Warner to back a single HD disc format?
Sony, Toshiba eager to get it off the fence
Warner Home Video, the only major content distributor supporting both HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc, is rumoured to be about to put its full weight behind one of these next-gen optical disc formats, a senior studio exec has claimed.
Cue Michael Burns, vice-chairman of Lionsgate - a Blu-ray Disc backer, it should be noted - quoted by BusinessWeek as saying: "The rumor is that Warner is coming aboard soon... That will make it awfully tough for HD DVD to stay in this game."
The magazine admits Warner is keeping its lips sealed on the matter, but the report cites insiders who maintain that the company wants to see which of the two formats shifts the most units during the current Thanksgiving-Christmas sales period.
If that's the case, it suggests that Warner at the very least believes it's time to hop off the fence and support one format or the other. Paramount and partner DreamWorks Animation did, opting for HD DVD apparently on the back of $150m paid by Toshiba to the rights to use Shrek to market the format.
It can't have failed to have crossed the minds of Warner execs that now their company is the only one supporting both formats, it would be a major win for either Blu-ray or HD DVD to sign it up as an exclusive partner.
Undoubtedly, both camps are trying to persuade Warner to the true faith, and the report's sources say senior figures from Toshiba and Sony have been visiting and calling Warner bosses on a regular basis since the Paramount deal was announced.
Next month's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas would be the ideal platform for Warner to announce such a move - whichever format it chooses to back. At this year's CES, it announced Total HD, its solution to the format war, though it's now shelved the project for a lack of broader industry support. Having failed to convert any other studio to a multi-format future, Warner may well have concluded the time has come for it to cast its lot.
HD-DVD does include provision for region coding, it's just not used yet. If you think that it will never get turned on, then you also believe in Santa, the Easter Bunny and that the image control token will never ever be used.
As for Fox, if they are all so fire keen about region coding, thne it would seem that BluRay would be the obvious choice for them.
"Warner does not want the format war to continue they just want to produce in one HD format, right now Blu-ray has about 50% of all movies coming out in HD, if Warner switches to HD-DVD then that would make HD-DVD and Blu-Ray 50%-50% extending this format war even longer."
Not sure on your maths there. If Blu-Ray currently has 50% of all movies in HD, then surely HD-DVD has the other 50% as they are the only other HD format. And if those maths are correct then (using your logic) Warner moving either way would take that format to 75%.
Plus I think stating BR has 50% is not accurate anyway. Universal are, and have always been HD-DVD exclusive, and they are the biggest movie studio/producer and also have the biggest back catalogue. I suspect they would tip the balance if anyone bothered doing the proper figures on release counts/potential releases etc. Throw in Paramount as an exclusive studio, and thats some serious content potential.
And before anyone screams FANBOY, I own both format's and genuinely don't believe there will be a wiiner. I just hope if there is it's HD-DVD for one reason only REGION CODING, or lack of it. The only studio that really wants it is fox, and someone should really tell them to fuck off.
re Chris McFaul
"i missed if someone answered your specific question, but the latest release of AnyDVD shreds both blu-ray and HD-DVD encrytion AND the newer BD+ on new Blu-Ray discs."
Oh about the only good news on BD/HD-DVD since like forever (iirc the last one was that subtitles no longer max out at 3 colors).
So now it's time for affordable data-mode recoding and i might actually start looking into buying this stuff.
i missed if someone answered your specific question, but the latest release of AnyDVD shreds both blu-ray and HD-DVD encrytion AND the newer BD+ on new Blu-Ray discs.
personally im pro-blu-ray, mainly because both my laptop and desktop can burn to the 50GB discs which is very very useful for backup!
however - one point to note for people claiming superior picture and sound is that sadly, because actually encoding a movie is a very skilled job (and a bit of a black art) very often studios (well.. just one studio now...) will simply use the same encode on both discs, so the "extra space " on the blu-ray is going to waste (sony are trying / offering help to studios to get them to encode movies at higher bitrates, but of course that doenst always yield noticably better results).
i have about 50 movies in HD, 10 on HD-DVD, 40 on Blu-Ray
I see you are in a good mood today.
If you actually took the time to get your own facts straight before claiming that I did not have my fact straight, then maybe I would read your comment next time. Until then, learn to read the article, and the comments entirely before claiming my comment was a diatribe.
If you read my comments, I just said that I think it was unwise of Tim to discredit the 2 Business Week journalists, just because they apparently have a history of writing articles that HD-DVD fans dislike. I did not mention the Tony Smith from El Reg, so maybe it is YOU that need to learn how to read...