Warner Bros. announces this week that starting in May they will discontinue the release of HD DVDs and opt to go exclusively with Blu Ray technology to release titles in High Definition.
To the average consumer, this isn’t that big of a deal. Of course, the average consumer hasn’t had all that much time to truly choose the format he wants to go with when it comes to high definition. In fact, in my area most people are still trying to figure out whether to go plasma or LCD. Don’t even bring up DLP technology, it will just confuse everybody.
I have a real problem with studios choosing to definitively go one way or the other. Especially Warner Bros. Why?
In the broad scope of things, I think that consumers should be given the chance to choose for themselves which technology they like better.
On a more narrow scope, the fact is that Warner Bros. has it’s hand on so much of the entertaiment we enjoy that even with studios like Paramount choosing to go exclusively HD DVD, the pressure is going to be on studios to go ahead and go with Blu Ray.
If you asked me honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if money or kickbacks were changing hands somewhere even though it is denied by the corporations. (I have just enough of a conspiracy theorist in me to not believe that at all though.)
So what does all of this mean for the geek? Well, if you’ve bought an HD DVD player, get whatever WB titles you want on HD DVD before May. Don’t expect this year’s big WB hits to be on HD DVD. So that means don’t expect to set an HD DVD version of THE DARK KNIGHT next to BATMAN BEGINS on your DVD shelf. In fact, you may want to start saving up for a Blu Ray player if for no other reason than it seems that Blu Ray may win this format war.
If, like me, you’ve held out to see what’s gonna win out in the end, hang in there and let’s see. The minute we go Blu Ray, though, there will probably be something else come out.
Ultimately, I understand studios choosing exclusivity one way or the other. It makes little financial sense to put out three different formats of something only to lose money when one format goes under. It is sad though that the consumer once again has to be strung along by the big corporations.
Howver, in an effort to not be negative, High Def is cool. Kudos to all of the big studios for seeing the need to take video releases to next level yet again.
Now, if they will just come off the 4 cents for the writers….