Warner puts Blu-ray, HD DVD combo disc 'on hold'
Studio insufficiently interested in 'glu-ray disc'
Will Glu-ray Disc ever make it to market? It's certainly looking less likely that the Blu-ray and HD DVD single-disc combo product from Warner Home Video (WHV), dubbed TotalHD, is going to happen.
Speaking in an interview trade-oriented website This Week in Consumer Electronics, WHV President Ron Sanders said the format was "kind of on hold right now".
The problem? "We’re concerned that as the only one publishing on it, it would be hard to make it go."
Total HD was originally supposed to come to market in the US late this year, but WHV admitted in June that the format would not appear until 2008.
Total HD was launched this past January as WHV's answer to the format war between HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc. Essentially, the product bonds two discs, one of each format, onto the back of the other, allowing the one disc to be played in any HD player.
The snag is, it's only appealing if you're a studio already supporting both formats, and right now there's only one that is: WHV. Most of the others are backing one format or the other in the hope that their preferred platform will gain the critical mass it needs to dominate the market.
It's not Microsoft, it's Toshiba
Yoshihide Fujii of Toshiba admitted in Consumer Electronics Daily of September 1 that it was Toshiba who paid Paramount. He only denied that the bribe was as high as $150 million.
Surely Toshiba have invested in HD-DVD much more than Microsoft and consequently have much more to lose. No wonder they're desparate to make it fly. They're still the only CE brand making stand-alone HD-DVD players and they've got a modest position in North America, an even smaller one in the UK and they're non-existent as a CE brand in Europe. Only in Japan they've got a reasonable basis but there BD rules.
I couldn't aggree more with Scott on HD-DVD. The major plus point of HD-DVD is that is has many strict standardisations that all HD-DVD players have to conform to. This makes for a much richer consumer experience and ensures quality accross the board. Unlike BD, where, it seems to me that the only requirement is that a device has to play a Blu-ray disc. I'm not going to become a fan-boy and slate BD though, I'll keep my opinions to myself; after all this is the internet and everyone keeps their opinions to themselves on the the internet!
Would it not be simpler for them to offer a version of films with two discs, one of each format, for less than the price of buying both formats separately? This would skip the need to have their own disc format and manufacturing line, both costly endeavours to set up.
It's worth pointing out..
....that Microsoft paid no-one anything for exclusive support.
I love misguided information.
That little rumour was hastly retracted by the most anti-HD-DVD blogger out there when challenged by Microsoft to prove it.
Maybe, just maybe, Warner have realised that HD-DVD is the better format, given it's standardisation and the fact that new discs will work in current players, something that is going to shock a few BR fans in about 2 weeks if Sony actually get v1.1 out!
Re: They want free Microsoft money
It's worth pointing out that Microsoft has denied making any payment to Paramount for their support of HD DVD.
I think people are over-stressing Microsoft's commitment to HD DVD, after all they've had plenty of time to incorporate it into the XBox 360 and failed to do so. Why would they miss the opportunity to grab a huge new market for their preferred format?
Unless of course HD DVD isn't Microsoft's chosen technology. It might just be a transitional relatively low risk technology whilst they get their XBox Live Video Store ready for worldwide rollout. At that point Microsoft owns the codecs, the player software, the network and the playback device.
If anything it's in Microsoft's interest to see Blu Ray and HD DVD beat one another to pulp.