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Universal seen clear of obligations to HD DVD, may switch to Blu-ray

post #1 of 80
Thread Starter 
The two remaining studios backing HD DVD could soon switch sides to Blu-ray, ending the next-generation high-definition format war instantly, according to a published report.

Variety claims confirmation that Universal's commitment to endorsing HD DVD exclusively has ended. The publication further states that Paramount -- the format's other backer -- has an escape clause in its contract that allows it to release flicks on Blu-ray now that Warner Bros. has decided to throw its weight completely behind the rival digital video disc format.

Still, it's reported that neither studio is ready switch sides just yet. For its part, Universal is said to be committed to a series of upcoming HD DVD promotions, and Paramount has said its current plans are to keep supporting HD DVD, which it backed exclusively in August.

News of Universal's contractual arrangements with the HD DVD camp comes just one week 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 its catalog available for both HD DVD and Blu-ray next-generation DVD players.

That news was almost immediately followed by reports that Paramount would also soon drop its support of the Toshiba-backed HD DVD format in favor of the largely Sony-based Blu-ray. Paramount, however, has denied the reports.

Should Toshiba eventually concede defeat on the format front-lines, Variety believes the decision to put HD DVD to rest would be made by both studios. Given the recent shakeup in the next-gen format wars, it's further speculated that retailers are unlikely to keep devoting premium shelf space to the ailing HD DVD format much longer, regardless of the studios' intentions.

With Warners' planned departure from HD DVD, only Paramount and Universal remain as supporters. Meanwhile, Blu-ray now boasts a lineup of proponents that include Sony, Disney, Fox, and Lionsgate, in addition to Warner and its sister companies New Line and HBO.

Last summer, Blockbuster also threw its weight behind Blu-ray.
post #2 of 80
So long. Nice knowing ya.
post #3 of 80
I just want The Matrix on blu-ray...please.

Give me

Matrix Trilogy
LOTR Trilogy
Borne Trilogy
Both Star Wars Trilogy's
Kill Bill
Every Pixar film

in 1080p on blu-ray

and I'll die a happy man
post #4 of 80
Firefly on Blu Ray?

That's unpossible! Yeah, I know you can only sign up for notification but that's a Universal title and if they had no plan to switch then that listing would be a complete paradox.

Regardless of how bad Warners switch really hurt, it has to be the perception change that makes it worse. Hopefully this can go quickly and cleanly with minimal kicking and screaming from Toshiba.
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post #5 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bancho View Post

Firefly on Blu Ray?

That's unpossible! Yeah, I know you can only sign up for notification but that's a Universal title and if they had no plan to switch then that listing would be a complete paradox.

I was under the impression that the "Firefly" was under the 20th Century FOX umbrella and "Serenity" was under the Universal umbrella.
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post #6 of 80
this is just more speculation we already know. We all know it's only a matter of time now. HD DVD is finished
post #7 of 80
Paramount's "commitment" to HD-DVD will last just until they've convinced people to buy their remaining stock of discs

(Is FIrefly Universal? I thought it was Fox, and only the movie sequel Serenity was Universal.)
post #8 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I was under the impression that the "Firefly" was under the FOX umbrella and "Serenity" was under the Universal umbrella.

I stand corrected, you are completely right.

I'm just excited at the possibility of seeing Firefly show up in a nice blue case rather than one of those brownish red ones.
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post #9 of 80
Oh Santa Steve- Please give me a blu-ray AppleTV!!!
Wait- it's only January?
post #10 of 80
Universal and Paramount may stick with HD-DVD now, but if Amazon, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, NetFlix, etc join Blockbuster as Blu-Ray only, I bet they'll rethink that.
post #11 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Oh Santa Steve- Please give me a blu-ray AppleTV!!!
Wait- it's only January?

Between CES and MacWorld, my Xmas does come in January.

(Let's not forget AVN, either)
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post #12 of 80
The local Blockbuster was one of the ones "grandfathered" in to both Blu-Ray and HD DVD. Near as I can tell, no one rents HD DVD... I've never seen more than 1 disc checked out. Blu-Ray always has half a dozen checked out.
post #13 of 80
I always stated that if something didn't happen immediately after the 07 holidays, that the war would continue for a long time. Guess half of it was right.

I'm glad this is going quickly. I think Toshiba should still keep the technology around but for Optical Media back ups. I really think they hurt by not releasing hd-dvd burners. There are a lot of hd-dvd / blu-ray hybrid drives out there. I would love to have 31gb backups for $1.00 each. Otherwise it would be a lot of wasted $.

 

 

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post #14 of 80
Blu-ray just sounds cooler than the alternative's clunky alphabet soup.

Also, Microsoft is pushing hard for HD-DVD.

Two good reasons to prefer one standard over the other, don't you think?
post #15 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

The local Blockbuster was one of the ones "grandfathered" in to both Blu-Ray and HD DVD. Near as I can tell, no one rents HD DVD... I've never seen more than 1 disc checked out. Blu-Ray always has half a dozen checked out.


NetFlix rents both.
post #16 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post

Blu-ray just sounds cooler than the alternative's clunky alphabet soup.

Also, Microsoft is pushing hard for HD-DVD.

Two good reasons to prefer one standard over the other, don't you think?

I think HD-DVD would have won had MS used HD-DVD in every 360. By the time Blu-ray came on the scene HD-DVD would have been to prevalent to allow Blu-ray to take hold.
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post #17 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I think HD-DVD would have won had MS used HD-DVD in every 360. By the time Blu-ray came on the scene HD-DVD would have been to prevalent to allow Blu-ray to take hold.


Don't be ridiculous, no one buys a game console to watch movi....oh, wait, yeah sorry my bad
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post #18 of 80
Woo I'm glad Sony are going to win, they obviously have the better format for future expanasion since it has so much more storage space then HD-DVD. Plus Beta-Max lost out to VHS (which was shit) so its just fair Sony wins this one
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post #19 of 80
Here's to the next decade of Blue-Ray DRM causing us random playback issues.
post #20 of 80
Give us the BEST. Give us Blu-ray. No doubt about it.
post #21 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post

Here's to the next decade of Blue-Ray DRM causing us random playback issues.

I'll let you know when I finally have one of those. 50 discs later, and still no playback issues.
post #22 of 80
Gee, what a shock, Universal may go Blu-Ray.

The shock would be if they didn't.
post #23 of 80
hd dvd sucked.. hehe now its dead

i have over 65 bluray's and no drm bullshit issues

plus my ps3 get profile updates
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post #24 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Gee, what a shock, Universal may go Blu-Ray.

The shock would be if they didn't.

I'm still waiting for the Toshiba response (delivered in the voice of the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail).

At this point HD DVD is still trying to block Arthur with both arms and one leg missing.
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post #25 of 80
I actually hope Universal does stay with HD-DVD. That way they'll continue to lose money in mfg and distribution of a product no one is buying.

Scroo Universal!!

/
post #26 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post

Blu-ray just sounds cooler than the alternative's clunky alphabet soup.

Also, Microsoft is pushing hard for HD-DVD.

Two good reasons to prefer one standard over the other, don't you think?

Another is region coding that you all seem to just love with blu-ray.
post #27 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by emulator View Post

Another is region coding that you all seem to just love with blu-ray.

Considering how much region coding honestly affected my viewing experience with DVDs you'll have to forgive me if I'm not worried all that much.

I did notice that one of the sites I'd looked at showed the region map and it looked *less* segregated than the one for DVD.

edit: I checked again and there are 3 BR regions to 6 DVD regions.
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post #28 of 80
5:00 pm ET January 10, 2008 -- Universal Studios has officially dispelled the rumors from Variety that it will drop HD DVD and switch to Blu-ray.
"Contrary to unsubstantiated rumors from unnamed sources, Universal's current plan is to continue to support the HD DVD format," said Ken Graffeo, executive vice president of HD strategic marketing for Universal Studios Home Entertainment and also co-president of the HD DVD Promotional Group.
The response would have come sooner, but many HD DVD executives were on flights home from CES when the incorrect story from Variety broke.


http://www.dvdtown.com/news/microsof...vd-format/5104

According to gaming site kotaku.com Microsoft has made it clear that they remain dedicated to the HD DVD format. "There was a critical element of our comments missing from the story -- Microsoft currently has no plans at this time to consider Blu-ray as an option. We continue to believe that HD DVD is the best optical solution for consumers, since it's the only format today that delivers quality experiences at affordable prices." a MS spokesperson clarified.


A bit more fuel to the fire
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post #29 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulcan1 View Post

5:00 pm ET January 10, 2008 -- Universal Studios has officially dispelled the rumors from Variety that it will drop HD DVD and switch to Blu-ray.
"Contrary to unsubstantiated rumors from unnamed sources, Universal's current plan is to continue to support the HD DVD format," said Ken Graffeo, executive vice president of HD strategic marketing for Universal Studios Home Entertainment and also co-president of the HD DVD Promotional Group.
The response would have come sooner, but many HD DVD executives were on flights home from CES when the incorrect story from Variety broke.


http://www.dvdtown.com/news/microsof...vd-format/5104

According to gaming site kotaku.com Microsoft has made it clear that they remain dedicated to the HD DVD format. "There was a critical element of our comments missing from the story -- Microsoft currently has no plans at this time to consider Blu-ray as an option. We continue to believe that HD DVD is the best optical solution for consumers, since it's the only format today that delivers quality experiences at affordable prices." a MS spokesperson clarified.

The best they can muster are more "current" - "currently" statements? If you haven't seen this picture of the HD DVD booth (snapped by engadget), that says more to me than the combined marketing and spokesperson quotes from the "current" HD DVD companies.
post #30 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulcan1 View Post

5:00 pm ET January 10, 2008 -- Universal Studios has officially dispelled the rumors from Variety that it will drop HD DVD and switch to Blu-ray.
"Contrary to unsubstantiated rumors from unnamed sources, Universal's current plan is to continue to support the HD DVD format," said Ken Graffeo, executive vice president of HD strategic marketing for Universal Studios Home Entertainment and also co-president of the HD DVD Promotional Group.
The response would have come sooner, but many HD DVD executives were on flights home from CES when the incorrect story from Variety broke.


http://www.dvdtown.com/news/microsof...vd-format/5104

According to gaming site kotaku.com Microsoft has made it clear that they remain dedicated to the HD DVD format. "There was a critical element of our comments missing from the story -- Microsoft currently has no plans at this time to consider Blu-ray as an option. We continue to believe that HD DVD is the best optical solution for consumers, since it's the only format today that delivers quality experiences at affordable prices." a MS spokesperson clarified.


A bit more fuel to the fire



Sure, they're committed to HD DVD (until the clear product and ramp up Blu Ray). There is nothing dishonest there. As for MS, they're so dedicated that they're positioned to drop it in an instant without feeling an ounce of pain since they only support it as an add-on peripheral. Can they create a BR add-on if it's clear that the market demands it? I think the answer would be yes.


I love the use of current.

Currently, I'm at work. (I'll leave at 5:00 but thats not what I'm currently doing).
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post #31 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

I always stated that if something didn't happen immediately after the 07 holidays, that the war would continue for a long time. Guess half of it was right.

I'm glad this is going quickly. I think Toshiba should still keep the technology around but for Optical Media back ups. I really think they hurt by not releasing hd-dvd burners. There are a lot of hd-dvd / blu-ray hybrid drives out there. I would love to have 31gb backups for $1.00 each. Otherwise it would be a lot of wasted $.

Why not 50GB backups for a $1 each with a roadmap to take it higher. Last I heard it was 200GB but what's blu-ray up to at the moment?

Actually I've had enough of discs - bring on the chips.

McD
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post #32 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bancho View Post

Can they create a BR add-on if it's clear that the market demands it? I think the answer would be yes.

MS would create an add-on Pez dispenser that contained chunks of recycled particle board if they thought it would drive console sales and licensee products. So, um... yeah. Blu-Ray in a heartbeat.
post #33 of 80
Whats this odd... oh.. its WRITING on the wall..
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post #34 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bancho View Post

Sure, they're committed to HD DVD (until the clear product and ramp up Blu Ray). There is nothing dishonest there. As for MS, they're so dedicated that they're positioned to drop it in an instant without feeling an ounce of pain since they only support it as an add-on peripheral. Can they create a BR add-on if it's clear that the market demands it? I think the answer would be yes.


I love the use of current.

Currently, I'm at work. (I'll leave at 5:00 but thats not what I'm currently doing).

Let's hope they are being that coy. Otherwise, they may be planning to go scorched earth with this thing. Perhaps Toshiba, M$ and Universal just wish to let this become a war of attrition, so that no clear winner emerges. In other words, "us losing is better than our opponent winning." I mean, they've already ignored two solid years of sales data. They've already pulled all the stops, dropping players to as low as $99, paying off Paramount to pick their losing format, etc. One has to wonder.
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post #35 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Let's hope they are being that coy. Otherwise, they may be planning to go scorched earth with this thing...

MS may have enough money and 'tude to go "scorched earth", but most companies have shareholders who want the company to make money, not wage wars of spite. The studios have the following choices:

1. continue the silly war
2. end the war and start making money

If they choose #1 in the face of what's happened, they end up selling content to an ever diminishing audience while Blu Ray expands further with its greater studio backing. People who thrive on conflict and "forum cockfighting" rejoice!

If they choose #2, the waters are cleared, people can all safely purchase a single format player and buy HD movies with no worries at all about compatibility (leaving aside the inevitable "but it's not 1.1 or 2.0 compliant" stuff for a moment. Toshiba's feelings may be hurt but did Sony just give up when things didn't go their way? Have they shut their doors and just said "screw it"? these companies are in this to make money.

I know this is already apparent and #2 is more likely, especially if the rumored sales #'s are anywhere near accurate. There's also rumors (unsubstantiated of course) that people have been trying to return HD DVD players purchased over the holidays.

At any rate, the next few months should be interesting. I'm still curious about the rumored "olive branch" suggested last week.
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post #36 of 80
My understanding has been that MS is so pro HD DVD because Blu-Ray uses Java. Universal is NBC is MSNBC is MS is HD DVD. It will be interesting to see how Universal plays this and what their alliance with MS will turn into if/when they switch.
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post #37 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by tacojohn View Post

I just want The Matrix on blu-ray...please.

The Matrix trilogy on BD is in the works.
post #38 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisDaMacMan View Post

Woo I'm glad Sony are going to win, they obviously have the better format for future expanasion since it has so much more storage space then HD-DVD. Plus Beta-Max lost out to VHS (which was shit) so its just fair Sony wins this one


The format wars.

1. VHS vs. Beta-Max
2. DVD vs. Laser DIsc
3. HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray

If I'm not mistaken, I believe laser disc was also a Sony format.. Yeah, they deserve a win!
post #39 of 80

post #40 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post

Blu-ray just sounds cooler than the alternative's clunky alphabet soup.

Also, Microsoft is pushing hard for HD-DVD.

Two good reasons to prefer one standard over the other, don't you think?

They are pretty superfluous reasons, in my opinion, but understandable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I was under the impression that the "Firefly" was under the 20th Century FOX umbrella and "Serenity" was under the Universal umbrella.

I'd like to see both, though I hear that the CG was upscaled for HD cable, the film shots looked great. I'd really like to see it all as native HD.
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