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Deathblow: Paramount to abandon HD DVD in return to Blu-ray

post #1 of 106
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Paramount Pictures is poised to drop its support of HD DVD in favor of Sony’s Blu-ray format, landing a decisive blow to the Toshiba-backed next-generation DVD format and all but assuring Blu-ray's role as the future standard for all high-definition digital video discs.

The news, which comes by way of the Financial Times, arrives just days after Warner Bros. said it would switch to releasing high-definition movies only in the Blu-ray disc format, abandoning a neutral strategy that saw it's catalog available for both HD DVD and Blu-ray next-generation DVD players.

The move will leave Universal as the lone major Hollywood studio backing the HD DVD format and presumably conclude a multi-year battle for supremacy in the home entertainment market, leaving HD DVD to suffer the same fate as Sony’s now obsolete Betamax video technology when it lost out to VHS in a similar format war back in the 1980s.

As noted by the FT, Paramount and DreamWorks Animation -- makers of the Shrek series of films -- came out in support of HD DVD last summer, joining General Electric’s Universal Studios as the main backers of the format.

However, Paramount is understood to have a clause in its contract with the HD DVD camp that would allow it to switch sides in the event of Warner Bros. backing Blu-ray, the financial paper said, citing people familiar with the situation.

It's reportedly unclear whether DreamWorks has the same get-out clause in its contract with the HD DVD camp, but the animation studio maintains a close relationship with Paramount as the distributor of its films on disc.



For its part, Universal has remained mum on its forward looking plans for high-definition video discs and has declined to comment on the situation since Warner Bros. announced its intention to drop HD DVD support last Friday.

Update: According to Bloomberg, Paramount has denied the report by the Financial Times.

"Paramount's current plan is to continue to support the HD DVD format,'' Brenda Ciccone, a spokeswoman for Paramount, said in an e-mail.

Meanwhile, Keisuke Ohmori, a spokesman for Tokyo-based Toshiba, called the Financial Times' report "speculative."
post #2 of 106
I suppose it's nice that Sony finally gets a win.

Now, what has Apple decided on, again? (If it has).
post #3 of 106
^---- I suppose you're right.

At first I was against blu-ray cause I hated sony. Then M$ entered the picture so I figured dual-format would be best. But since this war is ending so quickly I'm quite happy. This is only going to promote HD adoption and get rid of any confusion. In the end I was wrong about Blu-ray and wrong about hd-dvd. I read this article last night from FT.com, I really didn't see any proof in it that paramount was doing this, but I hope they do... and do it quick.

If I'm also shocked that apple hasn't included a BTO blu-ray drive yet.

 

 

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post #4 of 106
post #5 of 106
One thing though... Paramount did NOT say they weren't going dual-format. So that is still an option.

 

 

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post #6 of 106
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Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

One thing though... Paramount did NOT say they weren't going dual-format. So that is still an option.

Oh of course, but the implications are far less grim than saying they are dropping HD-DVD all together.
post #7 of 106
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Originally Posted by epiphanize View Post

Looks like this report is bogus...

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...bU&refer=japan

Ah, usually, when a spokesperson says ".... the current plan is to continue with blah blah...." it usually means that they are still in discussions, those discussions are well along, and the current plan will be jettisoned with high probability!
post #8 of 106
That maybe so, but if Paramount went blu-ray as well, all hd-dvd would have is universal... which seems to be considering blu-ray too with their tight lips.

 

 

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post #9 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

That maybe so, but if Paramount went blu-ray as well, all hd-dvd would have is universal... which seems to be considering blu-ray too with their tight lips.

I'm just posting this because the story is false. Not to start another format debate over whether HD is on the way out. I have both so whoever wins does not matter to me. But for those out there firmly in the HD camp, I'm sure they would appreciate the real story.
post #10 of 106
That's fine, I'm not debating with you at all. Just pointing out the story you posted didn't DENY they weren't going blu-ray. So there still maybe some truth to both sides.

 

 

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post #11 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by epiphanize View Post

I'm just posting this because the story is false. Not to start another format debate over whether HD is on the way out. I have both so whoever wins does not matter to me. But for those out there firmly in the HD camp, I'm sure they would appreciate the real story.

I'd imagine if anything at this point that Paramount would *strongly* consider going back neutral so as to earn more sales (from BR's inevitable win) and not to piss off HD DVD owners. It would be a shock to see them do a complete 180 on support from strictly one format to the other.
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post #12 of 106
Of course Paramount and Universal will switch to Blu-ray. Doesn't matter what's coming out of their corporate mouths today. There is no economally and commerciall logical reason for them to stick with HD-DVD unless they are fans of corporate hara-kiri.

The amazing thing is that Toshiba's selling point was 'our product may be less technologically advanced but it is cheaper'. Jesus Christ you're in the high tech industry and you haven't noticed how fast cost and price falls in your industry? You give a short term justification for a long term investment?
post #13 of 106
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Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

...

The amazing thing is that Toshiba's selling point was 'our product may be less technologically advanced but it is cheaper'. Jesus Christ you're in the high tech industry
...

25 years ago, VHS succeeded because of that very argument.
VHS was so poor, so inferior compared to the competition, anyway.
I am glad people in the industry eventually learned something.

best
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post #14 of 106
The scariest part of the whole situation is that Sony has tried to force its own technology upon everyone for the last 20 years regardless of losing nearly every time. Sony tried to fight VHS twice, first with Beta, than with 8MM. They didn't think CD's were good enough, so they created the Mini-Disc. Later the standardized flash memory cards SD and CF weren't good enough for Sony so they created memory stick. They didn't like the way people could rip CD's to MP3, so they tried to stop that. If Sony wins the HD war with Blue Ray, where will they go next?

Both formats look good. I expected both formats to stay like +/- R RW DVD disc. oh well.
post #15 of 106
There's nothing bogus about it. In the first sentence, the FT says that Paramount is poised (getting ready) to move to Blu-ray. It does not say it's a done deal or that it's even in the process of happening, and Paramount has not made it official.

People need to read what they see and not what they want to see.
post #16 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Ah, usually, when a spokesperson says ".... the current plan is to continue with blah blah...." it usually means that they are still in discussions, those discussions are well along, and the current plan will be jettisoned with high probability!

That's been my experience.
post #17 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

Of course Paramount and Universal will switch to Blu-ray. Doesn't matter what's coming out of their corporate mouths today. There is no economally and commerciall logical reason for them to stick with HD-DVD unless they are fans of corporate hara-kiri.

The amazing thing is that Toshiba's selling point was 'our product may be less technologically advanced but it is cheaper'. Jesus Christ you're in the high tech industry and you haven't noticed how fast cost and price falls in your industry? You give a short term justification for a long term investment?

That's EXACTLY what I've been trying to explain.
post #18 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vox Barbara View Post

25 years ago, VHS succeeded because of that very argument.
VHS was so poor, so inferior compared to the competition, anyway.
I am glad people in the industry eventually learned something.

best

VHS succeeded because of two things. The price of the players was cheaper.

The play/record time was longer. 5 hours for Beta and 6 hours for VHS. But a lot of people got rooked into buying VHS because of the supposed 8 hour recording time, which turned out to be almost useless.
post #19 of 106
So they have denied it. Well it would be better if it was true, end the confusion for customers. By refusing to change at this late stage, it starts to look like they care more about their corporate strategies than their customers.
post #20 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

Of course Paramount and Universal will switch to Blu-ray. Doesn't matter what's coming out of their corporate mouths today. There is no economally and commerciall logical reason for them to stick with HD-DVD unless they are fans of corporate hara-kiri.

Sometimes it seems that logic has less to do with decisions of media corporations
than the stubborn egos of their executives, so I would not rule out the harakiri option.
post #21 of 106
Hit "send" too soon. Sigh!
post #22 of 106
I think the only reasons Universal are on HD-DVD's side is because of their close relationship with Microsoft.
post #23 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

So they have denied it. Well it would be better if it was true, end the confusion for customers. By refusing to change at this late stage, it starts to look like they care more about their corporate strategies than their customers.

One of their problems is that unlike Warner, which is producing BD disks and HD-DVD disks for their films, Paramount is now only producing HD-DVD.

For Warner to state that at the end of MAY they will cease to sell HD-DVD disks is fine, because they have CURRENT product for their customers.

But with Paramount giving up their BD production a couple of months ago, they would have NO product to offer their customers until they manufactured enough titles in Bd again for them to keep their income coming in (this holds for Universal as well).

I'm assuming that talks are already going on, both to discontinue HD-DVD (or possibly continuing it for a while, like Warner), and to begin manufacturer of enough BD titles to have available when they do make a definitive announcement.
post #24 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by jake_11 View Post

The scariest part of the whole situation is that Sony has tried to force its own technology upon everyone for the last 20 years regardless of losing nearly every time. Sony tried to fight VHS twice, first with Beta, than with 8MM. They didn't think CD's were good enough, so they created the Mini-Disc. Later the standardized flash memory cards SD and CF weren't good enough for Sony so they created memory stick. They didn't like the way people could rip CD's to MP3, so they tried to stop that. If Sony wins the HD war with Blue Ray, where will they go next?

Sounds counter-intuitive but a Blu-ray win actually prevents Sony from doing this sort of mischief with Blu-ray. Just because you invented the standard doesn't mean you have primary control over it and can keep tinkering with it once it has been adopted. There are now a lot more stake holders in Blu-ray. If Sony fools around with Blu-ray they do so at the risk of upsetting all the player mfrs and media providers that chose it as the standard. Not to mention all the customers.
post #25 of 106
Watch HD-DVD try and recruit 20th Century Fox now.
post #26 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

Sometimes it seems that logic has less to do with decisions of media corporations
than the stubborn egos of their executives, so I would not rule out the harakiri option.

Case in point: Toshiba?
post #27 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by jake_11 View Post

The scariest part of the whole situation is that Sony has tried to force its own technology upon everyone for the last 20 years regardless of losing nearly every time. Sony tried to fight VHS twice, first with Beta, than with 8MM. They didn't think CD's were good enough, so they created the Mini-Disc. Later the standardized flash memory cards SD and CF weren't good enough for Sony so they created memory stick. They didn't like the way people could rip CD's to MP3, so they tried to stop that. If Sony wins the HD war with Blue Ray, where will they go next?

Both formats look good. I expected both formats to stay like +/- R RW DVD disc. oh well.

Let's see.

Beta made it as Beta-Cam, one of the most successful professional broadcast formats ever.

8mm was successful for years, until DV came along and killed all the analog consumer products.

They, and Phillips CREATED the Cd.
post #28 of 106
That's a good point. If they announce that they are in fact leaving HD DVD behind, they have a huge problem. The sales of the only product they produce for HD will plummet (with the understanding that HD sales are still a small portion of the market). They need to be able to ramp up their support of Blu Ray while not just falling on their sword with regard t HD DVD. If anything, they want to transition gracefully (well, as gracefully as they can).

Seriously, if they announced something like this right now the people at the HD DVD booth at CES would probably just flip out and burn the whole place down. One of the pics I saw of the BR and HD DVD booths (which are spitting distance from one another) showed a lot of activity at the BR side and nothing happening at the HD DVD side.

It is also noteworthy that once BR enjoys widespread adoption, the "Evil Sony" influence will be diluted.
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post #29 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by jake_11 View Post

The scariest part of the whole situation is that Sony has tried to force its own technology upon everyone for the last 20 years regardless of losing nearly every time. Sony tried to fight VHS twice, first with Beta, than with 8MM. They didn't think CD's were good enough, so they created the Mini-Disc. Later the standardized flash memory cards SD and CF weren't good enough for Sony so they created memory stick. They didn't like the way people could rip CD's to MP3, so they tried to stop that. If Sony wins the HD war with Blue Ray, where will they go next?

Blu-ray Disc Association. Look it up. Then come back and try to say with a straight face that Sony singlehandedly controls Blu-ray. Sony haters are so blinded by their hatred that they can't even find out the facts, if they even care about them.

Quote:
Both formats look good. I expected both formats to stay like +/- R RW DVD disc. oh well.

Does DVD-R have 66% greater capacity than DVD+R or vice versa? Enough of this "they're basically the same" BS.

P.S. For anyone who says "Paramount denies it," remember that Warner also said only a few weeks ago that they were not going Blu-ray exclusive.
post #30 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by jake_11 View Post

They didn't think CD's were good enough, so they created the Mini-Disc.

Actually minidisc was more of a cassette replacement, which it was very good at. And like most of their stuff, might have taken off if they didn't restrict it so much. But computers and mp3s have given blows to both MD and CD, so....
post #31 of 106
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Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post

Blu-ray Disc Association. Look it up. Then come back and try to say with a straight face that Sony singlehandedly controls Blu-ray. Sony haters are so blinded by their hatred that they can't even find out the facts, if they even care about them.

Yes.

Quote:
Does DVD-R have 66% greater capacity than DVD+R or vice versa? Enough of this "they're basically the same" BS.

P.S. For anyone who says "Paramount denies it," remember that Warner also said only a few weeks ago that they were not going Blu-ray exclusive.

And yes.

People arn't thinking here.

Sony has done some dumb things, such as that rootkit (good to have a Mac).

But, overall they're no worse than most, and better than some.
post #32 of 106
Here is something for you guys to chew on...

http://forums.highdefdigest.com/showthread.php?t=35105

 

 

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post #33 of 106
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Originally Posted by Mitch1984 View Post

Watch HD-DVD try and recruit 20th Century Fox now.

They already tried this and fox said no, which is the primary reason warner went Blu-ray exclusive. Had Fox went HD-DVD the war may very well be very different right now.

 

 

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post #34 of 106
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Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

Here is something for you guys to chew on...

http://forums.highdefdigest.com/showthread.php?t=35105

That was pretty interesting. I guess retailers are excited to get this over with as well, Now they can just segregate their videos into SD and HD sections.

It's going to become evident pretty quickly that if the rest of the industry doesn't follow suit fairly soon they're going to look pretty silly. I guess we owe Warner some thanks for helping to end this quickly.
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post #35 of 106
They probably do have a clause in their contract with HDDVD camp. I mean you can't except 150 million dollars of hush money and except it to come questions free. I think that while the format is dead HD DVD camp has to figure out a way to play nice with everyone or it will in a corner at recess with no one want to play with them. Awwwww. Will be a good day when Sony's better format wins. Too bad it couldn't win on its merits. It had to wait for Warner Bros to make up their minds to end this. I mean it made no sense in the minds of consumers. Early adopters or not, few people would be willing to throw out 200 plus dollars for nothing. Sad thing is that all over the developed world, people got holidays gifts in the form of HDDVD player and movies. Hope they saved the boxes and receipts. People got computer with HD DVD drives installed. There is a reason that I don't ask for electronics for X-mas. Because I know CES and MacWorld will provide the space for a lot to change quickly. Like Steve Jobs said if you are always waiting for the next upgrade in technology, you will never buy anything. That said, there are smart times to buy things and terrible times. X-mas and the other holidays do offer impressive savings to be had, but if the word "new" provides a crack-like twitch, then you should know don't buy anything until after MacWorld and CES in the winter. For Macs this year that time period could stretch into February because of the proposed date by Apple on the Touch-based Mac OS X SDK. But in the end, there is a feeling that there are going to be a lot of people that feel like their support of HD DVD was terrible and will have some harsh words and feelings to share. I guess I won't know whether this is true until it hits the mainstream news. When this story hits FOX, I will believe it (wait, I am waiting for FOX to tell me the truth). You can see how much I am anticipating an end to this war. I have chosen to wait for the impossible.
post #36 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

Here is something for you guys to chew on...

http://forums.highdefdigest.com/showthread.php?t=35105

I certainly agree with the tone of that.

One industry person said, shortly after Warner made their announcement, that HD-DVD's death would come quickly, if not within days, then at the most, weeks.

I hope the article is correct about Jobs. Apple could have had software ready for months, but just didn't release it.

But the graphics cards would still have to support the DRM (I keep forgetting what the acronim is).
post #37 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bancho View Post

That was pretty interesting. I guess retailers are excited to get this over with as well, Now they can just segregate their videos into SD and HD sections.

It's going to become evident pretty quickly that if the rest of the industry doesn't follow suit fairly soon they're going to look pretty silly. I guess we owe Warner some thanks for helping to end this quickly.

Damn right! Retailers NEVER like to double stock.
post #38 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I certainly agree with the tone of that.

One industry person said, shortly after Warner made their announcement, that HD-DVD's death would come quickly, if not within days, then at the most, weeks.

I hope the article is correct about Jobs. Apple could have had software ready for months, but just didn't release it.

But the graphics cards would still have to support the DRM (I keep forgetting what the acronim is).

As far as I know the graphics cards support it. At least the 8800gt and 2600xt on the windows side does. Just gotta go DVI -> DVI or DVI -> HDMI. Monoprice.com has some really cheap 1080p adapters that go from DVI -> HDMI that I bought a few days ago to run my MBP at 1080p. These should follow the DRM standards of blu-ray.

 

 

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post #39 of 106
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Originally Posted by Bancho View Post

Seriously, if they announced something like this right now the people at the HD DVD booth at CES would probably just flip out and burn the whole place down.

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post #40 of 106
They should..... just freaking end it already ;p. They have 1 foot in the grave along with 3 toes. It's time HD-DVD... /pulls steve jobs and brings Bourne Collection HD-DVD out in coffin.

 

 

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