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.