According to Warner CEO Barry Meyer, this move is a “strategic decision focused on the long term and the most direct way to give consumers what they want,” and he also mentions that “the window of opportunity for high-definition DVD could be missed if format confusion continues to linger.” Warner movies will be released on both next generation formats (HD DVD and Blu-ray) until May 2008, but the studio will then go exclusively with Blu-ray.
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A little over a week ago I asked for help in choosing between the two next generation movie formats: HD DVD and Blu-ray. I have had all the necessary equipment for a few months now (meaning, a nice HD home theater system minus a next-gen player) but have stuck with my regular old DVD player. I had hoped that my patience could last me through the ensuing format war. But then Amazon came along with this deal. (Actually, now there’s an even better deal.)
A few months back I purchased a high-definition television (HD-TV) but have yet to experience its true capacity (sharper images, etc.). The apartment complex I live in has me locked into one satellite provider which does not offer any HD broadcasting. And I have been reluctant to purchase a next generation DVD player because of the format wars.
For those not up to speed, Sony’s next generation DVD is called Blu-ray whereas Microsoft and Toshiba have a format called HD DVD. The two are comparable in terms of the higher picture quality they offer (unless you want to nitpick) but are, of course, incompatible with each other. To make matters worse, most movies are only released in one format or the other. For instance, Disney movies are only available in Blu-ray whereas Universal Studios movies are only in HD DVD.