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HD DVDs Fall Like Dominoes
Written by Daniel   
Friday, 11 January 2008 12:32

 HD DVDs Fall Like Dominoes

January 10, 2008, 12:05 pm
By Saul Hansell, New York Times 

Nothing has been announced, but Variety is reporting that the last two major studios backing HD DVD — NBC Universal and Paramount — are opening the door for a switch to Blu-ray. These studios have commitments to release some discs this year in HD DVD, but both have ended their exclusive commitment to that format, which is backed by a group led by Toshiba.

This comes after Warner Brothers, which had been issuing movies in both formats, decided to go exclusively with Sony’s Blu-ray format. Variety also reports that retailers may also put pressure on Universal and Paramount to back Blu-ray. Last summer, Blockbuster decided to go with Blu-ray only.

So what appeared to be a stalemate may, with one relatively small move by Warner, now turn out to be a quick victory for Sony. The fight between the systems has hurt studios, electronics makers and consumers. And I suspect a winner — any winner — will be welcomed by all sides (except Toshiba and Microsoft, a key partner).

Of course, one reason for the standoff is that there are real merits to both sides, as many of the comments to our post on Warner’s move expressed.

Loosely speaking, Blu-ray discs can hold more data, while HD DVD discs and players are less expensive to make. Also, several readers who have used both say they prefer the menu system on the current batch of HD DVD players. My take on this is that once the format wars are over, the normal process of engineering improvements will work through many of the kinks in Blu-ray. Costs for this sort of thing just go down, and they fall faster with volume. Menus are software and can be fixed. Again, everybody benefits from a standard.... More   Comments in the Forums
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