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Blockbuster to favor Blu-ray HD discs over DVD format


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#1 of 258 Jeff(R)

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Posted June 17 2007 - 10:32 AM

http://www.elpasotim...ment/ci_6164939

AP Exclusive:
Blockbuster to favor Blu-ray HD discs over DVD format

By Gary Gentile / AP Business Writer
Article Launched: 06/17/2007 02:40:24 PM MDT

LOS ANGELES - Blockbuster Inc. will rent high-definition DVDs only in the Blu-ray format in 1,450 stores when it expands its high-def offerings next month, dealing a major blow to the rival HD DVD format.

The move, being announced Monday, could be the first step in resolving a format war that has kept confused consumers from rushing to buy new DVD players until they can determine which format will dominate the market.

Blockbuster has been renting both Blu-ray and HD DVD titles in 250 stores since late last year and found that consumers were choosing Blu-ray titles more than 70 percent of the time.

"The consumers are sending us a message. I can't ignore what I'm seeing," Matthew Smith, senior vice president of merchandising at Blockbuster, told The Associated Press.

Blockbuster will continue to rent HD DVD titles in the original 250 locations and online, the Dallas-based company said.

The decision was helped in large part by the lopsided availability of titles in Blu-ray, Smith said. All major studios except one are releasing films in Blu-ray, with several, including The Walt Disney Co., releasing exclusively in Blu-ray. Only Universal Studios, which is owned by General Electric Co., exclusively supports HD DVD.

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#2 of 258 Robert Crawford

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Posted June 17 2007 - 10:34 AM

Not surprising considering the studio situation as far as format releases.





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#3 of 258 Jason Seaver

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Posted June 17 2007 - 10:41 AM

A bit odd considering their arrangement with The Weinstein Company, which so far has only supported HD DVD.

Quote:
Blockbuster has been renting both Blu-ray and HD DVD titles in 250 stores since late last year and found that consumers were choosing Blu-ray titles more than 70 percent of the time.

"The consumers are sending us a message. I can't ignore what I'm seeing," Matthew Smith, senior vice president of merchandising at Blockbuster, told The Associated Press.
That you'll potentially push 30% of your HD customers to Netflix?
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#4 of 258 CRyan

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Posted June 17 2007 - 12:58 PM

I wonder if there is anything going on in the background that pushed this decision?

But either way, I would imagine that BB management is looking at total cost and profit with this decision. They may lose 30% of their HD business to Netflix but I would imagine that business loss will be more than offset by expanding their Blu Ray collection and not wasting space on unrented HD media.

#5 of 258 ppltd

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Posted June 17 2007 - 01:02 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CRyan
But either way, I would imagine that BB management is looking at total cost and profit with this decision. They may lose 30% of their HD business to Netflix but I would imagine that business loss will be more than offset by expanding their Blu Ray collection and not wasting space on unrented HD media.
Seems to me any space allocated to either HD format is pretty much wasted space. There just is not a big enough rental client base for either format to make much of a difference.
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#6 of 258 Jordan_E

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Posted June 17 2007 - 01:04 PM

As long as they start stocking SOMETHING at my local Blockbuster, and since PS3 games are laughable at this point...
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#7 of 258 Jason Roer

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Posted June 17 2007 - 01:21 PM

Fine by me. This is very funny. I was just asking my wife the other day if she would mind if we switched back to Netflix. We had so much trouble with Blockbuster in terms of shipping and not getting movies at the top of our list, that we've just had it with them. And they've even given us 3 FREE MONTHS! It just doesn't make up for how bad their shipping system is. And now they aren't even going to have HD-DVDs in store when they finally roll out HD optical?

As Thomas already pointed out, it's completely irrelevent this decision at this point, as the client base is currently too small. However, as more people walk into their local blockbuster and see Bluray - they will begin to think this is THE HD format ofchoice, so it will have an impact on this war over time.

Off subject entirely - I'm watching GhostRider right now. It's just really pretty bad. The SFX look like something out of a PS2 game. I had to start surfing the forum to keep myself from falling asleep. Too bad though - great comic book.

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#8 of 258 Dave H

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Posted June 17 2007 - 02:01 PM

It will be interesting to see if other rental outlets and retailers follow BB.

#9 of 258 Adam_R

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Posted June 17 2007 - 02:13 PM

I just can't wait for one of these formats to go bye-bye.

Thanks for trying to speed it up Blockbuster.
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#10 of 258 Tim Glover

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Posted June 17 2007 - 02:21 PM

I'm rather upset about this and yes I do believe this to be a big blow for HD DVD. I love BB online and love the Total Access program but I'll be switching to Netflix for my HD rentals it seems. My local BB is just a stones throw away but I think they should stock both-at least at first. Let the consumer decide. I understand their decision somewhat but don't agree. Posted Image....My $20 monthly fee will go to Netflix.

#11 of 258 Ed St. Clair

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Posted June 17 2007 - 02:30 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff
dealing a major blow to the rival HD DVD format.
No kidding!!!
This will make GREAT fodder on the "war" thread!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff
Blockbuster will continue to rent HD DVD titles in the original 250 locations and online
Weird!!!
So if HD DVD wants to get back into the fight at Bb, it better turn around those 250 stores from 70/30 to something better or kick tail online.
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#12 of 258 John Berggren

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Posted June 17 2007 - 02:40 PM

Blockbuster knows that THEIR future lies with Optical Media, and not VOD. That said, they also know the format war is bad for THEIR business. They made an informed decision and picked a side. They will not be the last retailer to do so.
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#13 of 258 Craig S

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Posted June 17 2007 - 04:08 PM

From the linked article:
Quote:
The Blu-ray camp has been helped by the release of such huge hits as "Casino Royale," ''Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Spider-Man" coming out exclusively in its format.
Uh, what?? Unless I completely missed something, not only have none of the Spider-Man films been released on BD yet, none have even been announced (although I expect that to change when the 3rd film hits disc later this year).

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#14 of 258 Calvin_Su

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Posted June 17 2007 - 04:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Glover
Let the consumer decide.

Actually, that's EXACTLY what they just did.

#15 of 258 Sam Posten

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Posted June 17 2007 - 04:41 PM

Veddy Interesting!

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#16 of 258 Nick Graham

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Posted June 17 2007 - 05:06 PM

Tim - resistance is futile - you must come to the format neutral dark side!

Funny thing is, I just joined Netflix this week due to nobody within an hour radius carrying HD or Blu rental-wise. More obscure and cultish flicks along with UFC and goofball rasslin' will still make the membership worth my time for now, but if Universal goes neutral next year and the nearby Blockbusters start carrying Blu (and carry a lot of both new AND catalog releases, which granted is highly unlikely) I may be canceling Netflix sooner than expected.

#17 of 258 Brent M

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Posted June 17 2007 - 05:50 PM

Well, since I'm an HD-DVD only guy it looks like I might be cancelling Total Access and going back to Netflix in the not too distant future.

Also, while some people might call this a "win" for Blu-Ray I still say that neither format is going to emerge victorious anytime soon because the general public just doesn't care about either one. Both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray are barely making a dent in the market sales-wise and I'm not surprised one bit that people are so reluctant to adopt a new format(or formats) so soon on the heels of DVD's recent success. I'll continue to buy HD-DVDs and I might even jump into Blu-Ray by the end of the year, but I know that myself and the hardcore A/V enthusiasts are the only ones enjoying this niche product as "average Joe" has no interest whatsoever.
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#18 of 258 FrancisP

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Posted June 17 2007 - 06:49 PM

Netflix has been beating the pants off of Blockbuster over the last year or two
serving both blu-ray and hd-dvd. Dumb decision by BB. Where are they going to make up for the 30% loss in hd-dvd rentals? BHlu-ray is not going to grow 30% to make up the difference. Circuit City started blu-ray only and had to drop it. The market is not big enough.

#19 of 258 Chris S

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Posted June 18 2007 - 01:20 AM

I'm curious why people who currently use Blockbuster Total Access (and like it) would switch to Netflix. Blockbuster's statement noted that

Quote:
Blockbuster will continue to rent HD DVD titles in the original 250 locations and online, the Dallas-based company said.

So why switch? Is it simply to protest of their in-store offerings?

And does anyone else find it interesting that the rental numbers seem to follow the sale-through Nielson numbers? I find that very interesting.
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#20 of 258 Chad R

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Posted June 18 2007 - 01:26 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrancisP
Where are they going to make up for the 30% loss in hd-dvd rentals?

30% of a very, very small business. At this point, they are probably losing money on their HD inventories and don't see this decision as having a negative impact on 30% of a tiny market that's not generating profit.


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