HD DVD Shoots and Scores
8/20/2007 4:00 PM
Its getting to the point where you need a scorecard to keep up with which blue laser format is winning the format war.
Yesterdays news that Paramount (part of Viacom) and Dreamworks
Animation would exclusively back the HD DVD format for the release of
high-definition movies on disc, gave that format a shot in the arm
after a June announcement
by Blockbuster that it would only buy only HD DVDs rival, Blu-ray
Disc, for its stores and mail-order business, going forward, and Target
decided to stock only Blu-ray players.
Until now, Paramount has released titles in both HD DVD and Blu-ray. DreamWorks Animation has not released a movie in either.
Last week, the Walt Disney Company said it would release Sleeping
Beauty on Blu-ray, but now movies like Transformers and Shrek the
Third will find their way to HD DVD.
Rumor has it that the deal comes after a Paramount and DreamWorks
Animation together received about $150 million in financial incentives
for their commitment to HD DVD. The incentives, according to the New
York Times, will come in a combination of cash and promotional
guarantees. Toshiba, for instance, will use the release of Shrek the
Third as part of an HD DVD marketing campaign. Paramount, however, was
quoted as saying that the key factor was not money, but HD DVDs lower
cost to consumers.
Again, according to the Times, the agreement is for only 18 months, so
nothing is written in stone. And Paramount noted that no films by
Steven Spielberg were included in the deal, because his films are not
exclusive to either format.
Again, I ask, Do consumers really care? Will they choose a side or
continue to download HD movies from their cable providers and/or
continue to watch their upconverted DVDs thinking that THAT is
high-definition? I love how both formats look when someone else is
running the demo. Im just not ready to commit to either one.