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Blockbuster backs Blu-Ray

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Blockbuster backs Blu-Ray

Old 06-17-07, 04:46 PM
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Blockbuster backs Blu-Ray

http://www.elpasotimes.com/entertainment/ci_6164939
Old 06-17-07, 05:18 PM
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Here is the article for lazy folks :

AP Exclusive:
Blockbuster to favor Blu-ray HD discs over DVD format
By Gary Gentile / AP Business Writer
Article Launched: 06/17/2007 02:40:24 PM MDT

LOS ANGELES - Blockbuster Inc. will rent high-definition DVDs only in the Blu-ray format in 1,450 stores when it expands its high-def offerings next month, dealing a major blow to the rival HD DVD format.
The move, being announced Monday, could be the first step in resolving a format war that has kept confused consumers from rushing to buy new DVD players until they can determine which format will dominate the market.

Blockbuster has been renting both Blu-ray and HD DVD titles in 250 stores since late last year and found that consumers were choosing Blu-ray titles more than 70 percent of the time.

"The consumers are sending us a message. I can't ignore what I'm seeing," Matthew Smith, senior vice president of merchandising at Blockbuster, told The Associated Press.

Blockbuster will continue to rent HD DVD titles in the original 250 locations and online, the Dallas-based company said.

The decision was helped in large part by the lopsided availability of titles in Blu-ray, Smith said. All major studios except one

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are releasing films in Blu-ray, with several, including The Walt Disney Co., releasing exclusively in Blu-ray. Only Universal Studios, which is owned by General Electric Co., exclusively supports HD DVD.
Warner Bros., a unit of Time Warner Inc., and Paramount Pictures, which is owned by Viacom Inc., release films in both formats.

"When you walk into a store and see all this product available in Blu-ray and there is less available on HD DVD, I think the consumer gets that," Smith said.

The rollout of Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3 game console, which comes standard with a Blu-ray drive, also helped give the format momentum, Smith said.

Blockbuster's decision, while significant on it's own, could boost Blu-ray even more if other retailers follow suit.

"It will help shift the balance toward Blu-ray, clearly," said Richard Doherty, president of The Envisioneering Group, a research company.

The North American HD DVD Promotional Group said Blockbuster's decision was shortsighted and skewed by the success of films released by Blu-ray studios in the first three months of the year. The group said HD DVD has since gained momentum, selling more players and popular titles such as "The 40-Year Old Virgin" and "The Matrix" trilogy.

"I think trying to make a format decision using such a short time period is really not measuring what the consumer is saying," said Ken Graffeo, co-president of the group.

The two formats have been battling it out since they both hit the market last year. Studios hope the high-definition discs, with their sharper picture and more room for interactive special features and games, will replace standard definition DVDs.

The formats are incompatible and neither will play on standard DVD players, although standard DVDs can be viewed with either a Blu-ray or HD DVD player.

The Blu-ray camp has been helped by the release of such huge hits as "Casino Royale," ''Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Spider-Man" coming out exclusively in its format.

As the battle has unfolded, the price of the high-definition players needed to show the movies has plummeted. Toshiba Corp., the major supporter of HD DVD, is selling its player for $299 with a rebate, down from $499 when it first went on sale.

Sony, which is pushing Blu-ray, recently slashed the price of its player by more than half to $499. The player retailed for $1,000 when it first was introduced.



I think this is huge news in the format war. I know most of us online geeks don't step foot in Blockbusters, but for the average joe to go into blockbuster and only have a choice of Blu Ray, this might be the begining of the end. It will be interesting to see how this is "spun" so that it is really no big deal because in December you'll be able to buy a $20.00 HD DVD player...
Old 06-17-07, 05:25 PM
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It is also funny that the HD DVD group keeps pointing to the first 3 months when Universal was not releasing many titles as to the reason why Blu Ray is so far ahead. If you look at the sales numbers for the entire year so far, they really have not changed much with BD taking between 58 and 70 % of disc sales each week.
Old 06-17-07, 05:37 PM
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So now for the big question...who uses Blockbuster anymore?

Also, what's wrong with offering both formats? Typical of Blockbuster to limit consumer choice.
Old 06-17-07, 05:42 PM
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Interesting to see signs of the future. I'll need more than this though to make my decision. I have to admit though that I am very happy with the PS3 as a player and would definitely consider converting my collection to Blu-ray if the signs are there for a real BD victory. I'm getting weary of this war and may just finally jump to a side and say goodbye to it.

However, I will also add that I used Blockbuster for awhile for HD rentals, but stopped renting HD DVDs, because they stopped adding new movies months ago. They continue to stock the new Blu-ray movies, but haven't added a new HD DVD release since February or March. Hard for HD DVD to compete when you stop stocking new movies.
Old 06-17-07, 05:48 PM
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The reason why more people are renting Blu-ray at Blockbuster is because more New Releases have come out on Blu-ray than HD-DVD. It's simple really. Most people who go to rent videos aren't going to re-rent a movie they've already seen before.
Now us who BUY our favorite movies aren't taking that into account when we choose a format.
I have both HD-DVD and Blu-ray players by-the-way.
Old 06-17-07, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Suprmallet
So now for the big question...who uses Blockbuster anymore?

Also, what's wrong with offering both formats? Typical of Blockbuster to limit consumer choice.
I agree on both counts.
Old 06-17-07, 05:58 PM
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Well duh...Blockbuster has a blue logo while HD-DVD has a red logo. Who does Blockbuster hate? Net Flix! And what color is Net Flix's logo?
Old 06-17-07, 06:01 PM
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One reason this actually makes sense is the hard coating on BDs, since they should be to sell a higher percentage of used discs.

I do agree about it being affected by more and bigger new releases. Really, what is the biggest new release exclusive HD DVD has had in the past several months? The Break-Up? Meanwhile, BD has had Casino Royale and The Prestige, and others.
Old 06-17-07, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Dean Kousoulas
Well duh...Blockbuster has a blue logo while HD-DVD has a red logo. Who does Blockbuster hate? Net Flix! And what color is Net Flix's logo?
LOL!

I'm glad Blockbuster is choosing Blu-ray. That should help speed up a resolution to this format war and all of the bickering that goes along with it.
Old 06-17-07, 06:22 PM
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Sucks for HD DVD, but at least BBV is expanding their HD coverage from 250 to 1450 stores... that's a good thing.
Old 06-17-07, 06:28 PM
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So where can I buy Spiderman on Blu-Ray? According to the article it has been released.....
Old 06-17-07, 06:38 PM
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Ha! Nice catch.
Old 06-17-07, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Nevi
LOL!

I'm glad Blockbuster is choosing Blu-ray. That should help speed up a resolution to this format war and all of the bickering that goes along with it.
I doubt it. Blockbuster is hardly the powerhouse it was in the past. Besides, Blockbuster online will still carry HD-DVD, right?
Old 06-17-07, 06:52 PM
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All those in favor of a "Blockbuster Ban"....
Old 06-17-07, 06:59 PM
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Even if average Joe still gets his movies at Blockbuster, how many of them have a Blu-ray player. Unless they all have PS3's.
Old 06-17-07, 07:01 PM
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So they back blu-ray but continue to rent HD-DVD. Doesn't make much sense.
Old 06-17-07, 07:24 PM
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So my local stores have HD DVD right now, they will be pulled off the shelves?
Old 06-17-07, 07:28 PM
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Well, I can't see this as good news for the HD-DVD format. At best, it's neutral, but I'm confident that once J6P figures out that only BluRay is available at their local Blockbuster, the market for HD-DVD players will take a hit. A fatal one? Dunno.

But even if it is, I'm having a hard time figuring what a true "worst case" scenario for consumers who've bought into whichever format loses this war might be. The HD-DVD and BluRay players all work and crank out beautiful 1080i/p signals and the already-pressed DVDs will always work in their respective players. And if even one of the formats lost ALL support suddenly, DVDs in that format will plummet in value while increased production/competition in the hardware arena for the winning format will drive prices down.

I took the plunge 3 weeks ago and have a Toshiba HD-A2 player. I've got 3 standalone titles, the Matrix 5-d box, 5 free titles coming on rebate, and a half dozen more on order. If HD-DVD goes the way of Betamax and the Sega Dreamcast, I'll still be able to watch the Matrix or Dune or Serenity or anything else I have, other titles will be available for a song about a year down the road, and my eventual BluRay player will cost me $199 or less a year after that. And my HD-DVD titles will eventually be relreleased on BD.

I hope the HD-DVD format hangs around for a long time, and I hope that Blockbuster's desicion isn't a nail in the coffin. But if it doesn't, and it is, I'll still be okay... as will most of the consumers on the HD-DVD side of the fence.

Last edited by kenbuzz; 06-17-07 at 07:30 PM.
Old 06-17-07, 08:19 PM
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I just hope the format war is resolved soon. IMO, that is the only thing that might make hi def dvds mainstream. Until that time, it will be a niche market and still more expensive than sd dvds.
Old 06-17-07, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by kenbuzz
Well, I can't see this as good news for the HD-DVD format. At best, it's neutral, but I'm confident that once J6P figures out that only BluRay is available at their local Blockbuster, the market for HD-DVD players will take a hit. A fatal one? Dunno.
But as BB will still rent BD and HD-DVD, JP6 will see both at their local BB.
Old 06-17-07, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Josh
But as BB will still rent BD and HD-DVD, JP6 will see both at their local BB.

That is the point. Blockbuster won't be renting both in the vast majority of stores, only Blu Ray. The article says that 1450 stores will rent BD exclusively and only the 250 current stores currently renting both will have HD DVD. If you live near one of those stores, great, but the vast majority of the United States does not.
Old 06-17-07, 08:39 PM
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I buy Blu-rays for my PS3, but I cannot imagine Blockbuster having any kind of impact on a format war. As I recall, they were rather late to the DVD format (claiming that DVDs would scratch with repeated viewings, unlike tape) and did not support widescreen prints over pan-and-scan.
Maybe Netflix will respond by becoming exclusive HD-DVD?
Old 06-17-07, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Suprmallet
So now for the big question...who uses Blockbuster anymore?

Maybe once..possibly twice a year for me.
Old 06-17-07, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by cajun_junky
I just hope the format war is resolved soon. IMO, that is the only thing that might make hi def dvds mainstream. Until that time, it will be a niche market and still more expensive than sd dvds.
That, and a sudden craving by a majority of people for a more refined a/v experience.
Of course, that craving would have to be strong enough to trump the inconvienence of having to learn new acronyms and invest in new gear when what they have seems to still work just fine.

but yeah, I agree- the format war is the only thing holding back the flood waters of mass adoption.

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