Another Warner going HD DVD exclusive rumor - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 09-10-2007, 12:09 PM
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Default Another Warner going HD DVD exclusive rumor

Just another rumor but it seemed smackdown worthy.

http://www.newsday.com/business/la-f...ge=1&track=rss

Raging in the backrooms of Hollywood this summer has been a battle that will play out in the aisles of Wal-Mart and Target.

Until recently, it had appeared that the two camps vying to set the standard for next-generation DVDs would settle the score this holiday season.

But last-ditch maneuvering in recent weeks has all but assured that the format war will extend well beyond December, keeping many home-movie buffs from laying their money down until a winner is declared.

It's no wonder that neither rival -- Asian consumer electronics giants Sony Corp. or Toshiba Corp. -- can bear to give in. Licensing fees on equipment that could be worth $10 billion or more over time are up for grabs.

At the moment, Sony's Blu-ray discs have the edge, with a 2-to-1 advantage since January, thanks to support from Walt Disney Co. and News Corp.'s 20th Century Fox, as well as the sale of 1.6 million Sony PlayStation 3 game consoles that play films in the new high-definition format.

But in an attempt to swing momentum in its favor, Toshiba has struck a flurry of deals aimed at winning studio allegiances and securing prized retail space for its HD DVDs.

Toshiba recently paid a collective $150 million to Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Animation in a bid to buy their support, according to people with knowledge of the terms of the transactions.

Toshiba spokesman Keisuke Ohmori declined to comment on possible marketing payments, but said the two studios had picked HD DVD on the merits, as "the optimum platform" for consumers and film distributors.

Toshiba's expanded partnership, which had already included Universal Pictures, means that many of this summer's biggest movies, including "Transformers" and "Shrek the Third," will be released in video this fall in HD DVD.

The brinkmanship is intensifying. Another major studio, Warner Bros., is being courted by both camps and believed to be mulling over a lucrative offer that could bring such popular titles as "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" into the HD DVD camp, according to Hollywood insiders who requested anonymity because the talks were confidential.

"Any movement by one of the studios tilts the playing field in one direction or the other," said David Sanderson, head of the global media practice at consulting firm Bain & Co. "It's a bit of jump ball right now."

What's more, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the dominant seller of DVDs, has been contemplating whether to boot stand-alone HD DVD players from its shelves in favor of Blu-ray. Wal-Mart executives would not talk about the company's conversations with suppliers, but said it would continue to carry hardware and software in both formats until consumers indicate a clear preference.

Nonetheless, they expressed frustration with the continued format race.

.......


Toshiba's internal market research showed that more consumers would buy HD DVD players if it could level the playing field in terms of the number of titles available in the format, according to people close to the situation. That prompted the courtship of Paramount and DreamWorks, whose "Shrek" title promises to give HD DVDs appeal with families.

.....

Warner Bros., however, could change the balance of power. The last major studio backing both formats, Warner has the leading market share in high-definition disc sales, giving it clout with retail chains.

Retailers also have contributed to the recent jockeying. Target Corp., the nation's second-largest retailer, announced in July that it would sell only Blu-ray players. Its decision followed a bidding war in which Sony and three studio partners reportedly paid Target what one rival described as a "jaw-dropping" sum for prominent display of its hardware at the end of sales aisles. It will continue to sell the HD DVD drive for Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360 game console and HD DVD movies.

........

In a recent meeting at Wal-Mart's headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., Toshiba offered details of its new, $299 player and, according to knowledgeable sources, pledged a large cooperative promotional budget to support HD DVD sales.

.......

Several analysts said $200 is widely seen as a "magic number" in consumer electronics. Toshiba's new HD DVD player -- a $299 device unveiled in early August -- may come close to that price, and Venture Electronics of Ontario, Canada, already has it beat. The company will offer a Chinese-made, $199 HD DVD player in the fourth quarter that analysts say could be the flint that ignites the mass market.
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Old 09-10-2007, 12:20 PM
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And thats why WB just announced all of the Blu-ray / HD DVD titles yesterday only to come back and say woops no Blu-ray. I don't think they would have. If a deal was on the table, the smart thing to do would be to hold off on announcing both Blu-ray & HD-DVD titles for a week or 2 until decision made. I don't buy it.
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Old 09-10-2007, 12:21 PM
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I suggest anyone interested should read the *entire* article. Not just the snippets that have been posted here.

For example, you would have missed:

Quote:
Andy Parsons, chairman of the Blu-ray Disc Assn. promotions committee, said it would be foolish for anyone to assume that makers of Blu-ray players won't attempt to compete with HD DVD on price. But he said hardware price alone won't drive adoption.
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Old 09-10-2007, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlangner View Post
And thats why WB just announced all of the Blu-ray / HD DVD titles yesterday only to come back and say woops no Blu-ray. I don't think they would have. If a deal was on the table, the smart thing to do would be to hold off on announcing both Blu-ray & HD-DVD titles for a week or 2 until decision made. I don't buy it.
Did that stop Paramount from axing the likely pressed Blades of Glory on BD a WEEK before it was supposed to hit store shelves?

I wish people would stop discrediting well-thought out arguments with logic that dismisses pages of good discourse with one silly statement that has already been disproven, anyway.
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Old 09-10-2007, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CouchPotato View Post
I suggest anyone interested should read the *entire* article. Not just the snippets that have been posted here.

For example, you would have missed:
And as proof to support that stance 3 expensive BD players were announced at Cedia, the time to make a splash with positive PR and CHEAP BD players.

But thats Sony, say one thing and do another...then hope the SDF make everyone else believe it by shouting it as loud as they can on messageboards.
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Old 09-10-2007, 12:25 PM
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Default Won't happen...better not.

Musical Chairs is bad. The only studio movement that should be acceptable is the move towards neutrality right now.

If another studio goes exclusive, either way, many potential buyers will balk in fear that things are in a disruptive stage.

If an studio goes neutral nothing changes content wise and price is the rule.

Disney...looking at you!

/Lionsgate...I hear you like purple coz blu didn't work so well for the bottom line.
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Old 09-10-2007, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volume 11 View Post
Did that stop Paramount from axing the likely pressed Blades of Glory on BD a WEEK before it was supposed to hit store shelves?

I wish people would stop discrediting well-thought out arguments with logic that dismisses pages of good discourse with one silly statement that has already been disproven, anyway.
The article stated Warner was being courted by both camps, so if an exclusivity move was forthcoming, it could swing either way.

In other words, you don't think the BDA would counter any enticing offer with their own?
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Old 09-10-2007, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volume 11 View Post
And as proof to support that stance 3 expensive BD players were announced at Cedia, the time to make a splash with positive PR and CHEAP BD players.

But thats Sony, say one thing and do another...then hope the SDF make everyone else believe it by shouting it as loud as they can on messageboards.
He's saying they CAN compete on price. Not that they ARE currently doing so.

By the way, Parsons works at Pioneer.
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Old 09-10-2007, 12:28 PM
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Hey, how come no one is slamming Newsday for reporting the $150m payout ... without named sources??
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Old 09-10-2007, 12:28 PM
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Volume 11, there is a huge difference between announcing 20 new Blu-ray titles and changing announcement one week later than axeing a title that was announced months before. Yes anything can be done, but it would be a stupid move to announce that many Blu-ray titles and 1 week later say nevermind. Just like the article mentions, gives credence to the Walmart exclusive Blu-ray rumor as well, but I don't buy that either...yet.
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