Hybrid Blu-Ray/HD Disc Could Sway DVD Wars

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Date: Thursday, January 4th, 2007, 08:26
Category: News

Conscious of the fact that the HD DVD and Blu-Ray DVD wars are now in full swing, Warner Brothers plans to formally introduce a new disc capable of playing both formats according to article in today’s New York Times.
The new disc, called the Total HD disc, will premier at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show on Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Since last year, the Blu-Ray format, backed by Sony and others, has gone head to head with the HD-DVD format, backed by Microsoft and Toshiba. While the two formats offer a slew of new features, executives cited in the article mention a hesitancy to adopt to a single standard – a conflict reminiscent of the Beta/VHS conflict of the 1980′s.
As a result, studios have chosen sides and are releasing movies in either format. For example, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 20th Century Fox and Walt Disney Pictures are releasing current works in Blu-Ray DVD format while Universal Studios, Warner Brothers and Paramount are releasing only in HD-DVD, the decision depending on which companies own which firm and which format they’ve sided with.
A crossover or hybrid solution may be more popular than initially anticipated. Electronics makers such as LG Electronics and other tech firms are expected to announce new DVD players with drives for both the Blu-Ray and HD-DVD format at CES. The players are expected to initially be more expensive than single-format players but solve the problem of which standard to adopt.
Time Warner president Jeffrey L. Bewkes commented that Warner’s Total HD disc has a better chance of catching on than dual-format players and that consumers were willing to pay more for a higher quality, as proven by the studio’s “Superman Returns” selling for $19.99 in standard DVD format at Best Buy as well as $29.99 in Blu-Ray format and $34.99 in HD-DVD format.
Everything else is speculation until next Tuesday, but if the formats could be bridged either by a hybrid disc or DVD player, I’d add it to my shopping list.
If you’ve heard anything about this or have ideas or comments, let us know.


Conscious of the fact that the HD DVD and Blu-Ray DVD wars are now in full swing, Warner Brothers plans to formally introduce a new disc capable of playing both formats according to article in today’s New York Times.
The new disc, called the Total HD disc, will premier at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show on Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Since last year, the Blu-Ray format, backed by Sony and others, has gone head to head with the HD-DVD format, backed by Microsoft and Toshiba. While the two formats offer a slew of new features, executives cited in the article mention a hesitancy to adopt to a single standard – a conflict reminiscent of the Beta/VHS conflict of the 1980′s.
As a result, studios have chosen sides and are releasing movies in either format. For example, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 20th Century Fox and Walt Disney Pictures are releasing current works in Blu-Ray DVD format while Universal Studios, Warner Brothers and Paramount are releasing only in HD-DVD, the decision depending on which companies own which firm and which format they’ve sided with.
A crossover or hybrid solution may be more popular than initially anticipated. Electronics makers such as LG Electronics and other tech firms are expected to announce new DVD players with drives for both the Blu-Ray and HD-DVD format at CES. The players are expected to initially be more expensive than single-format players but solve the problem of which standard to adopt.
Time Warner president Jeffrey L. Bewkes commented that Warner’s Total HD disc has a better chance of catching on than dual-format players and that consumers were willing to pay more for a higher quality, as proven by the studio’s “Superman Returns” selling for $19.99 in standard DVD format at Best Buy as well as $29.99 in Blu-Ray format and $34.99 in HD-DVD format.
Everything else is speculation until next Tuesday, but if the formats could be bridged either by a hybrid disc or DVD player, I’d add it to my shopping list.
If you’ve heard anything about this or have ideas or comments, let us know.

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