Netflix Says Chooses Blu-ray Format over HD DVD

Posted by Dave Cowl on February 11, 2008 
Filed Under: Blu-ray, Format War, HD DVD

netflix.jpgWe read at Reuters that the online DVD rental service Netflix intends to phase out HD DVD rentals by year end.

With the Warner move from neutrality to Blu-ray exclusivity, Netflix said that with such a clear signal from the industry, it will
only buy Blu-ray discs going forward and will phase out stock of HD DVD.

Via EngadgetHD 

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24 Responses to “Netflix Says Chooses Blu-ray Format over HD DVD”

  1. Andrew on February 11th, 2008 9:16 am

    Price increases to follow membership cancellation imminent. Blockbuster gains ground.

  2. James on February 11th, 2008 9:17 am

    Most likely very true, I wonder if Blockbuster is as backed up on HD movies as Netflix is. Even though Netflix is going exclusive, no one will still be able to rent HD movies all are on “Very Long Wait” in my list.

  3. Mehar on February 11th, 2008 10:00 am

    Isn’t this the same company that has been critisiced for having those long ass wait times?

  4. Merrick97 on February 11th, 2008 10:06 am

    Its funny,

    The same people who were talking crap about Blockbuster when they made announced they were supporting bluray are now saying the same thing about Netflix.

    Its only a matter of time before Blockbuster dumps HD-DVD from online, too.

  5. Dave Cowl on February 11th, 2008 10:26 am

    Merrick, I tend to agree.

    It would not surprise me at all that Blockbuster was only keeping HD DVD due to Netflix.

    Now that Nelflix has decided to phase out HD DVD support, it would not surprise me at all if Blockbuster follows suite.

  6. Jonsson on February 11th, 2008 10:38 am

    A very logical move Now it is more or less only Paramount and Universal now that insist on screwing the use community by stubbornly refusing to see reality.

  7. Kris on February 11th, 2008 10:53 am

    Surprising to me that Netflix would do this before blu-ray gaining studio support of the 2nd and 3rd biggest studios in the market with Universal/Paramount/Dreamworks. Guess it’ll be impossible for anyone to rent American Gangster in High Def.. what a tragedy.. good thing I buy all my movies and not rent.

  8. Jeff on February 11th, 2008 11:27 am

    Looks like sales of HD DVD’s should increase for anyone wanting to see any new releases from universal or paramount in high def.

  9. Chris on February 11th, 2008 12:44 pm

    the article said at the end of the year. not next week.

  10. Merrick97 on February 11th, 2008 1:10 pm
  11. lozenp on February 11th, 2008 1:36 pm

    Got an email from Netflix detailing the plans for HD DVD preferring customers. Take a look:

  12. webdev511 on February 11th, 2008 3:44 pm


    Quote Netflix email:”While we will continue to make our current selection of HD DVD titles available to you for the next several months, we will not be adding additional HD DVD titles or reordering replacements.”

    They’re not buying any new HD DVDs and not replacing damaged discs.

    Oh yeah, they lost a bunch of customers today.

  13. Dave Cowl on February 11th, 2008 3:47 pm

    Paramount and Universal will progressively see avenues to sell their HD products reduced.

    I can’t see how this can be any advantage for them. We see a rental channel closing here, a retail channel diminishing with Best Buy. This is just the beginning.

    In reality, the revenue channels are now starting to make the decision for Universal and Paramount. Just as many, including myself, said they would…

  14. Kevin Murphy on February 11th, 2008 4:13 pm

    1) This makes no sense for Netflix unless forcing Paramount and Universal to change benefits them. It benefits $ony, of course, but I don’t see how that helps Netflix. Oh, wait.

    2) Cancelled my Netflix account today — even though I’ve got both formats, I hate bullsh*t, and their “for the children”-style email reeked of it. They’re doing it for them and them alone. And if they weren’t paid off it makes no sense since it gains them no one, removes no inventory problem, and loses them all DVD owners.

    3) Netflix fees for blu-ray will go up, of course. They’ve already said it would “when they decide on a format.”

    4) How long do you suppose it will be until the BDA disables component output? Bet you that’s coming right up, too, now that the consumer’s choices have been removed.

  15. Kevin Murphy on February 11th, 2008 4:15 pm

    um HDDVD owners

  16. Dave Cowl on February 11th, 2008 4:39 pm

    Do you think that there is no cost associated with Netflix stocking HD DVDs?

    Note that they are not stopping renting them, they are just no longer getting new ones.

    Netflix can see the writing on the wall. HD DVD revenues are on the way down. They have no incentive to continue adding HD DVDs to their title base. I am sure they know exactly how much it costs to keep a title alive – they need for the revenue to exceed the costs in the long term to make it viable.

    As it is I am sure their profit margins are not great…

  17. Belard on February 11th, 2008 5:43 pm

    Sorry dude that you’re pissed… but its not Netflix fault. This is how it happens when something looses. Amiga… when it was dying, stores close up shops. magazines get smaller and disappear. BETA lastest years, but there were 16million units in the market… With only a million HD-DVD, its time to limit the damage to those, rather than having the format die with 5million HD-DVD players and 20million Blu-Ray players in the future.

    Having TWO formats has always been a problem. It was NEVER to last. Its not in the best INTRESTS of any store, wharehouse or studio to spend the money to make 2 versions of almost the exact same thing!

    Blu will come down in price. And in the year or so after today – you’ll BUY a blu-ray player (maybe from Toshiba) so you can watch movies in HD on your HD-TV.

  18. Kevin Murphy on February 11th, 2008 6:00 pm

    Hey, man, I own a BD player (Panny BD30K). NOT my point. The higher cost, higher price format won, mainly because their main backer controlled a large piece of the movie biz and spent a LOT of money subsidizing the PS3. “Consumers” are still preferring the HD DVD players (see below), despite all the favors that Netflix, Best Buy and their ilk suggest they are doing for them by removing that choice.

    I have had lots of problems with blu-ray discs, and never a problem with any HD DVD disc ever. Updating blu-ray is a chore, updating HD DVD players is a button click. I liked buying discs (either format) for $8 during Amazon BOGOs. No more.

    But then that’s me. I can afford this stuff. But it’s becoming clear that not all that many can, and the window of opportunity is closing. HD DVD could have made this a mass market, leading to low prices. Unclear if blu-ray will ever get there. I’m betting on iMovie myself. Not this year, but soon.

  19. Dave Cowl on February 11th, 2008 6:28 pm

    Kevin – It seems to me that consumers are preferring Blu-ray and for myself, the experience with HD DVD and Blu-ray are completely reversed compared to yours.

    But mileage varies. Regarding cost, the loss leader player pricing for HD DVD prematurely changed the whole face of the HD Media battlefront, and in some ways the consumer has gained significantly from this phase – the two format phase – now the loss leading needs to end, and replaced with a viable business model.

    I believe that this is what we are seeing today.

    The loss leading drew you in, perhaps prematurely, to the HD Media. I think it is ‘back to reality’ for the most part now…

    With respect to iMovie, we see today that most people buy their HD Media from Best Buy. If people can’t even buy online from Amazon to save money, how likely is it that they will move to a download model, which is not really even technologically viable today?

  20. Jonsson on February 11th, 2008 10:37 pm

    Kevin, the BETTER format won. Not surprisingly it is also slightly higher priced.

    The price difference for a player is fairly uninterresting and the price difference for a disk is ZERO around where I live.

    The prices for player will go down rapidly as i it has always done for new hardware. If the two formats have done anything is DELAYING the drop in prices since no one could get profitable volumes in the production.

    You talk about people not being able to afford Blu-ray (which is total nonsense) and the about iMovie?

    Yeah right :-( It will take a VERY long time before I would we would be able to get a internet connection with a bandwith where downloading a move could be done ina reasonable time. I will happily whatch many many Blu-ray movies (and perhaps the next disk format as well) before that happens.

  21. webdev511 on February 11th, 2008 10:55 pm

    @Dave Cowl

    Funny how I keep hearing that talking point about people preferring blu-ray over hd dvd, because a vast majority of the people I know that have seen and used both, prefer hd dvd.

    I have players and movies in both formats. Head to head, it is blatantly obvious that blu is unfinished. Well at least there is blufocus to help the studios with quality issues and a nice set of HD DVD titles for them to use as a guide for implementing interactivity.

  22. Dave Cowl on February 12th, 2008 1:24 am

    Webdev – my HD DVD player is a buggy piece of crap. My Blu-ray player has worked close to flawlessly.

    That explains my experiences with both formats. Both are first gen players.

    Most people who have had good experiences with HD DVD are not using first gen players. The first gen players were not good. I refuse to buy a new player since the whole advantage of HD DVD was that it was cost effective. If you have to buy two players, that advantage is lost.

    People have also had bad experiences with the HD DVD combo discs, even with the most recent discs and most recent hardware.

    And the firmware updates with fixes for bugs just keep on coming. We are up to, what, version 2.8? I guess they needed the internet connection for firmware updates, not only the paltry selection of discs that actually use it..?

    It also seems that most people have had bad BD experiences have Samsung players… Samsung does not seem to have done a very good job of BD-J compatibility.

    All said though, I wonder if you can explain why the super expensive Blu-ray players are outselling the incredibly good value for money HD DVD players, if you think that somehow HD DVD offers the best overall experience?

    In the last measure from NPD, the $150 HD DVD had only 28% of the market. Seems a little low if it offers the right answer, don’t you think?

  23. Tyler Pruitt on February 12th, 2008 3:07 am


    The only flawless BD player I have seen is the PS3. How well do the POTC discs play on the Panasonic players? Do they have the super long initial load
    times like on my Samsung BD-P1400?

  24. Dave Cowl on February 12th, 2008 9:03 am

    Load times for BD-J discs can be long, however there were no issues with the playback for PoTC 1 and 2, nor playing Liars Dice.

    Though it is not like the A1 is a speedy loader…

    BD-J load time is certainly longer than I would like in general.

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