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Warner goes Blu-ray exclusive, drops HD DVD

January 5th, 2008 · No Comments

Warner is pulling the plug on HD DVD. The news was widely expected to break at next week’s CES, but an early announcement was made by Barry Meyer (Warner Entertainment CEO) and Kevin Tsujihara (Home Entertainment Group president). According to the studio the decision was made due to “consumer demand.”
According to Tsujihara: “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. 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. Warner has worked very closely with the Toshiba Corporation in promoting high definition media and we have enormous respect for their efforts.”
He bizarrely concludes, “we look forward to working with them on other projects in the future.”
According to Mayer, the move to release only hi-def in Blu-ray “is a strategic decision focused on the long term and the most direct way to give consumers what they want. The window of opportunity for high-definition DVD could be missed if format confusion continues to linger. We believe that exclusively distributing in Blu-ray will further the potential for mass market success and ultimately benefit retailers, producers, and most importantly, consumers.”
Adds Time Warner president Jeff Bewkes: “Warner has produced in both high-definition formats in an effort to provide consumer choice, foster mainstream adoption and drive down hardware prices. Today’s decision by Warner Bros. to distribute in a single format comes at the right time and is the best decision both for consumers and Time Warner.”
The studio will phase out all HD DVD releases by May 2008. The HD DVD camp’s reaction at the upcoming CES will be interesting to say the least…

Tags: Corporate · HD DVD and Blu-ray · Home cinema · Trade

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