Paramount and Dreamworks go exclusively HD DVD: Disney, Fox, MGM try hitting back for Blu-ray

Blu-ray, HD DVD

Two Hollywood studios who had previously been supporting both Blu-ray and HD DVD high definition disc formats yesterday announced that they’ll support HD DVD exclusively from now on.

The decision was made based on “extensive evaluation” of the current market offerings, plumping for HD DVD because of its “market-ready technology” and lower manufacturing costs.

CEO of Paramount Pictures, Brad Grey, said that this decision by the two studios would bring a critical mass of current box office hits to consumers, with a line-up perfect for HD DVD.

Though no other studio has swapped format, Disney, Twentieth Century Fox, and MGM, all reaffirmed their commitment to Blu-ray, promising many more titles with greater interactivity — something that the format still lags behind HD DVD on thanks to technical limitations of the original Blu-ray specification.

Disney announced a range of BD Live Blu-ray titles due out next year, with Disney president, Bob Chapek, stating that their classic animations are, “the crown jewels of the Disney Studio, and we do not take releasing them lightly on any format. The proven Blu-ray technology has allowed us to take our films to new heights, fully utilising the larger capacity and interactive capabilities for an incredible all-new consumer experience.”

Meanwhile, Fox and MGM pledged continued support for Blu-ray, with Mike Dunn, President Worldwide at Twentieth Century Fox, stating, “Given that Blu-ray has consistently outsold HD DVD all year, we believe that the time is right for us to accelerate our activities and help convert the nearly 60 million high-definition households worldwide into Blu-ray households.”

All that’s clear from this is that choosing a high definition disc format is still a messy business for the consumer, with no clear winner in sight yet.

At present, the consumer is forced to buy two players, or go for a more expensive dual format player, if they want to watch every high definition movie currently available.


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Andy Merrett
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