and I can just pick out a week's worth of HD movies I want to record and watch them at my leisure. Why would I purchase discs for $25 or more? On top of that, I can buy a 500 GB HDD for $99 most anywhere if we're talking data storage. Right now, if Sony doesn't sell this better, even Blu-ray may eventually just fill a niche like their MD players/recorders.
blink3times wrote on 1/5/2008, 9:07 AM
"The blu-ray format is what's better. "
Not in a million years will you get me to believe that. Blu ray machines have a looooong way to go before they can match that of hd dvd players. No ethernet (everything has ethernet these days), no pip...menus, no internally decode DTS-HD... on and on.

As for the raw format itself... there are pros/cons on both sides of the fence. I have never seen either of these formats as one being superior to the other. But the bottom line is that no format is any good without a player to play it.... and that's where blu ray has failed something awful.
farss wrote on 1/5/2008, 2:26 PM
I'm surprised that no one talks about the 'politics' of this situation. Let's say BD wins the day. We're left with a situation where Sony control everything, from the financing of movies, what camera they're shot with right down to which movies the player in your living room is permitted to play.

Now I know that the worst case spin that could be put on that situation is utter BS but I'll wager it will be put on it and very publicly. In a growing segment of this business Sony is very much on the nose, troops are being rallied to do battle with Sony and their leader has very deep pockets. It'd take me a few 1,000 words to explain my view on much of this and why I believe Sony are in fact not to blame at all but fortunately those wise enough to look past the hype already know the truth. However the facts of the matter count for very little in this business.
Sony could well win this battle and still loose a much bigger war. Winning this battle gives more ammunition to the opposing forces, never a good thing to do.

apit34356 wrote on 1/5/2008, 2:45 PM
What amazes me is the bulk of the HD DVD crowd runs around with 1080i but complaints that BR sound is too primitive????? Really??? 1080p is better than 1080i without debate. And most individuals who have a theater room/s have separate sound systems but the average HD TV system does not have a separate sound system in the average TV room if the sound guys at Bose are correct-----I really don't know if that is correct or not. I personally waiting for Universal to announce------------------- could be a long wait, maybe--------
blink3times wrote on 1/5/2008, 3:46 PM
"1080p is better than 1080i without debate. "
Come on, get serious. If your eyes can pick out the difference between i and p on a 42" screen (which is an average size in an average tv room) then they must be better than that of a 747 pilots' eyes because he (a friend of mine) can't tell the difference. The bigger screens (60 and up), particularly the 1920x1080 ones is slightly noticeable but it's not what I would describe as any kind of "wow" difference.

On the other hand, the sound makes a world of difference. I had my A1 hooked up to my AVR via optical digital. I made a very simple change from that over to the 5.1 analog outputs and my wife couldn't get over the incredible difference. I never thought too much about the sound either..... until then... now I want more!
blink3times wrote on 1/5/2008, 4:11 PM
"I'm surprised that no one talks about the 'politics' of this situation. Let's say BD wins the day. We're left with a situation where Sony control everything, from the financing of movies, what camera they're shot with right down to which movies the player in your living room is permitted to play."
I have thought about that Bob, and even brought it up once or twice. But then on the other hand Microsoft is pretty much the industry controller with computers and even they're not too big to avoid getting slapped when they cross the line

Sony is known for their rather possessive behavior though, and if they win this... I hope we all don't come to regret it. I already believed at one time that they had a scheme in mind to have 2 different levels of disk authoring... a cheaper one (BDAV) for home movie enthusiasts and a more expensive one (BDMV) for the pros and semi pros. I think the stiff competition blew that one out of the water for Sony though. But I can see more of this sort of thing coming.