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Blockbuster to favor Blu-ray HD discs over DVD format


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#21 of 258 OFFLINE   Paul Arnette

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Posted June 18 2007 - 01:34 AM

According to the article, BB will still be renting HD DVDs online and at the 250 stores where it originally tested marketed in-store HD optical media rentals. Given that, I don't think they're going to be missing much in the way of the 30% of in-store HD DVD rentals at there other 1450 stores, since, I would assume, the majority of HD optical media rentals have been done online up until this point. For BB, this boils down to shelf space, and I cannot blame them for their decision. I also think that this may trigger a sort of side-choosing, domino effect. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.
Adam, I'm right there with you. I think player prices have come down enough on both sides, or at least they will have by Q4 that this format war has personally outlived its usefulness for me. I'm anxious to get back to focusing on the movies instead of the formats.
Universal Blu-ray Discs I will not be buying while they're offered only as Blu-ray + DVD 'flipper' discs:

The Jackal
, Out of Africa, and Traffic.

#22 of 258 OFFLINE   Shane Martin

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Posted June 18 2007 - 02:55 AM

Blockbuster has a special deal with Weinstein to carry their movies. Personally I think this will move Weinstein to Blu Ray. I fully expect Universal to move by Jan 08(at CES). As they continue to hemorrage cash, they can't ignore the BR market for long. That's just revenue waiting to be earned and is currently being ignored.

#23 of 258 OFFLINE   BrettB

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Posted June 18 2007 - 04:18 AM

"Blockbuster to favor Blu-ray HD discs over DVD format" That article title (used as thread title) is FUBAR, should be "HD DVD format" Hopefully the first major step in ending this dual format bs.

#24 of 258 OFFLINE   John H Ross

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Posted June 18 2007 - 04:29 AM

The BBC is reporting this too:

http://news.bbc.co.u...ess/6762621.stm

#25 of 258 OFFLINE   Ryan Peddle

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Posted June 18 2007 - 05:36 AM

I don't think this will have near the impact that most people think. At least not for a while. This decision was probably made based on info/numbers from a few months ago. Decisions like this are not made overnight and based on info from yesterday. But with the current string of HDDVD sales due to lower pricing I bet there will be an increase # of people looking to rent. Plus Bluray has had an advantage in the format war by having a number of more exclusive new releases like Apocolypto, POTC, Ghost Rider, Bridge to Teribithia. Where HDDVD has really only had Breach as it exclusive new release lately. But it is a big blow to HDDVD, but not a death blow.

#26 of 258 OFFLINE   ReggieW

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Posted June 18 2007 - 06:03 AM

Definitely not good news for HD-DVD, but I don't buy "the public has chosen" rhetoric since most of the public is unaware that these formats even exist! Does anyone believe that the public has "chosen" when the best HD titles sell less than 100.000 copies and both formats combined comprise less than 1% of the optical market? Once there is greater market penetration and sales have increased to a point where one format appears to be stagnant, then we can say "the public has chosen." It is too pre-mature to make such a call now when titles like POTC and The Matrix Collections return the numbers they do. I am not sure if this will cause a chain reaction. The best thing to do would be to do what competitor Net-Flix is doing - supporting both media until some kind of REAL market penetration has been achieved THEN choose a side based on their rentals. Something else I've been meaning to get off my back: Why do people put so much stock in CES? If any studio or CE manufacturer wants to go neutral/switch, they can obviously do it at any point of their choosing. If I recall, people were upset that Universal didn't make a huge splash at CES last year, so I wouldn't hold my breath for a big CES 08 announcment with confetti, music and other fanfare (sorry, that's just the image I get when I hear this trumpted by BD supporters). I admit that HD-DVD will have to counter this news, and we'll see if they have anything up their sleeve (or not) in the coming days/weeks. Meanwhile (unfortunately) the war continues.
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#27 of 258 OFFLINE   John Berggren

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Posted June 18 2007 - 06:04 AM

Death by a thousand small cuts.
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#28 of 258 OFFLINE   John Berggren

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Posted June 18 2007 - 06:07 AM

(emphasis mine) indeed. indeed.
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#29 of 258 OFFLINE   Paul Arnette

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Posted June 18 2007 - 06:12 AM

I wonder if Netflix had any B&M stores whether or not they would be carrying both. You're comparing apples and oranges here and are seemingly ignoring the fact that BB Online is and will continue to rent HD DVDs online just as Netflix will be. For BB, shelf space is at a premium and they don't have the luxury to wait some predetermined time for the market to penetrate.
Universal Blu-ray Discs I will not be buying while they're offered only as Blu-ray + DVD 'flipper' discs:

The Jackal
, Out of Africa, and Traffic.

#30 of 258 OFFLINE   ReggieW

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Posted June 18 2007 - 06:20 AM

You're right Paul. I did forget the fact that Netflix has no actual stores (duh) and that BB online will continue renting online and compete favorably with Netflix. Hey, Cut me some slack, I personally haven't rented any optical media in a loooonnng time, so I am a little rusty in this area as of late. John: I agree somewhat with the first half of your statement regarding the public choosing when the war is over, but there is no evidence that BD will be "the future of optical media." Even if/when HD-DVD is defeated, then BD will have to fight the REAL war: versus SD-DVD.
More Harlow on DVD Now! - Red Dust, Bombshell, Hold Your Man, Saratoga, The Iron Man, Goldie, The Secret Six, Beast of the City, Three Wise Girls, Reckless, Personal Property, Riff-raff, Suzy & Girl from Missouri

#31 of 258 OFFLINE   John Berggren

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Posted June 18 2007 - 06:28 AM


Solid perspective, and I don't wholly disagree. However it will never have to "fight" with DVD. Even if sales shifted to 80/20 DVD/BD that'd be a pretty solid success. Further, there is no doubt (in my mind) that BD will be wildly successful for computer and data applications. Computers had no small part in DVD's ultimate success, and the same will be true of BD.

As it comes to films, there will be a time that BD will win out over DVD simply because as people seek to replace broken DVD players, or upgrade their TVs, they will find that the price of BD players make them a good substitute for an upscaling DVD player. These people may not repurchase all of their DVDs on Blu (lord knows I won't) but they'll start picking up their new discs in the format.

It won't win in a battle necessarily, DVD will simply slowly age out. However, I see independent filmmakers and studios using DVDs for a long time to come.
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#32 of 258 OFFLINE   Paul Arnette

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Posted June 18 2007 - 06:29 AM


Reggie,

I'm sorry if I sounded unduly harsh, but I've seen more people ignoring the business realities for BB's B&M stores and comparing them to Netflix as if they were one and the same. Eventually, I 'snapped'. Posted Image No offense intended.
Universal Blu-ray Discs I will not be buying while they're offered only as Blu-ray + DVD 'flipper' discs:

The Jackal
, Out of Africa, and Traffic.

#33 of 258 OFFLINE   Dave H

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Posted June 18 2007 - 06:35 AM

Just curious - you say "Meanwhile (unfortunately) the war continues," yet you criticize Blockbuster for attempting to end it. Why? Blockbuster has said at least 70% of HD rentals are Blu-ray - this is pretty close to the Neilson numbers, as well. It's been this way for some time and given the anxiety of the format war (most people want it to end - including most consumers, manufacturers, studios, and retailers.) it's not terrible surprising really. I suspect a ripple effect from this, but we'll see.

#34 of 258 OFFLINE   BrettB

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Posted June 18 2007 - 06:43 AM


Snowball effect in full force




#35 of 258 OFFLINE   Steve Schaffer

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Posted June 18 2007 - 07:14 AM

Fine, let's end the format war immediately with BD as the winner so they can go back to their original plan to rape consumers with outrageous player prices and crappy transfers. Does anyone really believe that we'd have sub-$500 BD players and anything better than Fifth Element or House of Flying Daggers transfers with nada special features by now if not for the format war?
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#36 of 258 OFFLINE   Dave Mack

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Posted June 18 2007 - 07:24 AM

but if it wasn't for BD, Hddvd would have been a 720P red laser format.


Just saw this story on CNN. Was weird.
One commentator played the luddite... "I still don't know how to program my VCR...!" and the guy was maybe 30 and just sounded like an idiot. You work in MEDIA, dude...!
The other just had his home theater upgraded etc...


I also have a friend who used to manage a BB in Long Island (was hell, he said...)
and one of the things he dealt with dozens of time a day was the WS vs FS and confusion amongst customers. Trying to explain "those black bars!" became a trying and time consuming part of every day. Having 2 competing HD formats would only just make things more confusing.
"Are you sure you have HDdvd..?"
"I think so..." yada, yada...
"Where's ...."
"Oh, that's only in HDdvd, not BD..."
Having only one HD format in the long run would be much more efficient. Having to stock the same title in 2 formats (for neutral studios like WB) would be WAY less desirable, I can imagine...
I know BB rents xbox and PS games but gamers are much more knowledgable about formats, etc..
The average BB consumer walks in, grabs the film and goes to the counter.
Knowing if the disc will even work on their HD format will be just a hassle.
In the long run, one format is best IMHO...

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#37 of 258 OFFLINE   RobertR

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Posted June 18 2007 - 08:24 AM

I think most would agree with that, including me. My position has always been, though, that the winning format has to EARN the victory, not just have it handed to them, as many have advocated.

#38 of 258 OFFLINE   John Berggren

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Posted June 18 2007 - 08:26 AM

How would a format EARN a victory? More Titles? Better Technical Specs? Larger Capacity? More Sales? So far Blu Ray has managed each of these.
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#39 of 258 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted June 18 2007 - 08:30 AM

And yet, somehow, they've never managed to deliver the knockout punch we've been assured is inevitable for the past two years. It's really quite odd, because on paper, it shouldn't be a race.
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#40 of 258 OFFLINE   Mark Cappelletty

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Posted June 18 2007 - 09:10 AM

I don't rent at Blockbuster anyway, but given their completely pathetic handling of next-gen game titles, I wouldn't put it past them to bungle HD releases as well.




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