Dual-Format Total HD Disc Tabled by Warner: Report
Blu-ray/HD DVD disc never hit store shelves and was never adopted by other studios.
By Jason Unger
11.15.2007 — Warner has tabled its Total HD disc, the studio’s dual-format standard containing both Blu-ray and HD DVD, according to a report from High-Def Digest.
“The short answer is, for the moment, it [Total HD] is on hold,” Jim Noonan, SVP of Strategic Promotion and Communication for Warner Home Entertainment Group, told High-Def Digest.
“If we were to put out Total HD with just our titles, it wouldn’t really provide the solution to our retail partners that it was intended to provide. If anything, at this point, it would further complicate their life, because there would be another product looking for shelf space,” he reportedly said.
Hey Jim, we could have told you that. In fact, back at the beginning of the year, we did.
Okay, so in theory this sounds good—one disc that will contain both formats. But here’s where the problem lies: Warner Bros. is already backing both formats.
So if you want a copy of “The Last Samurai,” you can get it on HD DVD or you can get it on Blu-ray. A new disc format isn’t going to do much except let consumers who have both Blu-ray and HD DVD players purchase only one disc instead of two.
And while Warner Bros. will obviously use the disc, you’ll have a hard time convincing me that Sony is going to start putting out movies on Total HD instead of Blu-ray.
Total HD first showed up at CES 2007, where LG—whose Super Blu player also first debuted—said that the products complement each other.
But the dual-format disc never hit store shelves, and no other studios announced intentions to use it.
The High-Def Digest report claims that the move came in “response to a perceived shift in retailer needs following Paramount’s move to HD DVD exclusivity.”
While Paramount’s move to HD DVD was seen as an important moment in the format wars, it’s turned into a very important decision. Sony CEO Howard Stringer recently claimed the switch was a turning point, effectively making the format war a “stalemate.”
With price drops by big-box retailers and upcoming holiday deals, it doesn’t seem like there will be an end to the format war anytime soon.
What do you think? What effect will Warner’s decision to table Total HD have on the format war?
gotta give some props to avsforums for the article
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