European Distributor Senator to Cease HD DVD Distribution

Posted by Dave Cowl on January 17, 2008 
Filed Under: Blu-ray, Format War, HD DVD

senator.jpgWe read over at EngadgetHD that Senator Entertainment will follow Constantin Film and will cease releasing HD DVD titles later this year.

While this has no direct impact on the US market, it was often touted that distributors like Senator offered region free HD DVDs of titles that were not available on the format in the USA.

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19 Responses to “European Distributor Senator to Cease HD DVD Distribution”

  1. DS2 on January 17th, 2008 1:25 pm

    Like Hunt said over at the Bits: “Nobody wants to be the last one holding the bag.”

    Doesn’t matter much to me. As much as I didn’t like it, I figured I’d have to eventually have both formats anyway, if I wanted to get all the movies I like. T2 was the only import HD DVD I ever got, but I have considered Brotherhood of the Wolf(only because Uni hasnt’ put it out stateside for whatever reason. Thank God we get Mobsters, tho ).

  2. DS2 on January 17th, 2008 1:26 pm

    That’s sarcasm, BTW. ;)

  3. Kris on January 17th, 2008 2:32 pm

    It should be noted that a blu-ray inside has revealed that in Warner’s $500 Million contract to endorse blu-ray exclusively, they included an escape clause if not enough standalone players sell, and Warner is not talking about the PS3. I find it interesting that the now “dead” hd dvd still keeps holding the #1, #2 places on for the entire DVD section.. if they keep cranking out these players and get a big enough userbase, Warner might flipflop back to what they should’ve done the first time. Let’s remember, this war is NOT won until Blu-ray has Paramount/Dreamworks/Universal releasing in blu-ray and that has not happened yet!

  4. C on January 17th, 2008 2:46 pm


    That’s an interesting escape clause, if legit.

    But if it’s real, you’d think the BDA would be pushing some heavy-duty price-cutting to keep pace with Toshiba.

  5. Si on January 17th, 2008 3:24 pm


    Err source? For both the $500 million contract and the “escape from victory” clause?

    Frankly, for now, Paramount / Dreamworks / Universal can lie in the bed they made. Happy to see them selling a fraction of what their blu-ray sales would be.

  6. Mehar on January 17th, 2008 3:36 pm

    Can you post a link to this escape clause? What movies have these guys released that should make us care?

  7. Dave Cowl on January 17th, 2008 3:39 pm

    Kris neglects to tell us the the #3 DVD player at Amazon is the Panasonic DMP-BD30K, which sells for almost 3x the price of the $150 A3 (currently #1). So it appears that BD players sell very nicely even at the HUGE price difference, making them a good choice over the very low margin HD DVD players for retailers. It is very unlikely that performance factors will let Warner out of the agreement, however we have heard that Paramount performance ‘outs’ have been triggered. It would seem that Agent Smith has a message for HD DVD… “That is the sound of inevitability… It is the sound of your death…”

  8. Merrick97 on January 17th, 2008 3:40 pm

    It disappoints me that the FUD is still being spread around.
    Kris, you dont have a clue what you are talking about. The Warner escape clause is so low that if they have to exercise it HDM would be dead at that point.

    An 85:15 weekly ratio suggests that aint happening anytime soon.

    Also, Kris your dvd sales is 100% false. If you go here:

    You will see that bluray possesses 9 out of 10 of the top HD titles with the sole HD-DVD being at number 5.

    Not only that HD-DVD has only one release in the Top 100 movie sales. ONLY ONE. Bluray has 13.

    More FUD.

  9. Dave Cowl on January 17th, 2008 3:51 pm

    The main titles of interest that Senator controls are Death Proof and I assume its counterpart. I think that these will make it out on both formats based on the expected time lines…

  10. Mehar on January 17th, 2008 3:54 pm

    The AVS forums are huge! Do you know where a good place to start would be? Like which subforum in the AVS forums?

  11. Mehar on January 17th, 2008 4:02 pm

    Oh, well I hated Deathproof and Grindhouse, they were horrible movies.

  12. Tyler Pruitt on January 17th, 2008 4:07 pm
  13. Dave Cowl on January 17th, 2008 4:15 pm

    Tyler: it was number 3 when I looked. Things change I guess :D Weird… [edit] I guess we are looking at different DVD player charts…

  14. Kris on January 17th, 2008 4:37 pm

    @Merrick97 uhh, when did I ever say anything about software sales? I was talking about the hardware players themselves, and HD DVD is still beating out Blu-ray on amazon with spots 1 and 2.

  15. Mehar on January 17th, 2008 4:38 pm

    Kris, please post some sort of link related to your info, any would help.

  16. Kris on January 17th, 2008 4:41 pm

    Also @Merrick97, the 85:15 represents the very week 2 days after Warners announcement, I mean who would expect anything otherwise? it most certainly would not have been that had Warner not ditched HD DVD along with New Line and HBO. I am not here trying to say HD DVD is still going to win or Blu-ray isn’t winning.. I merely said people need to stop saying the war has ended until they have Paramount and Universal.
    @Dave, I did not actually go to the chart or I would have noted the Blu-ray player at spot 3.. That is impressive and it makes me happy to know that at least those buying that #3 player will be able to play PiP, although never access web enabled features.
    To those that asked the source of that Warner clause, browse the AVS forums.. thats where many insiders leak all their information..

  17. Merrick97 on January 17th, 2008 9:06 pm

    Yeah, and I made my comment based on what Max has said.

  18. Si on January 18th, 2008 12:05 am

    OK, so it’s another all too typical HD DVD rumor based on Chinese whispers about a rumor, bootstrapped from a debunked previous rumor. Contrast this make-your-own-hd-dvd-news with frequent solid announcements of support for Blu-ray, and of dropping HD DVD.

    By sticking with HD DVD, Paramount and Universal will become the mail-order only distributors of the high-def world, with no retailer presence, like those cheap 80s CD collection companies you have to place an order with by phone.

  19. Belard on January 18th, 2008 12:25 am

    Paramoung & Universal will not become mail-order only. They’ll convert to the jedi, er uh – blue side of the force… blu-ray before then.

    Imagine 2-3 years from now, with about 30,000 active HD-DVD owners vs. 15million BluRay Owners.

    PS: a bit off topic, but SONY including Spiderman with the PS3 was perhaps the best way to point out to people that its ALSO a HiDef video player. So they should always include some sort of movie.

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