Interesting article on Warner's stance... - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:29 AM
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Default Interesting article on Warner's stance...

MOD NOTE: THIS IS A LINK TO AN ARTICLE (fun information) FROM OCTOBER 5, 2005

Alot of changed, but it is interesting.
http://www.businessweek.com/technolo...6128_tc024.htm

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Warner Brothers is poised to raise the stakes in what has become a pitched battle over the next generation of digital videodisks, or DVDs. Warner Brothers is expected to throw its weight behind a new generation of high-definition DVDs sponsored by long-time rival Sony (SNE ), BusinessWeek Online has learned.

The new DVD, called Blu-ray, could eventually replace the standard DVD format that today accounts for an estimated $18 billion a year in U.S. sales and has been Hollywood's hottest growth engine for the last six years.


Endorsement by Warner Brothers -- a division of Time Warner (TWX ) -- would be a crucial vote of confidence in a new technology that has already drawn support from Walt Disney (DIS ) and Fox (NWS), both of which said they would release their movies only on Blu-ray disks. It could also undermine efforts by Toshiba to garner support for a rival next-generation disk, the so-called HD DVD.

CHOOSING SIDES. Last November, Warner along with Paramount, Universal and New Line Cinema, had said they would provide their movies to the HD DVD disks. For now, Warner would declare "nonexclusive" support for Blu-ray, meaning it could theoretically produce films in both formats.

Still, the support for Blu-ray would indicate Warner Brothers is no longer convinced Toshiba and HD is the only way to go, and it leaves open the prospect of exclusive backing for Blu-ray. Paramount on Oct. 2 said it would make its movies in both formats. Microsoft (MSFT ) and Intel (INTC ), meantime, have thrown their weight behind the Toshiba-led group backing HD DVD.

Like everything in this on-again-off-again DVD battle among media and technology heavyweights, an agreement between Warner and Sony could still fall apart. But the sides appear close to a deal, say knowledgeable sources.

HIGH-STAKES GAMES. The next generation DVD is considered crucial for Hollywood, which has seen growth in sales of traditional DVDs slow as the number of consumers with new DVD players reaches saturation. The new high-definition DVDs would provide a crisper picture and hold more material, letting studios resell their older movies with more bonus features, such as alternate endings and so-called director's cuts.

The Sony-backed format, which draws more on the latest technology, is projected to produce a disk with far larger capacity than the Toshiba-backed disk. Toshiba's HD DVD disk, based more on existing technology, is said to be cheaper to produce, however.

Disney and Fox were likely influenced in their decision to back Blu-ray after Toshiba said on Sept. 30 that it would delay launch of its new format to "February or March" from December. Sony has swayed Hollywood with promises that it will include a Blu-ray device in its PlayStation 3 game console, expected to be a hot seller when introduced early next year. Paramount (VIA ) said in a statement that it was "intrigued" by Sony's decision. The game player is expected to use the Blu-ray drive to show games as well as movies, thus priming the pump for the high-definition market.

THREE POINTS. Backers of the competing technologies have been tussling for support from Hollywood to insure that consumers would be able to buy movies from all the studios for whatever technology gets to market first. Thus, Warner, which traditionally has among the heftiest box office market shares, would be key for Sony.

On top of that, Warner, which owns 11 patents to make DVDs, had been a leader in assembling the Hollywood studios that backed Toshiba's HD DVD format. And in the mid-90s, Warner and Toshiba had beaten Sony's efforts to have its technology adopted for the standard definition DVD, with most of the technology based on patents controlled by Toshiba, Warner, and other companies. Sony had some of its patents adopted by the standard definition DVD.

Neither Sony nor Warner would discuss their talks. But those with knowledge of the negotiations say they have focused on three key areas: the cost of producing the DVDs, how Sony would treat Warner's patents, and guarantees that the Blu-ray disk can be manufactured on time. Additionally, the sides are said to be discussing whether Blu-ray licensees, which include computer makers Dell (DELL ) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ ) and DVD makers Samsung and Pioneer (PIO ), would be able to link to computers based on Microsoft's Windows software.

NOT OVER YET. At present, Blu-ray uses Java software. Hollywood insiders say that Sony has also been offering studios a cap on the costs of producing its Blu-ray disks and perhaps some break on royalties for its patents.
That might enable Warner to get a break on the so-called cross-licensing of its patents -- where the costs for its patents are traded off against the cost of patents it uses that are controlled by members of the Sony consortium.

Concerns still remain over whether the Sony-sponsored Blu-ray can be produced on time or in large enough amounts. Backers of Toshiba's HD DVD standard have argued that Sony has yet to produce detailed engineering and cost data to support its claim that it can soon begin production. That's one reason why Toshiba remains in the race -- and why, in early October, 2005, it added three Chinese DVD manufacturers to its collation -- as it tries to prove to Hollywood that it can make its version of the hot little disk on time and at a reasonable cost.

Last edited by AV_Integrated; 09-12-2007 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Treadstone View Post
Alot of changed, but it is interesting.
http://www.businessweek.com/technolo...6128_tc024.htm
Interesting information. Thanks for the article.
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:39 AM
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OCTOBER 5, 2005
Old old old old old.....

None of the information is no longer relevant to the current battles.
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Aodh View Post
Old old old old old.....

None of the information is no longer relevant to the current battles.
sure it is. It gives you an idea of how Warner is thinking, and their logic for supporting Blu Ray.
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:43 AM
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The article underscores the fact that money (or other "incentives") was changing hands behind the scenes LONG before the first disc was ever produced for retail. The Hollywood studios have far more at stake here than just how much profit they make on a particular run of a movie on a high-def disc (either format).

Mark
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:46 AM
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The head of Warner Home Video is no longer there (btw he was pro-HD DVD and was a Toshiba employee for 16 years). Too much has changed for this to be relevant anymore. I think Warner is being heavily courted by both sides and we will most likely see them pick a side after the holidays.
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Mark Booth View Post
The article underscores the fact that money (or other "incentives") was changing hands behind the scenes LONG before the first disc was ever produced for retail. The Hollywood studios have far more at stake here than just how much profit they make on a particular run of a movie on a high-def disc (either format).

Mark
Which is why I think Warner will ultimately choose HD DVD. Sony is a COMPETING studio. If warner choses Blu Ray then their sole survival in the next gen rests solely with a rival movie studio. Problem? Hmmm yes.

Warner owns patents on HD DVD.
Warner does not own Blu ray patents, but Sony is paying them incentives.
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:50 AM
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sure it is. It gives you an idea of how Warner is thinking, and their logic for supporting Blu Ray.
So an article written before EITHER format hit the market can accurately represent the decision making of a studio who has been touting dual format releases since both discs were on the market, who in this time developed a product with both formats on one disc and continue to announce titles in both formats?

I'm an HD DVD supporter, and I would love Warner to come exclusive because I think that would pull more studios with them and increase player sales. They have the incentive to be exclusive, as do many many other DVD Forum companies. But will they? The article is no longer relevant to what's happening right now.
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by ack_bak View Post
The head of Warner Home Video is no longer there (btw he was pro-HD DVD and was a Toshiba employee for 16 years). Too much has changed for this to be relevant anymore. I think Warner is being heavily courted by both sides and we will most likely see them pick a side after the holidays.
He was not pro hd dvd. He was pro neutral.
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Old 09-12-2007, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Treadstone View Post
He was not pro hd dvd. He was pro neutral.
And he is gone. And rumors are flying everywhere they are reconsidering.

You do realize that article was written right after Warner decided to go neutral, because of the CEO, when Warner was HD DVD exclusive before. And this was all 3 years ago? A lot has changed.

Go look at the Warner HD DVD releases list and compare it with the Warner Blu-ray release list, and then get back to me on which format you think they prefer still.
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