Warner Backs Blu-ray in Format War

January 16, 2008 02:09 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Warner Bros. pledges to release its material on Blu-ray high-definition DVDs, practically guaranteeing that the format will prevail over its competitor HD-DVD. But some argue that HD-DVD is the superior technology.

30-Second Summary

Blu-ray and HD-DVD have been fighting it out to see which will become the high-definition successor to the DVD. But now that Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. has agreed to distribute its content on Blu-ray discs, that battle may be over.

“We’ve been monitoring the situation with consumers for a while now and they have clearly made their choice,” Warner Bros. chief executive Barry M Meyer said of the studio’s decision.

The announcement is an important victory for Sony Corp., the leader of the Blu-ray group, especially since it lost a similar fight in the 1980s.

Time magazine writes that although the Japanese conglomerate “started a home-entertainment revolution” with its Betamax videocassette format, it eventually lost out to VHS.

However, Forbes writes that the growing popularity of movie downloading could make Blu-ray’s triumph short-lived.

“The day is coming when the stacks of plain vanilla DVDs that clutter many home entertainment centers will go the way of the CD collection,” Forbes states.  

Don Lindich, technology columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, argues that
HD-DVD is actually the better product, so quality must not have been the deciding factor for Warner Bros.

“They wanted to bring the format war to a quick close by picking a side,” Lindich writes.

Despite the grim predictions for HD-DVD’s future, Toshiba America Consumer Products, the leading producer of HD-DVD players, remains optimistic. The company states in a press release that based on excellent fourth-quarter sales, it is “stepping up its successful marketing campaign.”

Headline Links: Warner tilts DVD war scales

Reaction: Toshiba responds with new marketing

Background: 'Dispatches from the Format War: HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray'

Opinions & Analysis: What are the effects of Warner’s decision?

Related Links: VHS vs. Betamax


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