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  1. #1
    get crunk. blueradio's Avatar
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    Warner Brothers goes Blu Ray

    We've all been wondering what to make of those whispers that Warner (owned by Time Warner, which also owns Engadget's parent companies) was indeed going Blu-ray exclusive, and apparently, those rumblings are true. Based on a breaking release, Warner Bros. Entertainment will be releasing its high-definition titles "exclusively in the Blu-ray disc format beginning later this year." According to Barry Meyer, Chairman & CEO, the move is a "strategic decision focused on the long term and the most direct way to give consumers what they want," and he also noted that "the window of opportunity for high-definition DVD could be missed if format confusion continues to linger." Notably, Warner will continue to release on both HD DVD and Blu-ray until May 2008, but after that, it's BD for life for this studio. Oh, and while there's nothing official mentioning any sort of payoff, we're hearing that quite a sum was dished out to make this happen. Full release posted after the jump.

    [Via Deadline Hollywood Daily, thanks Todd]

    (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."
    Looks bad for the 360's HD DVD support because Time Warner's support of Blu Ray is a really big deal.

    link:http://www.engadgethd.com/2008/01/04...ray-exclusive/


    Also, please delete if this has been posted already.



    Well do you?

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  3. #2
    Conquistador T3kNi9e's Avatar
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    If it keeps up, this only means that Microsoft will have internal Blu-ray on its next console. One because of movie support obviously and 2nd because it just holds more data on it. But theoretically Blu-ray should be cheaper by then so maybe console prices wont be too high next generation.
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  4. #3
    Gearhead Surf Coder [DT]'s Avatar
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    This is a reasonably damaging blow to HD-D - I'll be curious to see how it plays out by the May 2008 cutover date.

    Sony has had a long history of attempting (and failing) to create proprietary standards for media: MiniDisc, UMD, Beta - I'm surprised they were able to get as much support as they did. HD-DVD is from the open source DVD Consortium while Sony controls both BD at the manufacturing and authorization (i.e., the BD stamp). HD-D is much "looser" - in fact, HD-D doesn't even have region coding. I believe it was the lack of some region and DRM tech that made the content protection Nazis that are Disney side with the more restrictive BD in the first place.

    Effectively they're the same PQ (as a VC1 encoded video stream is the same regardless of the source). The additional space on BD so far hasn't really been used, though it's there if need be (there's actually a spec the DVDC gave the thumbs up called TL51 that would have bumped HD-D up to 51GB). I know some BD have included an additional audio stream, though I would think TrueHD and DTS-HD covers it). The underlying interactive tech provided by HDi (used in HD-D) is better, but the BD spec is catching up (especially with the Profile 1.1 compliant players and the targetted 2.0).

    I'm glad there was at least some competition as it helped to drive HDM out of being a total niche/audiophile market - a little at least. Without HD-D I'm reasonbly certain BD media would be $39.95 and players would never have dropped under $500. Some folks think it splintered the market and slowed adoption (everyone waiting to see who wins).

    I guess we'll see - I mean, hell, my existing HD-D's won't stop playing, there's a HUGE library of existing discs, there are a few dual format players, etc. Maybe people will bail and dump HD-D's for super cheap. If too much I want winds up on BD, I'll swap to a dual format player, or add a cheap standalone, or potentially even a PS3. My investment from a financial position is so minor, it doesn't really effect me.

    I still think this will take much longer to play out to a single format than people think. There's some inside dope that the BDA may even offer some trade-in on WB titles (I could see this as it would drive sales of the hardware).

    I think the downside to this whole "business sequence" for Sony - as several industry analysts have mentioned - they traded dominance in the VG market for control of the <1% of the media sales market (Combined with the perported $400-500M Warner "buyout"). It may play out in the long run, but as someone who has personally made some risky business plays, that was a bit short-sighted from a financial perspective.

    FYI, this is pretty cool (slightly off-topic-ish):

    Apparently tons of folks are mastering HD-DVD's onto DVD-5/9. Since the media is the same (and no DRM related issues) they're using an app like MovieFactory, and burning nice HighDef copies of shows like Dexter onto $0.25 DL-DVD's using the HD encoding stream.
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  5. #4
    pretty hate machine™ solidkirby's Avatar
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  6. #5
    3D Artist sagema's Avatar
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    Cons: Ok here's 3 massive problems with this. More people own HD-DVD.
    Pros: Not anywhere near the amount of DVD so it's still 95% untouched market potential.
    Cons: Toshiba just bought out a massive chunk of Blue Ray!
    Pros: Toshiba may abandon HD-DVD in favor of Blue Ray.
    Cons: Toshiba is known for being stubborn and ruthless at business.
    Pros: Warner could find Toshiba owning majority shares of Blue Ray later, they cancel Blue Ray to spite them, and retain HD DVD.

    Overall is Warner stupid? No. They are greedy and want to keep one format. For the first time in a long time we may see two formats, monopolies would be broken, and big business doesn't want that.

  7. #6
    pretty hate machine™ solidkirby's Avatar
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  8. #7
    WiiChat Member SensesFail's Avatar
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    blu-ray is going to win. im calling it now.

    but the HD movie market is so small, whats the point in winning in a format war where the consumer market is so small? it could be compared to placing first in the special olympics i guess.

    i love my blu-ray movies though. ill never buy another DVD again, and i will certainly not be buying HD-Dvds.

    when everything switches over to hi def and digital w/e in 2009 maybe we will see a larger market for hi def movies. i hope so, they are great.


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