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Why does Universal only support HD-DVD?


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48 replies to this topic

#1 of 49 OFFLINE   Torquil

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Posted February 21 2007 - 03:41 AM

Trying to find the answer for this on the web, but can't. What reasons did they give?

#2 of 49 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted February 21 2007 - 04:34 AM

If you asked them, they'd probably say that they liked the combo discs and the interactive features as well as the many replication facilities. There's probably also some benefit to being exclusive - first in line at said replication facilities, for instance, or partially-subsidized manufacturing/development costs.

And, of course, the same probably holds for Fox, Disney, Lion's Gate, The Weinstein Company, or anyone else who has lined up as exclusive with one of the formats.
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#3 of 49 OFFLINE   Wet1

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Posted February 21 2007 - 07:13 AM

There's a lot of talk (rumors at this point) about them either going neutral or adding BR. Some people have pointed out that they took the HD-DVD logo off their site and they only have a few releases in their store. While they've said they were going to release over 100 movies for 2007, they've only released 6 and have only announced 6 others. And then there's also the management shake up as well...

It sounds like something is up to me. Posted Image

#4 of 49 OFFLINE   Dave_P.

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Posted February 21 2007 - 07:22 AM

Yep, it's definitely odd that there's not one mention of HD-DVD on their official store site: http://www.nbcuniver....fd66a5efcbeb00

Take a look there and tell me how you would know they sell/support their own format, HD-DVD? From what I understand, they've actually just recently removed the HD-DVD sections.

#5 of 49 OFFLINE   ReggieW

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Posted February 21 2007 - 07:58 AM

There is no REAL evidence that Universal is going "neutral."

Please stop spreading rumors. Please see Adam Gregorich's thread on his Universal interview from 1/26/07.

Universal has stated its commitment to HD-DVD time and time again, and has no intention of going neutral at this juncture. If any studio were to switch, it won't be because of the dismal sales numbers from either format. I think Universal has made this clear numerous times - just as Sony & Fox has for BD.

Just keep dreaming.
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#6 of 49 OFFLINE   Wet1

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Posted February 21 2007 - 08:28 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReggieW
There is no REAL evidence that Universal is going "neutral."
And that's why I stated they are only rumors at this point.

I know you don't want to truly see what's actually happening with the whole thing, but Reggie don't you at least find it odd Universal has removed the big HD-DVD logo and most mentioning of it from their website? Hell, even in their store they are only offering a whopping six HD-DVD selections. I know this wasn't the case when I was looking at HD-DVD stuff last month. By looking at their site now you'd never know they were the engine behind HD-DVD studio support. And where are these hundreds of releases they said they will release in 2007, we're at the end of Feb. now and only 6 released with only 6 more planned???

Even you have to admit, it does at the very least appear like something is going on...

#7 of 49 OFFLINE   ppltd

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Posted February 21 2007 - 08:55 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Torquil
Trying to find the answer for this on the web, but can't. What reasons did they give?
Probably for the same reasons Disney and Fox supports BD only.
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#8 of 49 OFFLINE   ReggieW

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Posted February 21 2007 - 09:25 AM

Wet 1 -

I have been very critical of Universal's support of HD-DVD this year. They obviously are in the midst of a shake-up of some sort, and this appears to have temporarily (at least I hope) caused a lull in the number of titles being released (I am also underwhelmed by what has been announced). I am also concerned that we are coming up on a month since Adam conducted his interview with them and they've yet to get back to him with anything substantial. I agree that this does breed suspicion, but we can only wait and see what they have planned, and not interpret this as a sign of neutrality. There are many reasons causing this delay, and from what I've heard thus far, neutrality being the least likely of them.

Also, WHV and Paramount have been fence sitting on both formats. I find this puzzling.

I know that Disney is releasing the Pirates films in May. It would be nice if Universal could step up to the plate and offer something of similar caliber from their catalog, but at this point, I have little faith that this will happen.

I do have to admit, Universal HAS dropped the ball so far this year, and I would like for them to get back on track. HD-DVD appears to be on track to release LESS titles than they did last year at their present rate.

We'll just have to wait and see.
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#9 of 49 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted February 21 2007 - 10:24 AM

I wonder if Universal didn't have some kind of major blow-up with Sony back during the planning stages of the HD-DVD and Blu-ray formats.

I was rereading the other day a WIDESCREEN REVIEW from (I think) 2003 before any studios had allied with either format (except Sony with Blu-ray, of course), and one sentence in particular said that Paramount and Universal had not committed to either format but both were leaning toward Blu-ray. So something went terribly wrong somewhere between then and 2006.

#10 of 49 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted February 21 2007 - 10:30 AM

I read somewhere that Universal had gotten burned on several Sony-originated formats (MiniDisc, UMD, maybe others), but I find it tough to believe that a gigantic corporation that's gone through as many owners and reorganizations as Universal is even capable of holding grudges.
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#11 of 49 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted February 21 2007 - 11:54 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Torquil
Trying to find the answer for this on the web, but can't. What reasons did they give?

Rumor has it that back before either HD-DVD or Blueray were released, Universal was supporting Blueray. In fact if you look at early Blueray info, Universal is listed as a supporter.

The rumor goes that Sony had promised Universal that the interactive features would be fully operational by the release date, and that the production capacity would be at a level that would make Universal happy. As time went on Sony kept promising Universal that everything would work, but weren't delivering.

At this point HD-DVD group came to Universal and demonstrated all the features that Sony was promising but wasn't able deliver. Craig Kornblau, president of Universal Home Video, was so frustrated with Sony's promises that he decided to jump ship and support HD-DVD only. Reportedly he said no Universal film will ever appear on Blueray.

Again this is the rumor so take it for what its worth.

Doug
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#12 of 49 OFFLINE   DanR

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Posted February 21 2007 - 03:39 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReggieW
Please stop spreading rumors. Please see Adam Gregorich's thread on his Universal interview from 1/26/07.
Right, because an interview with an administrator at the Home Theater Forum would be the ideal place for them to announce they were going format neutral. Posted Image What do you think they're going to say?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReggieW
Universal has stated its commitment to HD-DVD time and time again, and has no intention of going neutral at this juncture.
Are you sure? Do you know the inner workings of what is happening at Universal any more than the people sitting on the other side of the fence in this thread?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReggieW
Just keep dreaming.
Nice. Hey, what's wrong with someone dreaming? Sometimes dreams do come true.

Regards,
Dan

#13 of 49 OFFLINE   Yumbo

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Posted February 21 2007 - 05:41 PM

AACS violations causing delays?

#14 of 49 OFFLINE   Ryan-G

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Posted February 21 2007 - 06:26 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yumbo
AACS violations causing delays?

I doubt it, the bandwidth isn't there to make piracy of HD Media viable on any significant scale, nor is the storage mediums for consumer use.

My guess would be that Universal is in the midst of a shakeup, whether or not it's got anything to do with HD Media is open to question, but considering what's on this thread I'd guess it's likely that Universal is shifting position.

#15 of 49 OFFLINE   Andrew Bunk

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Posted February 21 2007 - 07:34 PM

Releases and announcements being delayed due to internal stuff are one thing, but the removal of HD DVD stuff from their site is something else entirely if it was deliberate.

I just want the Game and Children of Men, and I don't care if I have to keep my A1 for years to play them Posted Image.
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#16 of 49 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted February 21 2007 - 10:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Bunk
Releases and announcements being delayed due to internal stuff are one thing, but the removal of HD DVD stuff from their site is something else entirely if it was deliberate.

I just want the Game and Children of Men, and I don't care if I have to keep my A1 for years to play them Posted Image.

Maybe they are moving all the HD-DVD stuff to an HD-DVD specific page.
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#17 of 49 OFFLINE   Ken Koc

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Posted February 22 2007 - 02:22 AM

Nw that I have both HD and Blue Ray.........HD , for me, is the much better of the 2 formats. On my 60" Sony WEGA the diffrerence is startling.
Ken

#18 of 49 OFFLINE   Fozziwig

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Posted February 22 2007 - 03:10 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Monce
.....
At this point HD-DVD group came to Universal and demonstrated all the features that Sony was promising but wasn't able deliver. Craig Kornblau, president of Universal Home Video, was so frustrated with Sony's promises that he decided to jump ship and support HD-DVD only. Reportedly he said no Universal film will ever appear on Blueray.

Again this is the rumor so take it for what its worth.

Doug

Sony & Universal are commercial companies who have responsibilities to investors and shareholders. If a time comes (and I'm sure it will) where, globally, Blu-ray is outselling HD DVD by 5:1 (or greater) Universal's owners (80% GE & 20% Vivendi Universal) will start to wonder why they aren't making any money from Blu-ray.

Is Konrblau going to turn round and say ''Because I don't like that nasty Blu-ray - so there!"

If he did he may find his next task is negotiating his departure terms. Kornblau's only reasonable explanation to stay HD DVD exclusive would be to show that HD DVD will grow faster than Blu-ray and eventually be strong enough to bring other studios into the HD DVD fold. This, as things stand now, seems a forlorn hope.

Vivendi Universal also own the Canal+ Group which includes Studio Canal. If SC do go Blu-ray (Babel is still scheduled as their first Blu-ray title) then that may be an indicator that Universal won't be far behind.

Is this all speculation? Why, of course it is (well, mostly - the stuff about who owns NBC Universal and the SC release of Babel on Blu-ray is true)! So now you don't have to reply and tell me it is! Posted Image

#19 of 49 OFFLINE   Chris Gerhard

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Posted February 22 2007 - 03:26 AM

Mostly speculation here, but I love a lot of the Universal music and films and only own Blu-ray so I hope Universal at least releases in both formats or switches completely. Just my personal opinion but I agree HD DVD got off to better start, both hardware and software quality. With the changes at Universal, I think Blu-ray exclusive owners might see something from Universal soon.

Chris

#20 of 49 OFFLINE   Dave H

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Posted February 22 2007 - 06:41 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Koc
Nw that I have both HD and Blue Ray.........HD , for me, is the much better of the 2 formats. On my 60" Sony WEGA the diffrerence is startling.

Ken,

Aside from the Samsung Blu-ray player, with proper calibration the Toshiba and Blu-ray units when playing the same video transfers/codecs produce identical image quality.


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