Universal to Release on Blu-ray Disc

Posted by Dave Cowl on February 19, 2008 
Filed Under: Blu-ray, Format War, Studios

universal.jpegIn some not unexpected news, Home Media Magazine is reporting that Universal Studios will now start releasing titles on Blu-ray Disc.

After the announcement from Toshiba that they will discontinue HD DVD production, Craig Kornblau, president of Universal Studios Home Entertainment, made the following statements:

"While Universal values the close partnership we have shared with Toshiba, it is time to turn our focus to releasing new and catalog titles on Blu-ray."

"The path for widespread adoption of the next-generation platform has finally become clear. Universal will continue its aggressive efforts to broaden awareness for hi-def’s unparalleled offerings in interactivity and connectivity, at an increasingly affordable price. The emergence of a single, high-definition format is cause for consumers, as well as the entire entertainment industry, to celebrate."

Related posts:

  1. Ken Graffeo to Leave High Def Post at Universal
  2. Universal Blu-ray Releases Summer 2008
  3. Universal Going Neutral?
  4. Retailers to Phase Out HD DVD
  5. First U.S. Indie Blu-ray Replication Plant Opens


19 Responses to “Universal to Release on Blu-ray Disc”

  1. The Guardian on February 19th, 2008 10:04 am

    This was a no-brainer.. I want to see release dates especially on Heroes and the Bourne trilogy!

  2. Dave Cowl on February 19th, 2008 10:20 am

    I want the Jackson films – Kong and Frighteners. And maybe BSG.

  3. Jonsson on February 19th, 2008 10:24 am

    Great, if now only Paramount can get their heads out of the closet as well.

  4. Tim on February 19th, 2008 10:34 am

    I hope that “at an increasingly affordable price” doesn’t just refer to player prices. I’m not going to pay $30 for a movie.

  5. Belard on February 19th, 2008 1:05 pm

    Wait! I think that Universal should only develop for HD-DVD, until every single player is dead. naaa… that would be cruel, that should be Paramount punishment :)

    I guess Paramount is trying to put into words “We were idiots, but we still believe in the format that the customers want, at least HD-DVD is available at Amazon”…

  6. Mehar on February 19th, 2008 2:20 pm

    Belard: Both Universl and Paramount released their inntentions in January, stating it was all on Toshiba, they ketp their word. Universal is a really trooper, sticking with it in the end even after the contract was finished, not so much Paramount though since the rumors were so high in numbers that they were defecting. Either way I thank these studios for their support, and am intrested to see the DVD forum comment on their future aswell.

    I hope Microsoft secures a deal with Universal on the marketplace and all.

  7. Markac on February 19th, 2008 4:46 pm

    Why would anyone in their right mind want to pay Micro$oft for every HD Movie they want to watch? Grow up, just because your format has lost you don’t have to be sore loser!

  8. Jesterrace on February 19th, 2008 9:25 pm

    The question is what are Paramount and Universal doing about support for HD-DVD.

  9. Jonsson on February 20th, 2008 12:28 am


    What do you expect them to do? The format is dead. I would be utterly surprised if they spend any effort, not to mention dollars, on a dead format.

    They need to spend their effort on getting HD content out on the winning format, nothing else.

  10. Belard on February 20th, 2008 2:06 am


    The LAST Universal HD-DVD was released today, American Gangster. And that was the LAST thing on their release schedule in all over 2008 and this was BEFORE Best Buy & Wal-Mart pulling out of HD-DVD…. so their support of HD-DVD wasn’t there for the past month or so. Fletch may come out, but I doubt it, who wants to watch THAT in HiDef?

    Paramount has a few more titles SCHEDULED until late march – after that, nothing. But the question, do THEY continue to bring out the last 4 titles?
    Beowulf (2007)(Paramount) Feb 26
    Into The Wild (Paramount) mar.4
    The Kite Runner (Paramount) mar.25
    The Jack Ryan Collection (Paramount) mar.25

    WB has 11 titles left.

    Blu-Ray won’t replace my DVDs. I will only replace those videos that really could make use of it, usually SciFi and epic films. StarWars, Blade Runner, 5th Element, Gladiator, Pixar films, etc.

  11. Belard on February 20th, 2008 2:15 am

    @ Mehar:

    What do you mean by:
    “I hope Microsoft secures a deal with Universal on the marketplace and all.”
    ? ? ?

    Hey I was talking to a FRYs Sales man today about HD-DVD and Blu of course. He says they’ve not had problem selling Blu-Ray players for months… sure some people balk at the $400~600 price, but they sold plenty of standard players.

    Look at their main promotional area of big screen TVs – 58~64″ LCDs / Plasmas / DLP – they all had same-brand Blue-Player attached to them. Panny with Panny, Sony with Sony, etc. Many of these huge TVs (which I cannot afford) were $4000~6000! When a person buys that, a $400 player is change money. The remotes work together better, etc.

  12. Mehar on February 20th, 2008 5:08 pm

    Belard: Microsoft has a Digital Distribution service called Xbox Live Marketplace, Universal is the last studio that supporting HD DVD at one time to not be on the list of distributors. Warner, Paramount, Disney, ABC, and I belive Fox all distribute their content on it in pure HD quality, the quality you get in their BR/HD DVD discs is what you get on Marketplace.

  13. Dave Cowl on February 20th, 2008 6:02 pm

    @Mehar: I don’t believe that XBox Live is the same quality as BD or even HD DVD.

  14. Belard on February 20th, 2008 6:09 pm

    Er… okay. Xbox live has little or nothing to do with Blu-Ray. Xbox live videos are not in the same running as HD-Content… and even if so, those are RENTALS.

    Also… how much can you fit onto a standard xbox? 20GB drives come half full with stuff you need. Then buy the 120GB drive version? As I have pointed out here – the cost to DL content and “hold it” is expensive even when its CHEAP.

    I don’t own an xbox… why would I want to spend $350~450 for a console I don’t even want and pay Microsoft in funny money to rent movies I can’t transport? And playback on a console that may die of RROD. If the xbox actually transfered 1080 quality video, the top end xbox can only hold 5~7 movies!

    See… that don’t work.

  15. Mehar on February 20th, 2008 6:24 pm


    Belard: Some of them are for keeps, I remember getting some VP episdoes aswell as some HD southpark ones a while back.

  16. Mehar on February 20th, 2008 7:01 pm

    Also, as a follow up: Dave you said yourself all Warner titles on HD DVD and Blu Ray use VC-1, WMV HD is built on VC-1 aswell. The shots taken in the article above are running at 720p, XBLM is one of the if the not the best when it comes to digital distribution.

    Belard: Microsoft only makes 30% of that money, the studios make the rest. With the 20GB you will be able to get 1 HD movie and one SD movie, plus the 360 will upscale the video if VGA or HDMI is used, which makes things a bit better. RROD is not a issue on the newer consoles since they use the new chipsets, the PS3 started a similar service with transfers the video files in DivX hd, a inferior format to WMV HD.,review-755-5.html

  17. Dave Cowl on February 20th, 2008 7:38 pm

    Mehar: VC-1 is just part of the equation. 720p is not as good as 1080p (which both BDs and HD DVDs use), and the bitrate is also significantly lower.

    It all adds up to… less for downloads.

    Most HD DVD titles, the movie consumes anywhere from 14 to 25 GB. That is a significant download, especially if your ISP starts billing you when you go over your quota. So, they make do with quite a bit less date. Less data => less quality.

  18. Belard on February 20th, 2008 9:52 pm

    Er.. that link to Tomshardware… the Reviewer said he prefered DivX-HD. So how is that an anti-DivX-HD thingy?,review-755-6.html

    Gee. I think I already stated you could only fit 5 movies or so on the 120GB Xbox, so WHOOPIE I can HAVE a single movie on an Xbox360! So, why should I spend $350+MS0Live+$15 to own a crappy 720 movie file? I think a $300 blue Ray player + $25 movie would be cheaper and actually usable.

    RROD is STILL an issue with current Xbox360s. Its been improved. last year, the failure rate was 33%! The newer models have a 16% failure rate. The PS3 has a 1% failure rate.

    So why the hell would I spend $350 for an Xbox for downloads only, when $400 would get me a PS3 that does downloads AND plays the HD-media standard Blu-Ray discs?

    Did you read my posts here? Go back… Do the math. Get out a calculator.

    $4-5 for rental (24hr watch period no extras) or $15 for ownership to 1-2 devices (depending on the service) and thats just for SD quality, so even if its HD at the same price or higher…
    +$5 for HD storage on a cheap $100 500GB HD.

    That is still $20~25 to partly own a featureless movie title on a non-portable transport system. What retard would want this to build a library with?

    The HD-DVD crowd talks about HOW great the feature set is on HD-DVD over blu, but then say “Well, we’ll go to HD-Downloads” which has FAR more DRM, less quality and NO extras. Wow.

  19. Mehar on February 25th, 2008 7:02 pm

    Belard: He said he prefers WMV HD to preserve quality, but for things like sitcoms and drama’s in which quality dosen’t matter he prefers DivX. Their are other ways to get WMV HD content on your 360 other then XBLM place, in FULL HD!

    Like I said, Microsoft got it right with WMV HD, they got their codec quality levels to comparable heights.

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