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Warner Bros to back Blu-ray exclusively

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Warner Bros to back Blu-ray exclusively

Postby Ian on Fri Jan 04, 2008 4:49 pm

Could the rumors be true? Reuters is usually pretty reliable about this kind of stuff.

http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssCons ... 0820080104

Time Warner's Warner Bros studio plans to announce it will release next generation DVDs on Sony Corp's Blu-ray format exclusively, two sources familiar with the plans said on Friday, dealing a big blow to Toshiba Corp'sHD DVD format.

Warner Bros, Hollywood's biggest seller of DVDs representing about 18 to 20 percent of sales in the United States, had been one of the few studios that backed both formats.

News Corp's 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Co, and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp are among studios backing the Blu-ray format. Viacom Inc's Paramount studios and General Electric Co's NBC Universal, owned by General Electric Co and France's Vivendi, release movies in HD DVD format.

An announcement is expected shortly, the sources said.
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Postby Ian on Fri Jan 04, 2008 4:57 pm

It's been confirmed:

Warner Bros. Entertainment to Release Its High-Definition DVD Titles Exclusively in the Blu-ray Disc Format Beginning Later This Year
Decision Made in Response to Strong Consumer Preference for Format

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--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.”
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Postby oslik3 on Fri Jan 04, 2008 5:27 pm

wow !
:roll: =D>

finally there is movement in one of the directions, insead of a standstill..
i also liked the reasoning Warner put in the press release - they fully admit that this move is designed to end the format war, and this will be good for [their] revenue, as well as for the consumer.
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Postby Grain on Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:02 pm

I was really hoping they would stay format neutral. Either way, now is NOT a good time to be buying a Hi-Def player of either format IMO. Wait for the dual format players that will be BluRay profile 1.2 compliant, then buy, or if you can't wait, be prepared to double dip.
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Postby Grain on Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:59 pm

I've read that there was a $450 million purse involved with this deal, from Sony to the WB. Anyone else heard/read that? So far pure rumor.
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:31 pm

Grain wrote:I've read that there was a $450 million purse involved with this deal, from Sony to the WB. Anyone else heard/read that? So far pure rumor.


I haven't heard that except as a number generated by very angry fanboys... I'd be interested to find out if it was true though. I know whatever the BDA did to lure WB, it would have had to have been massive.

Still, this is in everyone's favour really. Finally we have a real movement towards the endgame of the format war. One of my buddies is selling the HD DVD player he just bought last week and investing the money into a PS3 even :P

Should be interesting to see if Universal goes neutral now at CES eh?
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Postby Ian on Fri Jan 04, 2008 9:36 pm

According to Warner's president, there was no payoff.

http://www.highdefdigest.com/news/show/ ... u-ray/1327

Warner Home Entertainment President Kevin Tsujihara says the studio took no pay-offs to exclusively back Blu-ray.

In a post-announcement conference call, Tsujihara flatly denied rumors that studio had accepted anywhere from 250M to $500M in exchange for dropping its HD DVD format support.

According to the exec, Warner's sole motivation in dropping its HD DVD format support was to ensure growth of the "category" and the long-term health of the industry.


At this point, I really wouldn't care if there was a payoff. I just want the format war to end.
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Sat Jan 05, 2008 11:41 am

I don't think there's anything HD DVD can do at this point... it's pretty much over. Toshiba would be wise to cut their losses and make a deal. I doubt even Universal and Microsoft will be seeing much reason to continue to exclusively back HD DVD now.
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Postby RJW on Sat Jan 05, 2008 11:52 am

dolphinius_rex wrote:I don't think there's anything HD DVD can do at this point... it's pretty much over. Toshiba would be wise to cut their losses and make a deal. I doubt even Universal and Microsoft will be seeing much reason to continue to exclusively back HD DVD now.


So much of Blu ray (warner bros) stealing MS momentum. This whole week MS has been hyping that they had a big announcement for CES.
Wonder what it's going to be now ? A XBOX360 ultimate edition with a build in blu ray drive ? :lol:
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Postby Ian on Sat Jan 05, 2008 12:54 pm

Yeah, I've been wondering what MS was going to do. If I had to guess, they won't announce it and we'll never see it on store shelves.
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Postby oslik3 on Sat Jan 05, 2008 2:00 pm

.

is it too much of a stretch to imagine that we will see - this time next year - cheap Toshiba-made BluRay players ?
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Postby TCAS on Sat Jan 05, 2008 7:46 pm

This is also being confirmed in today Los Angeles Time in business section. So if %70 of the production of the DVD Movies are going to be in Blue-Ray format then the question will be can the remaining %30 of HD format survive in this volatile market?.
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Postby vinnie97 on Sun Jan 06, 2008 3:13 am

My ill will towards Fox is only strengthened in this. HD DVD was all but ready to claim victory with the coup of 2 studios releasing exclusively on their format. Rumor is Fox was the wild card in this and when Sony (ahem, the BDA if you prefer) coughed up enough cash, Fox gave the HD DVD PRG the big finger.

I like my combo discs, dammit. And I don't look forward to the constant hardware upgrades required to be fully Blu compatible. Thanks Fox/Sony and BDA for screwing the rest of us.
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Postby CowboySlim on Sun Jan 06, 2008 2:24 pm

I see Toshiba as the loser in the format war.
OTOH, please do not construe that to mean that I imply that Blu-ray is the winner because there may be no winner.

When one can buy and upscaling, to 1080p, DVD player for SD DVDs for $60 which can play any DVD, why would one pay $400 for a Blu-ray player?

So the ultimate format war is between Blu-ray players and upscaling SD players.
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Postby Grain on Wed Jan 09, 2008 1:37 pm

I read an interesting story where Warners CEO was explaining some of the reasons behind this move. The one that caught my attention was that they had seen a decline in SD DVD sales over the holidays, and they directly blamed that on the high price of fuel affecting peoples impulse purchases (which is how Warner described peoples DVD purchases). ie Normally they had considered themselves as recession proof, but not any longer, and a prolonged war could only hurt them more.
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Postby Grain on Mon Jan 14, 2008 5:59 pm

Anone heard if Warners HD DVD "catalog" is going to go OOP when current stock is sold out?
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Postby Wesociety on Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:50 pm

Grain wrote:Anone heard if Warners HD DVD "catalog" is going to go OOP when current stock is sold out?

Yes, Warner will no longer produce or sell any HD DVD's once their old stock sells out.
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Postby Grain on Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:59 pm

Wesociety wrote:
Grain wrote:Anone heard if Warners HD DVD "catalog" is going to go OOP when current stock is sold out?

Yes, Warner will no longer produce or sell any HD DVD's once their old stock sells out.


Excellent! My Matrix and Ultimate Blade Runner HD DVD box sets are almost collectors items :lol: The latter is still sealed too!
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Tue Jan 15, 2008 7:24 pm

Wesociety wrote:
Grain wrote:Anone heard if Warners HD DVD "catalog" is going to go OOP when current stock is sold out?

Yes, Warner will no longer produce or sell any HD DVD's once their old stock sells out.


I thought that was after May only though??
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Postby Wesociety on Wed Jan 16, 2008 1:37 pm

Hmm, I thought I had heard at CES that Warner would not be producing any new replications of older HD DVD titles. I could be wrong though.
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Postby vinnie97 on Fri Jan 18, 2008 4:21 am

I heard that was just New Line's policy...which is why I grabbed up Pan's Labyrinth a few weeks ago.
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Postby Wesociety on Fri Jan 18, 2008 1:30 pm

vinnie97 wrote:I heard that was just New Line's policy...which is why I grabbed up Pan's Labyrinth a few weeks ago.

Ahhh ok, that could have been what I thought I heard...
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