Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD
The below found in http://www.paidcontent.org/:
By Staci D. Kramer - Fri 04 Jan 2008 02:23 PM PST
In the timing-is everything-department, Warner Bros. Entertainment picked the Friday before CES to announce its preference for Sony’s (NYSE: SNE) Blu-ray DVD format over Toshiba’s HD DVD—and the week after the end of the busiest shopping season for consumer electronics. WB said Friday afternoon it’s going exclusive with Blu-ray, effective June 1, 2008. In the interim, HD DVD will be treated as a sort of poor relation, with that format being released after a “short window” following standard DVD and Blu-ray releases. Not sure this was on the list of high-profile moves expected from new Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) CEO Jeff Bewkes his first week on the job, but he makes a cameo appearance in the announcement: “Warner Bros. has produced in both high-definition formats in an effort to provide consumer choice, foster mainstream adoption and drive down hardware prices. 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.”
WB execs contend that the competing formats create confusion that is keeping either format from mass acceptance. But, they say Blu-ray has been the clear consumer winner so far and going with that format makes the most sense going forward. That flies a bit in the face of facts given that Adams Media Research predicted Toshiba would be in the sales lead at the end of 2007.
This could well be the negative tipping point for Toshiba. As BW pointed out last month, WB’s decision would mean the bulk of HD titles will be in Blu-ray—pushing the number to roughly 70 percent from, 49 percent. BW suggested at the time that Warner would follow Disney (NYSE: DIS) to Blu-ray. Meanwhile, Toshiba still has deals with Dreamworks and Paramount. If LG (SEO: 066570) could bring the price down on its combo model, that would really give consumers a choice.
Update: Toshiba says it was “quite surprised by Warner Bros.’ decision to abandon HD DVD in favor of Blu-ray, despite the fact that there are various contracts in place between our companies concerning the support of HD DVD.” In addition, the company says HD DVD players and PCs outsold Blu-ray in the U.S. Toshiba “will assess the potential impact” with its HD DVD partners. However, as Engadget reports, the HD DVD group has canceled its CES press conference.