With the latest news of Paramount and DreamWorks becoming HD DVD exclusive studios, we couldn't help but remember the ridiculous "Blu-ray Today" publication from CES 2007. Blu-ray tried to fire back by announcing Fox and MGM releases this year, but that doesn't stop the fact that Blu-ray's edge in studio support was somewhat eroded by yesterday's news. Blu-ray victory is far from inevitable, and whether or not this format war ends up being good for consumers has yet to be seen. All a high-def movie fan can do is hope that combo players start … Read more
Ah, the emails and voice mails were flying fast and furious yesterday after Paramount and DreamWorks made their little announcement about going HD DVD exclusive. At just after 4 p.m. in New York, Fox and MGM put out a press release saying they were unveiling "an aggressive global Blu-ray Disc release strategy, including 29 new release and 'must-have' catalog titles that runs through the end of the 2007 calendar year."
The release went on to say that Fox intends to put out "at least one state-of-the-art title per month featuring numerous BD 'firsts'" and highlighted the fact that "Blu-ray was out-performing HD DVD 2-to-1 at retail in 2007." Among the 29 new releases, my eye was drawn to Master & Commander, Ronin, Cast Away, Independence Day, A Bridge Too Far, 28 Days Later, The Day After Tomorrow, and the Die Hard trilogy.
After the email went out, the phone started ringing: All the CNET the home-theater editors were contacted, so the PR folks at GCI Group in LA were working overtime, trying to do a little damage control. The basic message was, they may have this, but we have a whole more of that. And, did you hear that the Paramount deal doesn't include any of Spielberg's movies and that the deal only ran for 18 months? Tit for tat. Tat for tit. The war was raging.
Then, thanks to a New York Times article, word got out this morning that indeed (as I suspected), someone was getting paid off. The article noted that, "Paramount and DreamWorks Animation together will receive about $150 million in financial incentives for their commitment to HD DVD, according to two Viacom executives with knowledge of the deal but who asked not to be identified." Microsoft denied paying anything, but wouldn't rule it out as a tactic in the future. There was no word on who might be paying Universal for its exclusive HD DVD agreement, but you gotta think there's a pretty sweet deal in place there, too.
Just when it looked like Blu-ray was getting the best of HD DVD, the latter scores a combination like Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Animation.
Both companies announced on Monday that they had agreed to release exclusively on the HD DVD format, which is battling with rival Blu-ray to become the high-definition successor to the DVD disc.
The move by Paramount represents a setback for Blu-ray. The studio has supported both formats and the tally of studios exclusively committed to each format stands at 3-2 in favor of Blu-ray.
Sony, Disney and Fox support Blu-ray, but the momentum may be swinging … Read more
Just when you thought the next-gen DVD war was on the verge of being over, a couple of studios decide to muck things up even further. Today, Paramount and DreamWorks Animation announced that they will exclusively support HD DVD on a worldwide basis.
According to the press release, "The exclusive HD DVD commitment will include all movies distributed by Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Nickelodeon Movies and MTV Films, as well as movies from DreamWorks Animation, which are distributed exclusively by Paramount Home Entertainment."
"The companies each said that the decision to distribute exclusively in the HD DVD format resulted from an extensive evaluation of current market offerings, which confirmed the clear benefits of HD DVD, particularly its market-ready technology and lower manufacturing costs. Paramount Home Entertainment will launch its exclusive HD DVD program with the release of the blockbuster comedy hit 'Blades of Glory' on August 28th and follow with two of the biggest grossing movies of the year 'Transformers' and 'Shrek the Third'."
Until today, Paramount was putting out movies on both Blu-ray and HD DVD, so needless to say, the announcement came as a surprise. Also, all of this comes in the face of reports that on the software front, Blu-ray was outselling HD DVD by a 2-1 margin, and that both Blockbuster and Target would be pushing the Blu-ray format in stores. (Note HD DVD fans: Yes, Target will continue to carry the XBox 360's add-on HD DVD player). Consensus was that things were looking pretty bleak for HD DVD. Is this a game changer?
If you have a computer download Handbrake. Now. Put a DVD in. Let the magic begin. Now supports Mac and Windows (and, in fact, this newest rev has a dramatically improved Windows user interface).
Are you a dork? Do you love TV? If the answer to both those questions is yes, you'll probably want to select HD DVD as your next- generation format of choice, because there are some seriously exciting sci-fi TV shows hitting the format in the next few months.
We already know that Heroes is on the way to HD DVD, which is tremendously exciting for fans of the show who haven't been able to catch it on its BBC HD outing. We're also aware of the impending arrival of Star Trek: The Original Series, series one, which … Read more
In 1953, Hugh Hefner published the first issue of Playboy. Fourteen years later, Jann Wenner published the first issue of Rolling Stone. Today, both magazines have published hundreds of issues and made an undeniable mark on American culture.
Now, instead of spending months and thousands of dollars on eBay, you can read those iconographic issues on your computer. The Bondi Digital Publishing Cover to Cover series collects back issues on DVD, which can be searched and read with the company's proprietary software. The first two "Cover to Cover" collections are Rolling Stone Cover to Cover: The First … Read more
Sorry if the is old news to some, but I just got back from vacation and noticed that details are out on the hotly anticipated new version of Blade Runner that's due to arrive December 18. Blade Runner was one of the first movies released on DVD, and while it sold well, the video transfer sucked. Well, for the 25th anniversary of the film, Warner Brothers and director Ridley Scott finally got around to restoring and remastering the thing--and a lot of folks are pretty stoked, especially now that the film will be available on both Blu-ray and HD … Read more
Following months of hints and peeks, Onkyo has finally made the details of its first HD DVD player official. Available this fall, the $900 DV-HD805 is a return to the high-end for the HD DVD format, which has seen prices dropping as low as $250 this year. In addition to the Ethernet port, Web connectivity, and built-in memory found on all HD DVD players, the DV-HD805 looks to have all of the bleeding-edge HDMI 1.3 features of the newly announced third-generation Toshiba players, including support for 24-frame 1080p video, Deep Color compatibility, and lossless Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master … Read more
It's not often we get so excited about a DVD player these days that we jump up and down when it arrives in the office. That wasn't always the case though--we remember when DVD was the most amazing thing we'd ever seen, and KiSS is keen to evoke such emotions in us once again with its funky new media-streaming DVD player, the KiSS 1600. We first saw it at CeBIT in March and were desperate to get our hands on it.
What the KiSS offers over other DVD players is the ability to stream media either over … Read more