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Disney says Blu-ray strategy going to plan, victory imminent

November 21st, 2007 · No Comments

Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer described the HD format war as “stalemate” but Walt Disney Home Entertainment president Bob Chapek remains bullish. Talking to US trade publication TWICE, he maintained the roll-out of Blu-ray was going according to plan and “that within the next year it will be clear in everybody’s mind that is the ultimate successor to DVD.”
Chapek says that the format has a 70-80 per cent market share in Europe and a 90 per cent share in Australia and Japan. The Disney chief also blasted Paramount and DreamWorks for encouraging consumers to “buy a format () that will become obsolete very shortly.” The Walt Disney president denies that buyers of first (even second in some cases) Blu-ray players are already buying potentially obsolete product. Disney is planning to release internet-enabled BD Live discs during the first half of 2008, but Chapek is unconcerned that no current dedicated Blu-ray player owner will be able to access those features.
He says early adopters know what they are getting into when they buy into a new format: “Early adopters thrive on buying not only the first player that’s out on the market, but they understand that there’s a lot of churn,” he says. “When I buy the first Blu-ray player that comes out, I know that there are going to be features and benefits to come along two years out that are going to be superior to what I have. I think that amongst the group of people who have already bought it, it won’t be too much of an issue, but we are doing everything we can to encourage the CE manufacturers to rapidly evolve their players to full functionality so there are fewer people impacted. But that is up to the CE manufacturers. We just encourage them all the time.”

Tags: Home cinema · Trade

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