Buh-bye! Walking-dead HD DVD cancels CES appearance after Warner goes Blu-ray exclusively

“The fuzzy future of high-definition DVD came into sharper focus Friday after Warner Bros. said it would release movies for the home video market exclusively on the Blu-ray disc format,” Dawn C. Chmielewski reports for The Los Angeles Times.

“The decision, announced on the eve of the influential Consumer Electronics Show, delivers a de facto knockout punch to the rival HD DVD format backed by Toshiba Corp. and others now supported by only two of Hollywood’s six major movie studios,” Chmielewski reports.

“‘Expect HD DVD to die a quick death,’ said Richard Greenfield, an analyst with Pali Research in New York, in a research note Friday,” Chmielewski reports.

“Late Friday, the HD DVD group canceled a news conference scheduled for Sunday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. ‘We are currently discussing the potential impact of this announcement with the other HD DVD partner companies and evaluating next steps. We believe the consumer continues to benefit from HD DVD’s commitment to quality and affordability,’ the group said in a statement,” Chmielewski reports.

MacDailyNews Take: And now, Ladies and Gentleman, prepare yourselves for the most stunning performance in recent memory as Rob Enderle — yes, Rob Enderle! — actually gets something right (probably because he’s not trying to talk down Apple with ineffectual, made-up nonsense):

“‘I think the fat lady just sang,’ said Rob Enderle, principal analyst with Enderle Group in San Jose. ‘This gives Blu-ray a decisive lead. The question now is whether it is too little too late.’ Enderle said consumers might have moved on to digital downloads to get movies rather than wait to buy them on next-generation DVDs. The next big chance to sell high-definition movie players won’t be until next Christmas, he said. ‘By then, it may all be moot,'” Chmielewski reports.

“Sony Corp.’s Blu-ray discs have had a 2-1 sales edge since the beginning of 2007, thanks to its exclusive studio deals and the sale of Sony PlayStation 3 game consoles that play films in that high-definition format,” Chmielewski reports. “That prompted the HD DVD camp to flash its cash to remain viable. It paid $150 million to Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Animation in August to secure exclusively the rights to such major movies as ‘Transformers’ and ‘Shrek the Third’ on HD DVD.”

MacDailyNews Take: HD DVD is the inferior technology, no wonder they had to resort to bribing studios to use it.

Full article here.

Electronista reports, “The statements cloud the expected impact of HD DVD at CES, which was expected to mark a renewal of the conflict between Blu-ray and HD DVD with likely new products unveiled by supporters of each format. Microsoft in particular is rumored to have an Xbox 360 with an HD DVD drive built-in as part of its CES keynote presentation on Sunday and (if true) may be significantly impacted by Warner’s decision to offer HD movie discs only in Blu-ray form.”

Full article here.

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

MacDailyNews Take: Still in shock from Enderle making sense, we’ll just repeat what we said back on March 10, 2006: “It’s par for the course that Apple backs the superior format while Microsoft supports the inferior one.”

77 Comments

  1. kinda don’t care.

    I have the movies I like already on DVD.

    I am not going to buy them again on either HDDVD or BluRay.

    As for the future, I am waiting for download rentals.

    I really don’t like owning movies. I maybe watch them 3 or max 4 times each. Usually just twice.

    Most movies are not worth owning.

    Yea usenet!!!

  2. “‘I think the fat lady just sang,’ said Rob Enderle, principal analyst with Enderle Group…

    If he keeps talking about his wife like this, the employees of his Group will be down to just him and his gerbil.

  3. “Enderle said consumers might have moved on to digital downloads to get movies rather than wait to buy them on next-generation DVDs.”

    Only bleeding edge technology people have moved on to digital downloads. That VAST majority of consumers are still settling into their DVD comfort zone Rob. It’s not too little too late. If anything this will spur more sales of Bluray disk players and disks.

    Not everyone wants to have their movies in digital download format. Some people like to have a disk they can hold in their hand.

  4. Hallelujah! I hope this whole battle is over by this time next year. It would be a huge boost for the entertainment industry and the electronics industry. Most people are at the point of wanting to upgrade their TVs to hidef and by this time next year there will be many options available under $1000.
    Now I am a little more optimistic that Blueray Drives might show up on Macs this month—although we will probably pay a premium for them for the first year.

  5. Can you imagine the disappointment at Redmond now? Just about to play catch-up with Sony by integrating a HD-DVD player into the 360 (like they should have done from the start), when all of a sudden… BAM! Warner slams the door on the way out.

    Nice!

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