Paramount dumps Blu-ray for HD DVD

“Just when it seemed that the Blu-ray Disc had gained the upper hand in the high-definition video disc battle, HD DVD has recruited two studios, Paramount and DreamWorks,” Mike Snider reports for USA Today.

“The availability of lower-cost HD DVD players led to the studios pulling their support from Blu-ray. Toshiba currently has players in stores for less than $300,” Snider reports.

“Rival Blu-ray, which counts studios Sony, Disney and Fox as supporters, had been gaining market momentum in recent months. Blockbuster and Target announced they’ll carry Blu-ray exclusively, and Blu-ray discs have been outselling HD DVDs about 2-to-1 this year. However, HD DVD releases (81) have outpaced Blu-ray’s (55) in the past three months, according to DVD Release Report,” Snider reports.

Full article here.

The deal covers all of Paramount’s properties, but does not include films directed by Steven Spielberg as his films are not exclusive to either format, according to the Viacom (parent of Paramount) press release.

Full press release here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “JadisOne” for the heads up.]

39 Comments

  1. These two formats will keep on fighting, meanwhile the immense majority of consumers will simply keep on watch from the sidelines. On-line downloads will become feasible by the time this thing sorts out, and both formats will be dead.

  2. Willie G’s comment is worth repeating:

    I hate it when inferior technology wins.

    But, I do hipe this puts a fire under the other studios’ butts and the hardware manufacturers’ butts to bring BD to the masses.

  3. I wonder just how much money went under the table this time. M$ can win anything they want by losing a few nickels of their billions in cash reserve…Apple has been smart to hold out…but once again, inferiority and low price win while the rest of the world passes us by as we stagnate. Thanks yet again, Micro$oft.

  4. Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD — The Winner? Downloadable HD Content.

    If I had to choose today I’d go with HD-DVD for a few reasons…

    1) I can add one for $179 to my XBOX 360 (yes I have a Microsoft product… and yes… I actually like it)

    2) I’ve been burned by Sony’s formats before.

    3) see #2

    Apple is really with both camps so they’ll just go with whatever. While the Blu-Ray format has more storage, HD-DVD offers better outlines on requiring the players to have uncompressed audio – and some other features that I don’t feel like writing about.

    Inferior? they both are.

  5. Umm, Paul Allen has been divesting his investment in Dreamworks, so do we really think that his association has played that much of a role in this at this point? (perhaps in the past it shaped the directions MS and DW went with the new formats. It’s funny how MS picked the technically inferior technology again.)

    Personally, I prefer a mutli-format player – and won’t buy anything until the prices come down to < $300/machine & <= $20/disc. I’m not falling for the crap I did when I bought DVDs early on – only to see players fall to 20% the price I paid, and the discs I bought fall to < 50% the prices I paid early on. Not to mention having to re-purchase some movies (e.g. Bladerunner) because the original is a poor mastering.

    I’m also not impressed with the level of DRM either (as I’m already being affected by region coding, having moved continents.) That’s just a load of $#@!.

  6. Too bad. Bonehead move.

    I agree that both formats may be dead when download movies are sorted out. However, as a video producer, I need to deliver HD projects to clients on some kind of media.
    I prefer BD.

    Why?
    Because of the studios that do support it? – no
    Because it’s a Sony product? – definitely no
    Because most manufacturers support it? – no
    Because Microsoft doesn’t support it? – no
    Because Apple leans more toward it? – no

    I prefer BD for the same reason I went with VHS… more storage capacity than the competition.

    As far as a home unit? I’ll probably hold off until I can buy some cheap, “no-name” Chinese unit that will play all formats. (as long as it doesn’t blow-up or poison me)
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  7. Meanwhile Foz and MGM are pushing Blu-Ray.

    There ARE hybrid players that handle BOTH formats. I still think that Blu-Ray will ultimately win, because of the storage capacity.

    Sony inadvertantly killed the Mini-Disk by NOT selling them as storage devices. This was in the days when delicate and unreliable 100MB Zip disks ruled the computer storage world. Mini_Disks were essentially magneto-optical disks… much more storage capacity and virtually bomb-proof physical media.

    I think they learned their lesson. 50GB of storage on a $20 Blu-Ray disk is a pretty good deal. More and more computers are shipping with Blu-Ray… so where’s Apple in this? maybe waiting for hybrid burners that’ll fit in a Macbook Pro? Maybe…

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