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Official: Netflix to support HD-DVD and Blu-ray at launch


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35 replies to this topic

#1 of 36 Ken_F

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Posted January 24 2006 - 01:44 AM

Netflix Will Support High-Def DVD & Blu-ray at Launch

Quote:
Online DVD Rental Leader Embraces 'Next Wave of Consumer Excitement'

LOS GATOS, Calif., Jan. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Netflix Inc.
(Nasdaq: NFLX), the world's largest online movie rental service, today
announced it will carry the first movies available in HD DVD when the new
high-definition format launches in late March, according to plans recently
outlined by several major movie studios, and said it will similarly offer
titles in the Blu-ray format when that product launches, expected to be later
this year.

"High-definition DVD is the next wave of excitement in home entertainment
and we'll be there at its inception," said Netflix Chairman and CEO Reed
Hastings. "With far sharper images, better sound and more features, we expect
high-def will greatly enhance DVD's consumer appeal and extend its popularity
over the next decade or more."

With Toshiba's new high-def DVD player now available to be ordered for
March delivery at several leading online and big-box retailers, a number of
Hollywood studios have announced plans to launch both new and catalog titles
on HD DVD beginning late that month. Warner Home Video said at the recent
Consumer Electronics Show that it will introduce 24 titles in HD DVD on March
28. Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Paramount Pictures Home
Entertainment and The Weinstein Company made similar announcements.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment,
Lionsgate and Paramount also said at the Consumer Electronics Show that they
have each selected between 10 and 20 titles to launch concurrent with the
debut of Blu-ray hardware later this year.

Netflix said it will make the high-def DVD titles available at launch as a
way of supporting the next-generation DVD format and signaling its belief that
while initial adoption may be limited the market will eventually migrate to
high-definition.

"For those subscribers who have an immediate interest in renting movies in
high-def, we're committed to making the full range of titles available at
Netflix the moment they're introduced," said Mr. Hastings.

SOURCE Netflix, Inc.
Discuss.

#2 of 36 Juan C

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Posted January 24 2006 - 02:17 AM

Suggest topic title change. They are going to carry both HD DVD ("it will carry the first movies available in HD DVD when the new high-definition format launches") and Blu-ray ("it will similarly offer titles in the Blu-ray format when that product launches").

#3 of 36 Ken_F

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Posted January 24 2006 - 04:24 PM

Quote:
From the NetFlix earnings conf call trascript via streetevents.com, CEO hastings had this to say today:

"Another of the long-term drivers of DVD growth will be the adoption of high-definition DVD. Today, you can order a Toshiba high-def DVD player at bestbuy.com for $499 and it will be delivered in 8 weeks. High definition DVD is here, launching this quarter. And Netflix today announced that we will offer all HD-DVD titles for rent the day they launch, at no extra cost. Just as exciting, Blu-ray will launch later this year, anchored by PlayStation III, and we also intend to carry all Blu-ray movies as they hit the market. Very simply, we see high-def DVD as the next big wave of excitement in the home entertainment market, and we will be there at its inception.

I should mention that in the high-definition format debate, we see 3 possibilities. One, is that a single format emerges as the clear winner in the minds of studios and consumers. The second possibility is that Samsung and others, create DVD players that play both Blu-ray and HD-DVD. The third possibility is that most studios publish in dual formats, like most game publishers do, for PS2 and Xbox today. Any of these scenarios would be acceptable to Netflix, and we remain neutral in the debate. "
So no extra cost to rent HD-DVDs...

#4 of 36 Jeff(R)

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Posted January 24 2006 - 04:41 PM

After both formats launch, it will be interesting to find out which disc design holds up better under mailing/renting conditions.

#5 of 36 Eric F

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Posted January 24 2006 - 05:21 PM

If they keep offering them at no extra cost over standard DVD I'll eat my shorts.

#6 of 36 Stan Rozenfeld

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Posted January 25 2006 - 01:50 AM

This is huge! I rent most of my movies, and buy only a small amount. To have access to the entire catalog of high def dvds as it grows... well, I think I just decided that I am definitely getting that Toshiba... and a blu-ray player when it becomes affordable.

#7 of 36 Brent M

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Posted January 25 2006 - 09:58 AM

It's good to know that while you will have to spend a couple grand buying both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray players you'll still be able to rent Hi Def DVDs cheap. Posted Image
"If you're good at something, never do it for free."

#8 of 36 Ken_F

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Posted January 25 2006 - 10:44 AM

Quote:
It's good to know that while you will have to spend a couple grand buying both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray players you'll still be able to rent Hi Def DVDs cheap.
HD-DVD - $450 ($350 this fall?)
Sony PS3- $499 (maybe $399?)
=============================
Total: $849-$949 for both formats

#9 of 36 Brent M

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Posted January 25 2006 - 12:05 PM

Ken,

I was talking about the high-end Toshiba($799) and a dedicated Blu-Ray player by Pioneer(probably $1000 or more). You're right, though, that you could buy players for both formats under $1k if you don't care about top-notch quality.
"If you're good at something, never do it for free."

#10 of 36 Stan Rozenfeld

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Posted January 25 2006 - 05:49 PM

Brent,

I am willing to bet that the 'cheap' Toshiba playing hd-dvds will beat the best quality of sd-dvd playback by top sd players. With things moving so quickly, there is no reason for me to spend a lot of money for first generation.

My enthusiastic reaction stemmed from the fact that netflix announcement changed the economics of the hd playback for me. Without rentals, I would be interested in maybe buying four to six titles, hardly worth getting an hd player for, but with rentals, I'll have access to a lot more.

Of course, I would prefer that they would come out with one format (but then I doubt they would come out with such competive prices and features as we will have now), and that the first wave of players would be equivalent of denon 3910 plus hd playback, but we take what we can get.

Stan

#11 of 36 Ken_F

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Posted January 25 2006 - 08:29 PM

We've sort of gotten off topic here...

Quote:
I was talking about the high-end Toshiba($799) and a dedicated Blu-Ray player by Pioneer(probably $1000 or more). You're right, though, that you could buy players for both formats under $1k if you don't care about top-notch quality.
The $799 Toshiba uses the same internals -- same decoder, analog DACs, and video DACs-- as the $499 model. The extra $300 just buys you a heavier, black chassis with a motorized front panel, a RS-232 port, and a motion-activated backlit remote. Unless you want a heavier, pricier-looking unit or want the better remote, there's no reason to spend the extra money.

#12 of 36 JediFonger

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Posted February 02 2006 - 04:57 PM

excellent, i can rent these discs... now... i can't play it in full resolution even if i have the player because i have no HDMI. man that sux. =(.

#13 of 36 Paul.S

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Posted February 04 2006 - 08:10 AM

I wonder if Netflix will tweak their tiered pricing structure to add a monthly subscription cost premium for those interested in renting HD DVD and Blu-ray?

#14 of 36 Ken_F

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Posted February 04 2006 - 09:26 AM

Netflix has already said there will be no extra cost for renting HD-DVD and Blu-ray disks.

#15 of 36 Paul.S

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Posted February 04 2006 - 09:31 AM

Thx, Ken--hopefully Hastings won't change his mind.

Did you read this in comments he's made that weren't included in the press release?

#16 of 36 Ken_F

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Posted February 04 2006 - 04:03 PM

Paul,

See my second post to this thread, it was indicated by Hastings in their earnings conference call. There have been several other new articles published since that quoted the 'no extra charge' statement, although none were linked to this particular thread.

#17 of 36 Paul.S

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Posted February 28 2006 - 04:15 PM

"Netflix Primed for High-Def Introduction" story up at HomeMediaRetailing.com now. (The HMR links at the HTF home page continue to not work for me.)

Interesting Hastings quotes:

"[The format war] has become an extension of the video game wars and Microsoft is unwilling to back down because of the video game implications, and Sony won’t back down because of the video game implications.”

""Downloading is “a very important area to us,” Hastings said. “We did name the company Netflix and not ‘DVD By Mail’ consciously and for a reason.”"

#18 of 36 Yumbo

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Posted March 01 2006 - 09:44 AM

We will carry hi def discs for rental in addition to xBox 360.

#19 of 36 Paul.S

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Posted March 16 2006 - 11:37 AM

Scroll down in this index of recent HMR stories to find a brief bit entitled "Netflix Is Ready For HD" dated March 15.

"The first movies on HD DVD may or may not arrive March 28, but Netflix is wasting no time in letting customers set up their accounts for the new format.

"With far sharper images, better sound and more features, HD DVD will greatly improve home entertainment,” promises Web site copy in a new feature titled “Set up your account for HD DVDs.”

The site further states: “There is another type of high definition format called Blu-ray, which is not yet available. We will carry movies in this format as well, so check back later this year!”

Netflix promises customers they can get HD films when available at no extra cost and asks users if they have the necessary equipment and whether they want movies in HD DVD when available."


But I have yet to find this "Set up your account for HD DVDs" section. Anyone?

#20 of 36 Jesse Blacklow

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Posted March 16 2006 - 12:27 PM

Once you're logged in, go to "Your Account" in the top menu. Under "Account Preferences", click on "Set up your account for HD DVDs", read the text and click on the button on the bottom, check the box, select whether you want to always add HD DVDs or not, click "Finish", and you're set! I don't know when it goes into effect, though. I tested it with "Batman Begins", one of the titles that may or may not come out on launch day, and there's no HD DVD option yet.
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