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Warner Drops HD DVD, Will Go Blu-ray Exclusively
Friday, January 4th, 2008 at 4:45 PM - by
Warner Home Entertainment announced on Friday that it will cease its its dual format HD movie support, eliminate HD DVD, and go with Blu-ray exclusively. Publishing on both formats will cease after May 2008.
The announcement was made jointly by Barry Meyer, Chairman and CEO, Warner Bros. and Kevin Tsujihara, President, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group.
"Warner Bros.' move to exclusively release in the Blu-ray disc format is a strategic decision focused on the long term and the most direct way to give consumers what they want," said Mr. Meyer. "The window of opportunity for high-definition DVD could be missed if format confusion continues to linger."
Titles on both formats will cease at the end of May 2008.
"A two-format landscape has led to consumer confusion and indifference toward high definition, which has kept the technology from reaching mass adoption and becoming the important revenue stream that it can be for the industry," said Mr. Tsujihara. "Consumers have clearly chosen Blu-ray, and we believe that recognizing this preference is the right step in making this great home entertainment experience accessible to the widest possible audience."
iPO notes that Warner put itself in a unique position by holding out and being the last to support both formats. By doing so, it held the key decision role. Warner could have maintained its dual format support or gone with HD DVD, but that would have led to continued consumer apathy and loss of revenue by all the studios. With the Blu-ray decision, Warner becomes the sixth studio to support Blu-ray exclusively. Others are Disney, Fox, Lionsgate, MGM and Sony. Universal and Paramount are now the only remaining studios that support HD DVD exclusively.
With this decision, the format war may be coming to a close, and the stage is further set if Apple makes an announcement at Macworld to include Blu-ray drives in some of its computers as has been predicted.
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