Warner Goes To Blu-ray Only Release Schedule-Dropping HD DVD Support
Update- HD DVD Cancels CES Event-see below Warner story (in bold)
In a startling development, two nights before the HD DVD press conference at the International Consumer Electronics Show, Warner Bros. announced all its high definition future HD titles would only be in the Blu-ray format, as of the beginning of June 2008.
This action tilts major movie studios’ support clearly in Blu-ray formatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s favor and may signal the beginning of the end of the high definition format war. Below is a copy of the Warner Bros. press release.
January 4, 2008 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Burbank, CA) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ In response to consumer demand, Warner Bros. Entertainment will release its high-definition DVD titles exclusively in the Blu-ray disc format beginning later this year, it was announced today by Barry Meyer, Chairman & CEO, Warner Bros. and Kevin Tsujihara, President, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Warner Bros.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ 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,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Meyer. Ã¢â‚¬Å“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.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Warner Home Video will continue to release its titles in standard DVD format and Blu-ray. After a short window following their standard DVD and Blu-ray releases, all new titles will continue to be released in HD DVD until the end of May 2008.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Warner Bros. has produced in both high-definition formats in an effort to provide consumer choice, foster mainstream adoption and drive down hardware prices,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Jeff Bewkes, President and Chief Executive Officer, Time Warner Inc., the parent company of Warner Bros. Entertainment. Ã¢â‚¬Å“TodayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“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,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Tsujihara. Ã¢â‚¬Å“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 Bros. has worked very closely with the Toshiba Corporation in promoting high definition media and we have enormous respect for their efforts. We look forward to working with them on other projects in the future.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Addendum 9:30 PM –In response to the Warner Annoucement the HD DVD Group has just canceled its Sunday Jan. 6th press event at the International CES in Las Vegas. The press release reads as follows:
“Notice of CES Press Conference Cancellation by North American HD DVD Promotion Group
Based on the timing of the Warner Home Video announcement today, we have decided to postpone our CES 2008 press conference scheduled for Sunday, January 6th at 8:30 p.m. in the Wynn Hotel. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
We are currently discussing the potential impact of this announcement with the other HD DVD partner companies and evaluating next steps. We believe the consumer continues to benefit from HD DVD’s commitment to quality and affordability Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a bar that is critical for the mainstream success of any format.
WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll continue to keep you updated on new developments around HD DVD.”
Copyright Ã‚Â©2008 Gary Merson/HD GuruÃ¢â€žÂ¢. All rights reserved. The content and photos within may not be distributed electronically or copied mechanically without specific written permission.