Warner Bros: Going All The Way With Blu-ray

The story is here http://www.cnbc.com/id/22507036

Just about 30 minute ago Warner Bros announced that they wil be backing the Bluray format and not HD-DVD. This gave Sony a big boost, their stock is up on the news and it is a great blow to HD-DVD. The reporter on CNBC said other movie studio may follow Warner Bros lead. This is also a big blow to Microsoft who backs HD-DVD.

Warner Bros. has become the latest studio to back Blu-ray exclusively. The announcement scheduled for Monday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas instead leaked out today with the studio now confirming the news.

There had been speculation for some time that Warner would go this way, but all along, Warner has been sending signals that it would not pick a side in the contentious battle for next-generation DVDs.

This is becoming more interesting. We are now divided by many major studios backing one and another. And it looks like it won’t end soon this way.

But I’m ready for both formats. :smiley:

They would switch back and change their minds if Toshiba would pay them some bucks. :smiley:

You are usually right about most things chef but I think you under estimate their resolve, if they backed out after this confirmation noone would believe them again, they will have to live with their decision.

I think almost anything can happen with that because its really “big biz”.

The rental store i use to go get HD-DVD’s carries some movies in both formats. I expect all movies to be in both formats eventually.

[quote=zevia;1969416]
But I’m ready for both formats. :D[/quote]Me too but lets just hope the BR movie prices don’t increase. Sony without any competition can’t be good for the consumer.:eek: From the Link Alan posted.

HD DVD: No Way For It To Come Back Against Blu-ray

Guess there will be allot of people outside the US buying US players so that they can still get cheap Amazon sourced movies instead of the expensive region B versions, that is unless someone brings out region free BD players…

I think HDDVD will live on. Combo players will be the way soon like current multi drives today!

[quote=crossg;1969514]Me too but lets just hope the BR movie prices don’t increase. Sony without any competition can’t be good for the consumer.:eek: From the Link Alan posted.

HD DVD: No Way For It To Come Back Against Blu-ray[/quote]
This is the part that got me

Today, finally, a crucial tipping point in this battle in which the $20 billion dollar home video market is at stake–Warner Bros has decided to distribute its high definition DVDs exclusively in the Blu-ray format, [B]ditching its previous plan to distribute in both HD DVD and Blu-Ray. [/B]

Yeah $20 Billion is a big chunk of change. When trying to make any sense of this or follow it through to conclusion in my mind if there is a clear winner in the future and lets say for argument sakes it’s Blu-Ray. Will Toshiba and Microsoft buy the rights to produce Blu-Ray drives? That would be a tough pill to swallow for Toshiba or Sony buying the rights to produce HD-DVD. Me thinks who ever comes out on the short end will create a new and better product rather than side with the competion but $$$ does strange things. :confused:

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Microsoft buy Toshiba and really make this thing interesting. Microsoft has over 12.3 billion in free cash flow, if they wanted to crush Sony I believe they could. I don’t expect Microsoft and HD-DVD roll over and play dead just yet.:cool:

CrossG, I do hope that in the worst case scenario of what you’ve mentioned that if your implied conclusion (Toshiba coming up on the short end) will be true, that in that case there will be a new and better product made–without what’s ‘bundled’ with Blu-ray right now (price is enough to dissuade me, disregarding what Sony has pulled in the past). This kind of “river switching” almost makes me think with Sony involved that there was some kind of under-the-table deal to get Warner to switch (not unlike the song “Big Money” from Rush). While that part is speculation, what isn’t is that it’s the consumer that gets the shortest end for now and possibly for a longer time now because of these shenanigans. From where I sit, there’s no true regard for the consumers in this, and in my experience, what starts badly (from a flawed premise or disagreement) usually ends badly.

@Alan. Agreed I dont believe that Toshiba will roll over that easily.:iagree:

Microsoft has over 12.3 billion in free cash flow
Unbelievable.:eek:

@ Quema I tried really hard not to imply any winner I was just thinking out load. I am sure there are all sorts of scenarios that could happen. But you are spot on that the consumer always suffers in the end.:wink:

I am so frustrated over this right now. HD-DVD is really the best choice for the consumer and Sony definitely doesn’t need to be in charge of the next gen format. I guess this is just another little point to prove that we humans are still dumb. :rolleyes:

[QUOTE=Jesterrace;1969859]I am so frustrated over this right now. HD-DVD is really the best choice for the consumer and Sony definitely doesn’t need to be in charge of the next gen format. I guess this is just another little point to prove that we humans are still dumb. :rolleyes:[/QUOTE]sorry but why do u say that HD-DVD is the best choice for the consumer?

Speaking strictly as a format here is why:

  1. HD-DVD has DRM but not the double protection that blu-ray has. Furthermore the HD-DVD camp wouldn’t waste millions of dollars trying to keep developing hacker proof protection measures that only last a few weeks (Arccos protection, anyone?)

  2. Existing DVD production lines can be used to produce HD-DVD (only a little hardware modification is required) so no one is required to specially build production lines for a totally different format.

  3. Region Free. The idea of being able to play discs from anywhere in the world is something that most probably wouldn’t appreciate but I sure do. Blu-Ray still has the lame region coding which makes it a royal pain when you would like that obscure title or if you have a friend from overseas who would like to exchange movies with you.

  4. Hardware costs. The Toshiba ranges from $180 with 10 free movies (A3) to the flagship A35 which runs about $350 with 10 free movies. The cheapest Blu-Ray Players have been players such as the Samsung 1400 and the Sony S300 which ran for about $270 with 7 free movies and were pretty much non-upgradable units. The more expensive main line players run around $500 with 7 free movies. The best selling Blu-Ray player (the PS3) runs from $400 for the 40GB model to $500 for the 80GB model and both come with 6 free movies. One can argue that the PS3 is a better deal since it is also a videogame console and multimedia player. However this is only a better deal for those who would actually use it for such features and indeed even many die-hard PS3 fans have pointed out the number of lack-luster titles available for the PS3. So once again for a number of people it still comes down to a $400-$500 Blu-Ray player. Also keep in mind that on the PS3 that Sony loses an average of about $125 per sale. Hardly a moneymaking machine. Furthermore it also means that there is much less flexibility for price drops in the future since they are already selling the machines at a huge loss. This is important to note since the PS3 is by far the best selling Blu-Ray player on the market.

  5. HD-DVD has a finalized spec that even it’s cheapest model the A3 can support. Blu-Ray on the other hand has V1.0, V1.1 and V2.0 specs. While some will argue that the only difference is for interactive content, but heavens only knows what sort of playback issues there will be for the low end V1.0 players (The Samsung and Sony models that I listed above). The only player that seems to be well equipped to deal with the upgraded specs is the PS3 but once again we are talking about a machine that will set you back at least $400 versus an entry line Toshiba A3 which already supports all sorts of cool interactive features on HD-DVD and only runs $180.

  6. Blu-Ray forces you into 1080p/24fps technology. While it is great that they all support this high standard, there are a number of people out there with 720p/1080i sets or people such as myself with 1080p/50/60fps sets who cannot take advantage of such technology but would still end up paying for it with the purchase of any blu-ray player. HD-DVD offers the A3 which supports only 720p or 1080i but as a result they can introduce it at a much lower cost since the specs have been around longer and so for those who don’t have the latest specs on our sets, we have an option for a great player that doesn’t force us to pay extra for technology that we can’t use. For those with 1080p/24fps who really wish to use it there is the A30 and the A35 models that will do a great job in this department ranging from about $250 to $350. So once again the hardware offers better value on the HD-DVD for a much broader range of people.

  7. Despite the supposed lead in sales that Blu-Ray claims to enjoy, the honest truth is that their sales are absolutely pathetic compared to the amount of money that has been invested into the technology. All development costs aside for the Blu-Ray technology itself, the PS3 is estimated to loose around $1 billion a year for the sales of the PS3 and also keep in mind that Sony intentionally purchased MGM/UA studios to keep them Blu-Ray exclusive. The cost of purchasing the studio was $4.5 billion, which is well more than it was worth at the time. I’m not saying that Toshiba is making big bucks off of their hardware but they certainly aren’t dealing with those kind of expenditures. Anyone care to take a stab at who ultimately ends up paying for these rediculous costs? Yup, you guessed it. . .THE CONSUMER!!! To go along with this a big part of the Blu-Ray camps numbers sales were from the 30 or so various BOGO (Buy One Get One Free) type sales. In otherwords the studios and companies take a hit to try and get people to invest in the technology. Nothing wrong with this from a consumer standpoint. . .AT FIRST but watch them disappear when HD-DVD fades away and then you will end up paying a premium for them. Anyways, in a nutshell there is alot of money being lost and precious little coming in when you factor all of these things together.

Thus far the only advantage I have seen to the consumer for Blu-Ray is the larger capacity per layer that would come in handy for really long films but once again this could be countered by HD-DVD releasing discs with more layers to deal with these titles that are relatively few in number (ie the Triple Layer HD-DVDs which are supposed to be coming out in the not too distant future).

Once again I’m suggesting these as why HD-DVD will win, I am strictly saying that on the basis of the advantages of format that HD-DVD is definitely better for the consumer.

[QUOTE=alan1476;1969615]I wouldn’t be surprised to see Microsoft buy Toshiba and really make this thing interesting. Microsoft has over 12.3 billion in free cash flow, if they wanted to crush Sony I believe they could. I don’t expect Microsoft and HD-DVD roll over and play dead just yet.:cool:[/QUOTE]

m$ would be right away directed into the court, and that wouldnt become a easy play for m$ this time. :iagree:
m$ still needs an “competitor” just for the consoles section. Wii is not up to that part, PS3 is.

Wow, Jesterrace, thanks for such a long point-by-point reason why HD-DVD should have been considered better. I only knew of some of those points, and the rest you really had a lot of facts on. I’m bookmarking that as a result (probably more for posterity’s sake, now that HD-DVD seems to have a really uncertain future).

Also, (to Jesterrace) if Sony indeed becomes “in charge” of Blu-ray as the only format, a quote from Abraham Lincoln comes to mind: “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” After the fact Sony knowingly manufactured all those laptop batteries for 2 years to the day, full well knowing they were defective (as verified by at least 2 independent agencies), Sony’s character as a company was shown to be seriously lacking–especially as to “caring” for the consumer. I have no confidence at all Sony would do what is in the consumer’s best interest (only its bottom line). :frowning:

I can live with both formats, and like with dvd burners, there is no best one.
I think what HD-DVD appears not the “right choice” yet for some (?) people, especially techies, is that only 1 HD-DVD burner is available yet. And that one comes only with an Toshiba Laptop and also got not really good reviews.