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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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."

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 105
    I suppose it's nice that Sony finally gets a win.



    Now, what has Apple decided on, again? (If it has).
  • Reply 2 of 105
    emig647emig647 Posts: 2,403member
    ^---- 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.
  • Reply 3 of 105
    Looks like this report is bogus...



    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...bU&refer=japan
  • Reply 4 of 105
    emig647emig647 Posts: 2,403member
    One thing though... Paramount did NOT say they weren't going dual-format. So that is still an option.
  • Reply 5 of 105
    Quote:
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 105
    Quote:
    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!
  • Reply 7 of 105
    emig647emig647 Posts: 2,403member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 105
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 105
    emig647emig647 Posts: 2,403member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 105
    banchobancho Posts: 1,517member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 105
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,598member
    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?
  • Reply 12 of 105
    Quote:
    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
  • Reply 13 of 105
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 105
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 105
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,341member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 105
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,341member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 105
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,341member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 105
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 105
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,521member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 105
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,341member
    Hit "send" too soon. Sigh!
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