back to article Warner to back a single HD disc format?

Warner Home Video, the only major content distributor supporting both HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc, is rumoured to be about to put its full weight behind one of these next-gen optical disc formats, a senior studio exec has claimed. Cue Michael Burns, vice-chairman of Lionsgate - a Blu-ray Disc backer, it should be noted - quoted by …


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  1. Tim

    Answer - no

    As said here and on Engadget's comments on the same article, the guy quoted is quite pro BD with a history of bashing HD DVD.

    I see no reason why Warner would switch from format neutral at this stage, especially as BD is still only being propped up by the PS3 (it can sell all it wants to gamers but to bank on a movie format based on only one viable player, and a games console at that, is suicide), and HD DVD players are set to flood the market next year. In fact even the beloved "this proves Blu-Ray is winning" Nielsen figures even show yet again HD DVD is swinging back this week when only the week before they were written off (again). It's so up and down, and such small sales, it's daft to go pick one format at this stage.

    Personally I don't think Warner will decide until end of 2008. If at all. The format "war" is set to continue, and likely will never really end with a winner. Either both continue indefinitely or both fail.

    In fact, if anything, Warner are likely to announce they are going to cut back on HD releases for 2008 and concentrate on DVD instead as the HD market is just so small. Less than 2% of sales are HD. The rest are DVD.

    Still, we can't let a week go by of course without a "Blu-Ray has won" hinting article hyped up by one site and then duplicated all over the Copy&Paste net press that backs the Blu camp ;-)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Neighter, please.

    If we promise to never, ever, consider buying any content on eighter of the formats, can we get rid of the DRM in newer appliances? Please?

  3. Paul Swindlehurst

    surely they'll go HD-DVD?

    Not sure whether or not Warner will persuaded into going single format or not, but if they are at the moment I would say the HD-DVD would be the one they would pick.

    Of the 2 formats it is the one that Warner have always supported a little better. Their HD-DVD releases on a number of occasions have had more extras than the BD equivalent, due to the more certain interactive support in the HD-DVD spec. And they have also released some of their big name catalogue titles (matrix trilogy springs to mind) on HD-DVD, with no announcements when they will release the same on BD.

  4. Mustang

    Sell more?

    How so? BR has been selling more software, about twice HD ammount, whilst HD has been selling more hardware(using HD camp logic that Ps3 doesn't count as stand-alone player).

    For warner, I guess selling more software is more expressive, but I don't know who's paying them more. ;)

  5. Imaballa

    Na.. Warner will switch to Blu-ray

    Warner does not want the format war to continue they just want to produce in one HD format, right now Blu-ray has about 50% of all movies coming out in HD, if Warner switches to HD-DVD then that would make HD-DVD and Blu-Ray 50%-50% extending this format war even longer.


    If Warner backs Blu-ray, Blu-ray will be 75%, ensuring a quick death to HD-DVD.

    It's all about content, the format with the most available content will win.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    @Answer - yes

    If the research that the journalist have done, have shown that Blu-ray has a better possibility of surviving, why should he not write that? Discrediting a journalist just because he does not write the article from the viewpoint that you might have, does not make it a bad article. You are, of course, allowed to have your own viewpoint, but please accept that journalists might write something that you may disagree with, but that does not automatically make that articles worthless, just because you believe something else. Why not accept that not everybody thinks that HD-DVD is the future, and not automatically begin discrediting the journalist for not supporting your viewpoint?

    Your remark about "especially as BD is still only being propped up by the PS3 (it can sell all it wants to gamers but to bank on a movie format based on only one viable player, and a games console at that, is suicide)" - I get, from your comments, that you are very pro HD-DVD and very anti Blu-ray, and that is okay, but just as Toshiba, sometimes, chooses to sell their players below production price (as far as I know, they were disallowed the sale in certain states in the US, due to non-compliance with anti-dumping laws), so are Sony allowed to include Blu-ray in the PS3 - if people did not want Blu-ray, and that desire were strong enough, I am sure they would stay away from the PS3, and Blu-ray also - but from what I have read, it seems that quite a few PS3 users actually use the Blu-ray part of the PS3 for film viewing. So much, that Blu-ray, at least according to Nielsen numbers, seem to be selling more, and is that not the point of producing either format? to sell well?

    "but to bank on a movie format based on only one viable player, ..., is suicide" - you could say the same about the $99 Toshiba player, but that does not make it any more valid and likewise with the comment about the PS3.

    "HD DVD players are set to flood the market next year." - was that not the point of the $99 HD-DVD player?

    I do not care what format wins, I have my preference, but like everybody else, I have a life, so this is just a hobby and I think that the rhetoric needs to be scaled down quite a bit, on both sides - nobody is hating anyone, but it sure seems like this is a bad remake of Cut-throat Island (pardons to those that found that film memorable).

    Having said that, I still think that one of the 2 formats need to be declared "winner" before we will see mass adoption of high definition media, whatever one might think of the players, statistics, strategies, and actions from either side.

  7. Anonymous Coward


    Go back and read Tim's comments again.

    If I understand him correctly, it isn't the Reg journalist he is accusing of bias - it's the guy that Tony Smith is quoting from that he's saying has a bias.

    Perhaps if you'd got your facts right at the start, I'd have bothered to take the rest of your pro-BD diatribe seriously.

  8. Hugh Sweeten

    Below production cost....

    I don't much care about his argument, but I LOVE it when people bring this up....

    "...Toshiba, sometimes, chooses to sell their players below production price (as far as I know, they were disallowed the sale in certain states in the US, due to non-compliance with anti-dumping laws),"

    I guess this means that the PS3 is selling illegally in these "certain" states too then. They've been selling at below production cost since they hit the shelves. These guys tend to forget that part.

  9. Fazal Majid

    They are probably holding off for the highest bidder

    Given the mediocre sales of either format (combined less than 1% of DVD sales), selling exclusivity to the highest bidder will make them more money than selling the discs themselves, if the $150M for Paramount is any guide.

    Of course, the biggest problem for them is that the Osborne effect is killing DVD sales - why buy a standard dev DVD when HD formats are available, and why buy either HD-DVD or Blu-Ray when the format war is not lost and won yet? They probably don't care one whit which format is technically superior, as long as they can make the pain go away.

    I suspect the future is MPEG-4 H.264 files delivered over the network, just as MP3s have become the music format of choice, completely bypassing the DVD-A vs. SACD format war. The whole concept of a file format tied to the physical media format is a complete anachronism anyway, one that could only be brought to us by the morons who insisted on perpetuating interlaced video.

  10. Wade Burchette

    Think about it

    Warner Brothers has yet to release many big name titles on Blu-Ray. If they are SO pro-Blu, why haven't they at least announced these titles? I'll give you 4 US WB titles that are HD DVD only: Matrix trilogy, Batman Begins, V for Vendetta, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

    If WB was going Blu, why haven't they made any plans whatsoever to put these titles on BOTH formats? Of course, logic quite often escapes fanboys.

  11. nt300
    Thumb Up

    Why Warner Bros. will go HD DVD exclusive in the end?

    I am not 100% sure which way Warner Bros. will go. HD DVD? Or Blu-Ray? They do have to choose one side. And I believe they will make a decision at the CES 2008 coming in January 2008. I really believe they are leaning toward HD DVD despite all the baseless rumours of a Blu-Ray exclusive contract. Despite the high Blu-Ray Warner title sales, I cannot for a million years believe that Warner will rely on a bunch of PS3 gamers to sustain a format which should have died about 1 year ago. It just does not make sense.

    HD DVD has sold OVER 750,000 Stand Alone HD DVD players. Many of them are most likely under the Christmas Tree, and HD DVD has been gaining momentum along with a price point to sustain mass adoption. I am very sure Toshiba & Microsoft have a plan in place, because they’ve been kind of quiet lately despite Sony & the Blu-Ray Association’s rumbling about the completely fraudulent Neilson Video Scan numbers and their pathetic BOGOF sales just to offset any popular HD DVD release. Blu-Ray acts like a bunch of desperate BABY’s for goodness sakes LOL,

    Why should Warner Bros. Choose HD DVD exclusively?

    1) HD DVD is a consumer friendly format

    2) HD DVD has finished specs and guaranteed compatibility with anything that possesses the HD DVD logo etc.

    3) HD DVD has sold the most SAL players in North America. No game system driving this format, just people that buy the players to watch Hi Def movies.

    4) Highest attach rate than any other Hi Def format out their today.

    5) HD DVD is at a price point for Mass Adoption.

    Why Warner Bros. Should not go Blu-Ray exclusive?

    1) Blu-Ray is “NOT” Consumer Friendly

    2) Blu-Ray is not standardized. It’s a profile plagued format with future incompatibilities with newer titles & players. Several different profiles & fraudulent tactics forcing customers to buy newer Blu-Ray compatible players.

    3) Blu-Ray should be called PS3-Ray. Without the PS3, Blu-Ray would have died long ago. I wouldn’t rely on a format that is solely driven by a game system. Many PS3 owners don’t have HDTV’s and many don’t even know they have a BD playing device.

    4) Blu-Ray has the worst attach rate than any other Hi Def format out today. Proof that not all Blu-Ray PS3 owners buy Blu-Ray movies.

    5) Blu-Ray is way too expensive especially when 99% of all their Stand Alone players will not fully support future Blu-Ray movie titles.

    This is the way I look at it after the FACTS.

    Warner Bros. Is not a stupid studio, they are researching & investigating HD DVD & Blu-Ray from day one. HD DVD holds the best attach rate which is what Warner Bros. should be looking at for future success. The more HD DVD SAL players are being seeded into people’s homes, the more future movie sales will go up. If they fall victim to Sony’s PS3 sales, then we are all in big trouble. I would rather have Warner Bros. support people that actually buy HD DVD stand alone players to watch movies and not a bunch of occasional PS3 gamers buying movies.

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  13. Tim Fischer

    I don't care...

    I like Blu-ray - I'm biased as I have a PS3... either way though, the DVD player in the Mini van for the kids won't play any HD content, so it's nothing more than a fanboys dream to get they're way with a dumb format...

    But pick ONE! Having two is a nightmare explaining to the rest of the family/friends...

    Only real reason I like Blu-Ray is that I like Sony and I like more space right off the bat - 50GB Dual works for me, becuase that means that while today, it might not be used up for something - next year it will probably be (fecetious comment, it could be four years from now).

    Reason I like the PS3 as a Player? Firmware updates! The new update coming before the end of the year will allow for Profile 2.0 of HD content! Other than the PS3 - who else is downloading firmware to update purchased hardware presently? (I have no idea, so it's more a question than a slight).

    That kind of support though is cool - and the timing is quite interesting considering the decision to be made...

  14. Highlander

    Firware updates and thoughts on WB

    Tim Fisher - Firmware updates for players that are not connected to the net are/can be performed using firmware on the actual disk. PS3 games for example all carry the latest firmware at the time of release (PSP started this practice). So every BD player that is capable of profile 1.1 or 2.0 and yet needs a firmware update can get one via the movie discs themselves.

    Regarding the whole WB thing. Sorry folks but all the crap argued about PS3 is just that, crap. Propped up by PS3? There are more or less as many stand alone BD players as there are HD-DVD players, if you remove the game consoles from *both* sets of umbers. So let's not blather on and on about how BluRay relies on gamers, it's as viable as HD-DVD is you remove gamers from both. If on the other hand you simply take the view that an HD capable player is an HD capable player, then you include both console types and suddenly there are something like 6.5-7 million BluRay players in the world compared to about a million HD-DVD players. OOps, I guess that would mean that HD-DVD is dead in the water.

    You wanna argue disc sales? Go for it, HD-DVD has not once led the disc sales numbers since both formats were launched. Not once. I'm sorry, but on pure business grounds the format war is over and BluRay has won.

    However should Microsoft wish to pay the HD-DVD forum or whatever they call themselves some kind of special marketing fund. And should that fund get funneled to WB for some exclusive character rights for HD-DVD (i.e. WB gets paid off by Microsoft just a Paramount was). Then I could see WB 'choosing' HD-DVD over BluRay because at this point the HD business doesn't make that much money and $150 million is a lot of disc sales to make up.

    That said, if that happens again, there will be a very bad taste in the mouth of many in the industry, remember all but one of the major CE companies in the world are backers of BluRay. If Microsoft manages to engineer HD-DVD as a winner here, those companies are going to find a way to have the whole deal analyzed to the nth degree.

    If Microsoft would keep it's fat nose out of the format war and it's slush funds under better control, then a format war on the merits would have been over already.

  15. Nick


    A series of short stories:


    >"blu-ray is evil I tells ya. All this DRM nonsense, it's just another way to be unfriendly to consumers."

    >"Really, why's that? Can't you play the movies?"

    >"Well, um, yes. You can't copy them though."

    >"What, so you mean pirates can't put them on the internet for freeloaders to hive off the studios and break the law?"

    >"Um... yes. Er, did I mention it's EEEEEEVIL?"


    From the latest HD-DVD association press release:

    "As you can see from the figures above, if you exclude the PS3, all sales in the territory of Sweden, and all sales to a household that has at least one pet, HD-DVD is winning the format war! Many people reiterate that blu-ray disc sales are outselling HD-DVD disc sales by 3:1, but herein lies our master plan. We, the HD-DVD association, have been buying all the blu-ray discs to make shelves empty!! Yes, if you exclude all the blu-ray discs that we ourselves have bought, you will find that HD-DVD is in the lead!"


    I'm about to wander off to the shops with £300+ to spend on a shiny new console. I wonder what it does? What's this big blu-ray sign on the box mean? Why does it keep mentioning blu-ray in the PS store? This is as confusing as when I bought that iPod thingy and it kept talking about MP3...


    Christmas morning. Dad opens up the new HDTV. Oh but what's all this HD business all about? I wish I had some HD material to play on it. Little Tommy pipes up "but Dad, my PS3 plays high def movies!". "No it's okay son, I've heard that instead of buying a movie for that console already under the TV, I should go out and buy a whole new player, that's financial sense."


    I'm here all week

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Despite the high Blu-Ray Warner title sales, I cannot for a million years believe that Warner will rely on a bunch of PS3 gamers to sustain a format which should have died about 1 year ago."

    But by your own argument, those PS3 gamers you speak of are the ones giving Warner the high blu-ray sales...

    "HD DVD is a consumer friendly format... Blu-Ray is “NOT” Consumer Friendly"

    Why? If you buy a blu-ray disc, can you not play it? Or do you mean, you can't rip it and put it on bitTorrent?

    "HD DVD has finished specs and guaranteed compatibility with anything that possesses the HD DVD logo etc"

    Except the new triple layer disc, which won't work in older players. Oops.

    "3) HD DVD has sold the most SAL players in North America. No game system driving this format, just people that buy the players to watch Hi Def movies."

    Yep, exclude those nasty PS3's...

    "4) Highest attach rate than any other Hi Def format out their today."

    ...and now include them, when it makes your stats look better.

    "Without the PS3, Blu-Ray would have died long ago. I wouldn’t rely on a format that is solely driven by a game system. Many PS3 owners don’t have HDTV’s and many don’t even know they have a BD playing device."

    That's right. I regularly spend that much money on something when I don't know what it does. The PS3, in case you don't get it yet, is a vessel for getting blu-ray into people's homes. Even if some PS3 owners don't have a HDTV yet, they will do one day (because they know what they are missing), and, oh wait, they already have a next-gen movie player to go with it. Job done.

    "Blu-Ray is way too expensive especially when 99% of all their Stand Alone players will not fully support future Blu-Ray movie titles."

    Yep, get those triple layer HD-DVDs needed to boost the space up to blu-ray standard, put them in your player and watch them spin. You'll be surprised just how many movies turn out to be a 2 hour black screen...

    "This is the way I look at it after the FACTS."

    Oh you do make me giggle you silly man

  17. Adam White

    RE: Think about it

    Hi Wade, I'm confused by your last statement, can you clarify it please?

    Are you describing the Warner execs who haven't made plans to put these titles out in both formats as "fanboys"? Or are you saying that the logic behind not to putting these titles out in both formats (assuming they are leaning towards Blu-ray) is not apparent to the public?


    - Adam

  18. tony

    So basically...

    ..everything people say in support for the 'other side' is lies from paid shills, whereas everything said in support for 'my side' is truth


  19. Stuza

    who else is downloading firmware to update purchased hardware presently?

    My motherboard did.

    Guess what. The only updates it contained were for "improved blu-ray support". Didn't need any updates for HD.

    Just to note. I don't actually care which format wins as I have the dual format drive from LG.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Capacity will win it

    30GB vs 50GB

    If you want to buy a complete TV series, it is far more consumer and enviromentally friendly to have it on one disc. HD-DVD couldn't fit an entire series of say, 24 or heroes so it becomes a 2 disc set. Plus Sony have already indicated that they will be able to push the format up to 200GB in the future. Add to that the cheap Blu-Ray players that are about to be released and it adds up to a HD-DVD killer. If Warner are looking at numbers, the fact that Blu-Ray is currently outselling HD-DVD 3:1 will be the clincher

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Why Warner Bros. will go HD DVD exclusive in the end

    "1) HD DVD is a consumer friendly format"

    Bluray discs outsell HD DVD 2:1.

    "2) HD DVD has finished specs and guaranteed compatibility with anything that possesses the HD DVD logo etc."

    Bluray discs outsell HD DVD 2:1.

    "3) HD DVD has sold the most SAL players in North America. No game system driving this format, just people that buy the players to watch Hi Def movies."

    Bluray discs outsell HD DVD 2:1.

    "4) Highest attach rate than any other Hi Def format out their today."

    Bluray discs outsell HD DVD 2:1.

    "5) HD DVD is at a price point for Mass Adoption."

    Bluray discs outsell HD DVD 2:1.

    Really, they don't care about your marketing bullet points, all they care about is how many movies they will sell and at what price. It's not worthwhile chasing a niche format that's already gone into the budget bin at Walmart. Whose going to pay for a premium movie box set for a budget disc player! Whose going to sell half as many copies as at a lower price as a business choice?

    So this could go one of two ways, Warner undermine Paramount and opt for Bluray, HD DVD dies quicker and Paramount and Dreamworks are stuck with an 18 month death sentence tied to the dying format. Ha ha!


    Microsoft coughs up another $100 milliion (perhaps more is needed now that HD discs are selling) to 'convince' them to find HD DVD attractive for another 18 months.

  22. Dave


    "Other than the PS3 - who else is downloading firmware to update purchased hardware presently?"

    Other than PS3, who needs to?!

  23. Duncan Hothersall
    Thumb Down

    Don't know if I'm a typical consumer

    but despite having invested in an HD TV this year (simply because we wanted to move to a flat screen that could hook up to a PC) I have absolutely no intention of buying an HD disk player. DVDs look and sound great to me, the films currently available on HD formats are uninspiring, and my cable box allows me to watch on demand for a fraction of the price.

    The shift from VHS tape to DVD video was worth making for speed, convenience and quality improvements; the move to an HD disk is simply not attractive enough for me.

  24. Alex
    Paris Hilton

    @ nt300

    Firstly mate - get your facts right, and then give your source (BTW, having the same post on a Geocities site doesn't really prove anything.. This might stop people pulling your facts apart. Unfortunately, alot of your facts seem to stem from HD-DVD forums, although not everything you are saying can that be said about. Not having a go, just mentioning the 'facts'.

    One thing is a fact is that you do not like Sony - fair point if you were stuck with hardware that failed. But remember that this isn't just Sony pushing out BR. There are quite a few fair share partners in the listings. Sony is getting most of the flaming due to it putting the drive in the PS3. Microsoft makes you pay extra just for the privilage.

    Another thing to mention is this "Sony is making a loss on selling PS3s.." not for some time now as the cost of building them has been eased somewhat by numerous versions and the sale of the Cell Chip design to other corps.

    Personally, and I am being truthful here, I'm not really fussed either way: I have a PS3, and an Elite 360 with an add on drive. I personally buy more BR because I find them cheaper to buy than HD-DVD (must be a UK thing i suppose). most of mates who have a PS3 have bought at least 5 BRs each (apart from 3 who still buy DVDs because they have normal CRTs). I seem to be the only person I know that has any type of HD-DVD playability (again, it might be a UK thing..), and ALL of my mates have 360s due to the sheer number of games. They just couldn't be ar$ed buying the extra drive..

    Either way, if the PS3 ... um, sorry BR wins, I'm happy - But I will have a door stop (HD-DVD drive for 360). If HD-DVD wins, I'm happy, as BR will still be used for games and I have a HD-DVD drive to play m'discs on. MoFo! :oD

    I still want Paris and a vat of honey for Xmas... ;o)

  25. Chris

    @ Tim

    I'm a Sony fan as well. I'm typing on my Vaio and my Walkman in the bag is playing sweet songs into my ears. I've come to an understanding with Sony now that, while paying a bigger price tag, I'll get what I pay for and I'll enjoy it and the styling.

    For some reason I can't stand the PS3, and for this associated reason I don't like Blu. (Or BR or BD or which ever acronym we're going to use!) Currently Blu is a format being propped by an expensive game system.

    As for updates, my LG TV updated it's firmware last night, without network connections or anything....

    Remember : The best format technically doesn't always win the race.

  26. Scott Mckenzie


    Why do people keep going on about the "alledged $150M" given that many senior execs of all parties concerned have stated this was a lie started by a blogger how is it still relevant.. sure there are elements of doubt about it, but given that why is it deemed valid and acceptable to mention it EVERY SINGLE TIME SOMEONE MENTIONS HD DVD!


    And Imaballa, depends what you mean about content.. if just films then i agree, but as for content on the discs, HD DVD really does win here with online content etc....

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Which one has been cracked?

    I've never understood this.

    As far as I know, HD-DVD copy protection has been broken (I've got some 1080 films that I "found" on the internet), but Blu-Ray hasn't.

    So why isn't everyone jumping ship to Blu-Ray and abandoning HD-DVD?

    Or has BD been cracked too?

    Or is copy protection not that big a deal and it's just used to piss regular people off?

  28. Chris Cook

    Cue the next 20 years...

    ... of people saying $losing_format was technically better (because they brought it and feel short changed, not that it actually was significantly better).

    As for me, Ill wait until I have a HD TV, and people have made their minds up.

  29. Chris Beach

    Capacity WONT win it

    To those that cling on to the fact the bluray has the higher capacity, means its better and will therefore are overlooking a major point: 2 is better than 1. i.e. marketteers everywhere know that 2 disc editions will sell more than 1 disc, even when the 1 disc contains all of the 2 disc!

    2discs also mean that the 'extras' disc can be universal language, and only the feature disc needs the extra subtitles etc, which means cheaper production costs.

    Are there any movies that even use the full capacity of bluray?

    I'm still surprised that there are any bluray fans left after all of this profile pissing about. A fanboy would go through 3 players before we get to profile 1.2 which we think is final version! PS3 is by far the only bluray player worthgetting...pity its odd shape and nonstandard formfactor make it useless for home cinema nuts with their av cabinets!

    Just get the samsung dually!

  30. TeeCee Gold badge
    Thumb Up


    ...and thus is a Great Truth grasped firmly by the tail.

    The troops in the trenches fighting the format wars may not wish to hear it though.....

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Duncan Hothersall

    I never had any intention of buying a HD TV when I bought a PS3 a few weeks ago. Yet when I connected the PS3 to my 28" widescreen TV it was so blurry I couldnt see the detail.

    Purchased a 42" flat screen, and was stunned by the picture produced by the PS3. Rented a Blu-Ray disc just to see what it was like and was again blown away by the clarity and depth of the picture with full DTS surround sound.

    Now switching back to standard DVD and the pictures look muddy and not DTS. Go to Blu-Ray and they are so clear you can see the actors pores of their skin (good/bad you decide ;)

    So I didnt believe the HD hype, but then I tried it!

    I hope Blu-Ray wins, but then I'm not overly bothered as I foremost bought the PS3 to play games on and stream my movies, photos and music, I see Blu-Ray as an included freebie (will sort of :)

  32. Chris

    @ anonymous coward

    1/ blu-ray is only outselling hd-dvd 2:1 in the USA, in europe it's 3:1 in asia/pacific it's closer to 10:1.

    2/ dito


    well you get my drift don't yah?

    as for nt300 who obviously doesn't know what he is talking about...

    1/ consumer friendly, so no drm? right, no drm means easily pirated sold and movie ompanies have to bump up prices to cover this cost, hmm, consumer friendly???? maybe you could explain that one.

    2/ hd-dvd has finished specs.... well, what about the triple layer discs which are required to hold the films properly, instead of the current disc which have to use extra compression at the cost of fim quality? oh, didn't they tell you all those old hd-dvd players won't be able to play triple layer discs, all those $99 dollar ones which were sold... and many more. i suppose at least any final specs of the blu-ray standard will need a software update to all players won't it, but at least it's not a completely new player LOL.

    3/ yep, hd-dvd has sold more stand alone players, because we can't count the ps3 (i have one of those ps3 thingys and i have over 20 blu-ray movies!). but then why not reference my figures above, 2:1 in the us, 3:1 in europe/africa and nearly 10:1 in asia/pacific, that's blu-ray discs outselling hd-dvd figures that is. oh did i hear somehwre that blockbusters in the us dropped hd-dvd due to lack of interest, did you also hear the same happened in Australia and Ireland, and probably even more countries than that? so what is everyone who has a hd-dvd player doing with it? we can't count the ps3 as a blu-ray player so we are told by the hd-dvd camp, so surely that actaully means that per player blu-ray buyers must be purchasing an awful lot of movies in comparison to hd-dvd buyers. Is there something wrong with HD-dvd which has stopped people from buying the movies LOL?

    4/ think my comments in 3 cover this one, if we can't count the ps3 which you keep telling us we can't, then the attach rate is actually outstandingly big in favour of the blu-ray players. oh wait, for this figure we can count the ps3 can we? well make your mind up will you please.

    5/ hd-dvd is at a price point for the masses or whatever it is you said. hmmm, maybe you actually have a valid point here, well 1 out of 5 isn't too bad is it? but hold on... if everything we have covered is true then how come, if the price point is so much better for hd-dvd, do we have a situation where blu-ray disc are outselling hd-dvd by such a vast figure? could it be.... mmmmm, well maybe.... nah, surely it couldn't be that poeple actually find it cheaper to buy blu-ray movies than hd-dvd? surely not. Maybe the fact is that at this early stage, many of the people who have jumped into the hd movie era have looked into the facts and not just the price and realised which format is the better? Maybe the price doesn't really become an issue to many of us early adopters, why should it when three years down the line high def movies will cost the same as dvds do currently. if cost was an issue we would hold back until the cost drops. as cost is not an issue the vast majority of people are choosing the better format. stands to reason in my mind.

    Please note that except for the facts and figures, the rest is my opinion. Yes i believe blu-ray is the better format, i'm sure there are plenty out there who don't agree. I wonder which paramount would have prefered if money did not come into the equasion? still if hd-dvd payed me $150m i think my previous comments would be vastly different. (for a small sum i can retract all comments previously made, other wise you know where to stick your hd-dvd don't you)!

  33. Andy Taylor

    I'm with Duncan Hothersall on this one

    I too have no intention of buying either HD format in the foreseeable future. The problem with HD is that it's not a significant enough leap compared with (S)VHS to DVD.

    @Chris Cook - Betamax was technically better than VHS and the pro quality version Betacam became an industry standard. It is well documented that one of the main reasons for the dominance of VHS was a longer recording time.

  34. Chris

    loads more posts to comment about

    @Chris Beach, if capacity on 1 disc is too low, then yes it does matter as compression has to be higher, and quality then becomes affected.

    @Chris Cook, i got my ps3 for games, not movies. When i discovered just how good the movies are, i purchased some movies (about 20 titles in all currently). In 10 years time the ps3 will still be about to play my movies on. In 20 years time you probably won't be able to buy a HD player of any type as some other format will be taking hold, let's face it DVD hasn't even been about that long yet. It's only 30 odd years since the betamax/vhs fiasco and we are now three generations on (betamax/vhs, dvd, Blu-Ray/HD-DVD just for clarification for those who wish to be picky).

    @Scott McKenzie, well, yes of course they would say that wouldn't they. Nah, i didn't need to be payed $150m to back this product exclusively for the next 18 months. That money was purely paid by Toshiba so they could use Shrek in advertising, nothing to do with us backing HD-DVD. The whole story was made up by some internet blogger, honest. Hold on, so were they paid $150m or not? did they just give the rights for the use of shrek in advertising away for free? did those rights being passed over lie in a similar time line to them announcing exclusive hd-dvd content for the next 18 months? You can happily believe what you wish to, i will personally believe that money did exchange hands, after all it is a free world, well unless you want to give me loads of cash to change my mind LOL

  35. ben

    No Chance

  36. Anonymous Coward

    VHS vs Betamax

    'It is well documented that one of the main reasons for the dominance of VHS was a longer recording time.'

    So from prior experience, we can tell Blu-ray is the winner already due to much longer recording times, even ignoring all the other facts such as disk sales

  37. Alistair MacRae

    Don't let Sony win they're up to something!

    You mustn't buy Blu-ray!

    Sony has been trying to get its own format out for years. It started with the Betamax, and then there was the mini disk then the UMD and now Blu-ray.

    They're trying too hard...


    Don’t be so daft who ever said you can’t include sales of 360 HD-DVD add-on players if you're not including PS3s

    The people who buy the HD-DVD add on only did it to play movies as that’s all it can be used for (unless blu-ray wins then its an expensive paperweight :S). They aren’t going to buy one for any other reason other than to watch movies. PS3 on the other hand you buy it for games you get a blu-ray player regardless of if you want one.

    Not forgetting HD-DVD drives don’t need the 360 to run. Windows Vista and (unofficially) Windows XP support the use of the add-on.

    In the end how much space (GB) do you really need. If both can fit an HD movie I don’t mind.

    This format war is probably going to be the last format war at least on the medium used. I think its a shame to have it all as just data though. There’s something nice about looking at your shelf of dvds/ whatever for something to watch.

    I guess it’s just going to go away as we move from generation to another.

    What ever happened to those Hyper-fluorescent CDs they were supposed to hold 1 TB (1024 Gig) of stuff?

  38. Tim



    1. HD DVD has 51gb triple layer now (compatible with existing players). Capacity point is irrelevant.

    2. HD DVD releases where the equivalent Blu-Ray actually uses a 50GB disc (half of BD releases only uses 25GB!!!), get released on 2x 30GB discs. Total capacity... 60gb!

    3. Both Blu-Ray and HD DVD releases are using the same encodings in general. Extra space on Blu-Ray is only usually used for uncompressed lossless PCM because BD doesn't mandate Dolby TrueHD (compressed lossless). Both formats are to all intents and purposes identical therefore when it comes to capacity (and that's ignoring point 1 which nails the argument in the coffin).


    Piracy is a concern to studios, but all DRM measures are ultimately going to be cracked.

    However, BD contains an extra feature which disables Mandatory Managed Copy. MMC is the right for the *legit* purchaser to make managed copies, and more importantly stream over networks, which is the only way networked media centers can work. Funny enough MS is dependent on this, hence why MMC is Mandatory on HD DVD which MS support.

    2:1, 3:1, 10:1

    a. Figures are exaggerated and no one actually knows the truth except the studios. Most figures come from Nielsen in the US (US only and excludes many retailers including Wal-Mart), and outside the US they come from pro-Blu sources only, not retail figures.

    b. Sales are so tiny that these figures are not what would attract a studio. They have to look long term, and player sales and demographics are important here. In the case of the latter this is the key problem with the PS3. PS3's demographic is 12-30 males. Big problem if you want to sell to a mass market.

    Player sales

    @ the person who said Blu-Ray standalones were selling the same as HD DVD.... LOL!

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    1) I thought the triple layer was not necessarily compatible with older players - as in, they hadn't confirmed it yet. Which begs the question, if it will be compatible, why haven't they confirmed it? Seems like something you'd want to do soon as, not to put off potential buyers while they wait for a guaranteed compatible player.

    2) I don't get it. So you have to swap discs halfway through a film?

    3) Unfortunately, like the endless PS3 vs 360 arguments, if you're releasing something cross-platform, you have inherently got to design for the lowest common denominator, which in the general case for movies means making a movie fit inside the space and bandwidth requirements of HD-DVD, even on blu-ray (the alternative is master twice to gain the benefits of the extra space and bandwidth on blu-ray, at increased cost). Feel free to hypothesise on a future 51Gb HD-DVD while the blu-ray fraternity hypothesise on 200Gb discs. Right now in the real world it's 30Gb/36.55Mbits/s HD-DVD vs 50Gb/53.95Mbits/s blu-ray .


    I'll bear that in mind next time I choose not to put a disc in the player under the TV and instead boot my PC in the next room, put the disc in, set up a streaming server, buy some kind of streaming client at the other end and plug that into my TV. Only for Windows to decide to update itself and the picture to drop out. I have to wonder when all the tinfoil hat brigade harp on about DRM, how many of them actually do this? I can't understand backing up your entire movie collection, when on the off chance that you break a disc you could just go and buy it again... no? Cheaper in both money, time and effort in the long run.

    On the 2/3/10:1 thing

    It's a bit of a stretch to say that all the figures come from pro-blu-ray sources. Surely there are some pro-HD-DVD sources? Regardless of the endless spin and conjecture, all the reports seem to suggest a blu-ray lead of a certain factor. In fact I don't think I've ever seen a report on HD-DVD leading blu-ray by any multiple. So whatever you or I think of the figures, it does seem to suggest a general acceptance that blu-ray is outselling HD-DVD by a certain, unknown but substantial factor.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And the arguments roll on...

    I bought a PS3 for games (and because it is shiny).


    The number of HD-DVD discs I might or might not buy is exactly 0.

    The number of Blu-Ray discs I might or might not buy is between 0 and shedloads.

    Sony were sharp sticking Blu-Ray in the PS3...

  41. Anonymous Coward

    @Anonymous Coward

    I see you are in a good mood today.

    If you actually took the time to get your own facts straight before claiming that I did not have my fact straight, then maybe I would read your comment next time. Until then, learn to read the article, and the comments entirely before claiming my comment was a diatribe.

    If you read my comments, I just said that I think it was unwise of Tim to discredit the 2 Business Week journalists, just because they apparently have a history of writing articles that HD-DVD fans dislike. I did not mention the Tony Smith from El Reg, so maybe it is YOU that need to learn how to read...

  42. Chris McFaul

    anonymous coward

    i missed if someone answered your specific question, but the latest release of AnyDVD shreds both blu-ray and HD-DVD encrytion AND the newer BD+ on new Blu-Ray discs.

    personally im pro-blu-ray, mainly because both my laptop and desktop can burn to the 50GB discs which is very very useful for backup!

    however - one point to note for people claiming superior picture and sound is that sadly, because actually encoding a movie is a very skilled job (and a bit of a black art) very often studios (well.. just one studio now...) will simply use the same encode on both discs, so the "extra space " on the blu-ray is going to waste (sony are trying / offering help to studios to get them to encode movies at higher bitrates, but of course that doenst always yield noticably better results).

    i have about 50 movies in HD, 10 on HD-DVD, 40 on Blu-Ray

  43. F Seiler
    Thumb Up

    re Chris McFaul

    "i missed if someone answered your specific question, but the latest release of AnyDVD shreds both blu-ray and HD-DVD encrytion AND the newer BD+ on new Blu-Ray discs."

    Oh about the only good news on BD/HD-DVD since like forever (iirc the last one was that subtitles no longer max out at 3 colors).

    So now it's time for affordable data-mode recoding and i might actually start looking into buying this stuff.

  44. Paul Swindlehurst


    "Warner does not want the format war to continue they just want to produce in one HD format, right now Blu-ray has about 50% of all movies coming out in HD, if Warner switches to HD-DVD then that would make HD-DVD and Blu-Ray 50%-50% extending this format war even longer."

    Not sure on your maths there. If Blu-Ray currently has 50% of all movies in HD, then surely HD-DVD has the other 50% as they are the only other HD format. And if those maths are correct then (using your logic) Warner moving either way would take that format to 75%.

    Plus I think stating BR has 50% is not accurate anyway. Universal are, and have always been HD-DVD exclusive, and they are the biggest movie studio/producer and also have the biggest back catalogue. I suspect they would tip the balance if anyone bothered doing the proper figures on release counts/potential releases etc. Throw in Paramount as an exclusive studio, and thats some serious content potential.

    And before anyone screams FANBOY, I own both format's and genuinely don't believe there will be a wiiner. I just hope if there is it's HD-DVD for one reason only REGION CODING, or lack of it. The only studio that really wants it is fox, and someone should really tell them to fuck off.

  45. Highlander


    HD-DVD does include provision for region coding, it's just not used yet. If you think that it will never get turned on, then you also believe in Santa, the Easter Bunny and that the image control token will never ever be used.

    As for Fox, if they are all so fire keen about region coding, thne it would seem that BluRay would be the obvious choice for them.

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