The End is Here…? Warner to Become Blu-ray Exclusive

Posted by Dave Cowl on January 4, 2008 
Filed Under: Blu-ray, Format War, HD DVD, Studios

warner.thumbnail.jpgThe news is out. EngadgetHD is reporting, Video Business is reporting, and Deadline Hollywood Daily is reporting… Warner will be Blu-ray exclusive after May 2008. The move is said to be in response to consumer demand, though rumor has it as a very expensive investment from the BDA.

All I can say is what I have been saying all along – the only thing that could end this is if Warner goes BD exclusive. Now that this is happening… will it really be the end? 

Also… what will Universal do now? 

Added: The official Warner Press Release 

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11 Responses to “The End is Here…? Warner to Become Blu-ray Exclusive”

  1. Devils Advocate on January 4th, 2008 3:21 pm

    Thank god this happened and not a moment too soon. 

  2. Dave Cowl on January 4th, 2008 3:47 pm

    I have a feeling that Universal are going to be a bit annoyed by this. The chatter I have heard indicates that Universal’s ‘incentives’ rested on them announcing plans before Warner made this announcement. So Warner may have screwed Universal out of significant ‘incentives’. The next few days will be key…

  3. Devils Advocate on January 4th, 2008 4:28 pm

    So you’re saying that you expect Universal to come next? Wow, the dominos are FALLING 

  4. Dave Cowl on January 4th, 2008 4:31 pm

    The expectation was that Universal would go first. But if their financial incentive is reduced or nulled by this Warner announcement, it may change things somewhat. I guess there is a week of CES ahead… it is like mouseketeer surprise day – anything could happen! :D

  5. Dave Cowl on January 4th, 2008 4:33 pm

    I should also note that I don’t have any strong or direct sources… this is just ‘stuff I heard’ – though with the Warner news coming out, and sooner than expected, the source of this chatter seems to be on the money.

  6. DS2 on January 4th, 2008 5:00 pm

    Well, there it is.  After all the fuss made over Paramount’s paycheck, I’d sure like to know what the financial incentives were to get Warner to commit to the Blu.
    I have to say, even with this coffin nail being struck so loudly, how long will it take for the HD group to actually pack up and leave town?  I’m guessing this will remain ugly for at least one more year, probably two.
    And how about all of the new low-priced HD DVD players sold over the last couple of months?  Won’t the owners of these feel betrayed by the video industry in general? 
    There still is no winner.  Just a lot more losers.

  7. Dave Cowl on January 4th, 2008 5:22 pm

    Some additional information on how this supposedly plays out: WB will continue to release HD DVDs but not in any sort of timely fashion… In May WB will no longer be shipping any HD DVDs to their distributors. From March, any HD DVD that has sold out will not be be replicated again…. you know, they are being a lot more reasonable than Paramount was with their instantaneous end to BD releases. At least HD DVD people get a chance to stock up on Warner titles. As an aside, Warner accounts for over 1/3 of all HD DVD releases, second only to Universal.

  8. Devils Advocate on January 4th, 2008 5:59 pm

    Personally, I think Warner is putting it on the plate of the retailers.  Now that word is Warner is moving bluray exclusive, they may just decide to stop carrying HD-DVD altogether and Warner will stop producing them since they werent going to carry them anyway

  9. wreckedchevy on January 4th, 2008 6:48 pm

    i’m one of the $99 a20 owners and i definately feel betrayed i have no loyalty to either side other than i couldn’t pass it up for the price and was holding back on movie purchases especially when the warner rumours started then they rebuted them and then the news hit that they were goign to speak at ces for hd-dvd so they gave the world the opinion that they were commited to both formats so i just dumped every extra penny i had buying 20 movies mostly all warner so i definately think they did this on purpose to try and dump as my disc’s as they could and then stick it to the hd-dvd customers…. obviously i can still play them for now but what happens in a year or so if my player dies??? hope i can find a used one? unfortunately unless there is some major price changes in store for blu i’m guessing i’m now priced out of hd all together for a year or so…. pretty sad day for me i was really enjoying the budget high def….

  10. DS2 on January 4th, 2008 8:12 pm

    I feel for ya, wreckedchevy.  It’s one thing for a company to pick a side.  It’s another thing altogether to hear reassurances of neutrality right up to a few weeks before getting that Blu-exclusive bomb dropped right in front of you.
    Sorry, man…

  11. paranoid on January 7th, 2008 6:53 am

    What difference does it really make… they will just come out with another format in another 3 to 5 years.  Sometmes I think it is better to be a luddite and wait it all out (this from a fairly early owner of a Betamax, a 68lc040 Macintosh and a couple of other nightmares).  I am still not sure how I dodged the LaserDisc, DAT and SACD trends.

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