Is Warner Dumbing Down HD DVD Releases?

Posted by Dave Cowl on January 23, 2008 
Filed Under: Blu-ray, Format War, HD DVD, Studios

iamlegend.thumbnail.jpgOver at Eye Crave DVD we read something interesting about the upcoming releases of I am Legend.

While noting that the HD DVD will release 3 weeks later than the 2 DVD sets and the Blu-ray Disc release, Shane says that according to the notes he received, the HD DVD will not contain all of the same extra features as the Blu-ray disc.

Both discs should have the alternate version of the film and the Animated Comic. The Blu-ray Disc is said to also have a ‘Creating I Am Legend’ Documentary and Cautionary Tale: The Science of I Am Legend, where Will Smith, director Francis Lawrence, producer-screenwriter Akiva Goldsman and novelist Richard Matheson examine the real-life science behind the film.

Keep in mind that there is no hard evidence that the HD DVD will not include these extra features also, but it is certainly conceptually possible that either due to capacity limitations or due to Warner having chosen their side, that they would have content exclusive to the Blu-ray release compared to the HD DVD. It will be interesting to see as more details become officially available.

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17 Responses to “Is Warner Dumbing Down HD DVD Releases?”

  1. Ryan on January 24th, 2008 6:42 am

    Oh of course, it’s the capacity limitations of the inferior format. Because so many Blu Ray discs have extra stuff that the HD counterparts are not able to hold. I mean even the box sets are a different number of dicsc, right? The dual format releases always have better sound and picture quality on Blu Ray – everyone knows that. Come on, this is nothing more than Warner sticking it to format exclusive owners of it’s forgotten format.

  2. Felix on January 24th, 2008 6:58 am

    good to hear that. though I am not planning to buy this title, I love what I warner do to signify BD support

  3. Jonsson on January 24th, 2008 7:41 am

    If they want to end this stupid war then that would be the right thing to do. Limitations or no limitations.

    I think they should stop publishing any form of HD-DVD titles. It’s just a waste of time and money and prolongs the agony.

  4. Felix on January 24th, 2008 7:47 am

    next…. update that website about Warner High Def… It still states HD DVD above/before BD

  5. Kris on January 24th, 2008 8:33 am

    You all seem to forget about the TL51 being approved last year for HD DVD.. theres a big rumor flying around that Paramount is about to announce a bunch of new catalog titles, many that use the new 51gig disc..

  6. Mi on January 24th, 2008 9:46 am

    And who’s going to throw more money into developing this? Toshiba? Their stock holders will burn them at the stake if they throw more good money after bad.

    Also, just curious, how is this rumor more reasonable than the rumor that Paramount will return to Blu-Ray within the next two months? Substantiated by the fact that they have an out clause that allows them to do so?

    C’mon, it really is over people…

  7. Mehar on January 24th, 2008 10:16 am

    I don’t think space is a issue, I mean warner releases on HD DVD have always been packed with content that wasn’t on the Blu Ray version, so Im guessing Warner is trying to “Apologize” to its Blu Ray owners.

  8. Jonsson on January 24th, 2008 10:54 am

    This talk about “content” is really bugging me. It’s the die hard enthusiast that care about extra content and no one else, at leat as far as I’m concerned.

    Of all my friends and relatives I have almost no-one that cares about the extra content. I virtually NEVER look at any of it.

    I only want the film itself and I want it in high definition on a format that I can be assured will not dissapear next year.

    I really dislike this focus on extra material and I whish the studios didn’t focus so much on this crap.

    Blu-ray is the best format and with the Warner announcement it looks like it’s, hopefully, the winner. I just whish that Universal and Paramount would just accept this and give it up so that we can go on.

  9. Felix on January 24th, 2008 10:56 am


    On that list, there is AI (Artificial Intelligence), distributed by Paramount (USA), and Warner (Worldwide). How do you suppose Spielberg react when he heard that announcement that it’s coming to HD DVD? He is not going to like it, and will force Dreamworks to apologise to him (just like Universal’s case)

  10. DS2 on January 24th, 2008 11:27 am


    AI? Nevermind that–did you notice Saving Private Ryan is also on that list?

    I’m also curious about “The Spielberg Factor.”

  11. Mi on January 24th, 2008 11:42 am

    Spielberg owns his movies. Anyone saying that anything of his will be distributed on any media he doesn’t want to just because of the studio that distributed it is talking trash.

    Johnson makes a great point, and one the majority of the more vocal HDVD folks don’t’ get. It’s about the content, but the content being the MOVIE itself. It doesn’t matter to most people that they can’t connect to the internet with their Blu-Ray player (other than when a firmware update is needed I grant you). Speaking for myself, I’m more looking for a format that will be still viable in 10 years than something that was patched together from old DVD equipment and has PIP and Ethernet in Rev1.

  12. Dave Cowl on January 24th, 2008 2:39 pm

    @Mehar: Up to now, Warner has not done much if anything with HD extras on HD DVD. I seem to recall one of the Potter discs that had HD extras on the BD that were SD on the HD DVD… In any case, any significant extras presented in HD will not fit on an HD DVD without other sacrifices. As for extras, I tend to watch the deleted or extended scenes and some of the ‘Making of’ stuff if the movie was shot in an interesting way. Last night I watched Deja Vu and watched some of the features like the ones on camera rigs and explosive rigs (as well as the cut scenes)…

  13. Belard on January 24th, 2008 6:29 pm

    Hope nobody is holding their breath waiting for TL51… lets see approved NOV2007. Uh oh, it’s specification 2.0 Which means, most likely – like BR players – you’d need a whole NEW HD-DVD player. Toshiba declined to say whether the triple-layer disc is compatible with existing drives and players. (This means, most likely NO)

    Each layer adds to the costs of disc production.

    Doubt anyone is actually doing anything with TL51 – especially after what has happened a few weeks ago.

  14. Ryan on January 24th, 2008 7:18 pm

    If the movies on that Paramount list come out – that would be huge. There are some awesome titles on there – no one can deny Saving Private Ryan, Deep Impact, Gladiator & Braveheart, not to mention the animated ones on there – Shrek Trilogy & Shark Tale.

  15. Ryan on January 24th, 2008 7:19 pm

    They need to hurry up and get Godfather Trilogy & Scarface out …

  16. Belard on January 25th, 2008 12:20 am

    If they are winding down releases and production runs – coming out with top titles will not be on high on the list of things to do.

    Shrek 3 = unfunny garbage. other than Donkey trading places… blah. Shark’s Tale, another very weak 3D animation story.

  17. Craig on January 31st, 2008 5:01 pm

    Belard, supposedly all current HD DVD players will support TL. Which, if true, is another reason HD DVD is better. Gotta love a format where the consumer isn’t continually taken to the cleaners for new players.

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