QuickTakes: How big a blow to HD-DVD is Blockbuster choosing to stock only Sony’s Blu-ray format?

Jun 18, 2007  •  Post A Comment

How big a blow to HD-DVD is Blockbuster choosing to stock only Sony’s Blu-ray format?
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  2. A blockbuster announcement! A pun, it is, but the truth, it is that, too. Critics have been speaking about Blockbuster’s demise ever since Netflix was created, but, it seems, those chickens were counted, yet still have not hatched. Blockbuster is still a huge player in the video business and has put up a great comeback to Netflix with its All Access rental plan to counter the online DVD rental giant. Now, with this announcement, it is certain that Blockbuster still matters in this Web 2.0 world. HD-DVD should be shaking in its dual disc boots. Right now, PS3 and Blockbuster are on the Blu-ray Disc side, while HD-DVD only has an X-BOX attachment on its side. The only thing that HD-DVD can hope for is that Newton’s third law of motion comes true and they have an action of their own. Perhaps, if Netflix or even Walmart gets on the side of HD-DVD could this battle become equal yet again, but right now Blu-ray has pulled ahead. Hopefully, this war will come to an end soon. This announcement is as beneficial for Blu-ray as it is for Blockbuster. Blockbuster wanted to show the world that it still matters and it did just that.

  3. Turn out the lights – the party is over for HD-DVD. They are only 30% marketshare now and will be less than 20% by year end.
    Now, if sony can add the rumble back in ps3, I might go buy one for its blu-ray drive.

  4. Sony was bound and determined to win this format war, since it lost the last one. So, it is no surprise that they aggressively promoted Blu Ray. I like HD-DVD better, as it is more compatible with current systems that already exist. I have no intention to buy a new player until they cost $100.

  5. All sorts of people jumped in a couple months ago swearing that it would be the porn industry that would decide this format war, just like the Beta vs. VHS debacle of the ’80s. But we all knew that that wouldn’t be the case this time.
    But with the cost of high-def discs so much higher than standard DVD’s, the rental market is going to be much more important than it was for DVD’s success. And having one of the largest brick-and-mortar rental chains endorse Blu-ray over HD-DVD is huge. Retailers may have some effect, but it’s the rental chains like Blockbuster that will decide this format war. If the HD-DVD camp could get one or two other major retail chains to back them exclusively, they might stand a chance, but I think that if Blockbuster holds its ground on Blu-ray, it will be the deciding factor in the format war.

  6. The format war is far from over.
    Both formats combined are barely a blip on the overall DVD marketplace.
    While I would certainly agree that it gives a very strong early lead to Blu-Ray, the cost of the players does work against it.
    The ball is in HD DVD’s court now to come back with a strong return. If they don’t, then you can start making funeral arrangements.

  7. Since I get all of my rentals from Netflix this is a non-issue for me (and I do have an HD-DVD player).

  8. HD-DED
    M$-Tosh is done. Finally. Netflix? Please. Last year Netflix did ~ US$1 billion in business. Blockbuster? ~US $6 billion. Next. As for the price of the players, Sony’s second-gen player already has a MSRP of $499, and the prices will only keep getting lower. Why? More manufacturers: Sony, Pioneer, Phillips, Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Dell, HP, Sharp, Magnavox, Acer. Who makes HD-DVD? Nobody but Toshiba, and they have cut prices so ridiculously low so quickly, that no other CE will want to enter that market because there is no profit to be had; no way to recoup R&D.
    Add to this all of the exclusive Blu-ray studios: Disney, Sony. Fox, Lionsgate, Starz Home Entertainment; and their subsidiaries: Buena Vista, MGM, SonyBMG, Pixar; plus the neutral studios Warner and Paramount all against 1 major exclusive studio (Universal) and one semi-major exclusive studio (Weinstein) for HD-DVD. Well, anyone can hear the death knell.

  9. HD DVD is King.
    With 400,000 players compared to 1.5 million Blu Rays (counting the PS3’s)….they only have a 54% to 46% edge in disk sales.
    Has anyone looked at what Blu Ray disks are out there – crapola big time, both in disk quality and selection. The studios have announced their coming titles for the rest of 2007, and the gap widens even more in HD DVD’s favor, with 87 HD DVD titles compared to 54 Blu Ray disks announced.
    If you have 3-4 times the customers with 1/2 the market in media (disks), and the next 6 months show even worse signs of drought for Blu Ray quality movies….Sony is truly pathetic and will ultimately lose the war.
    Sony = Betamax = Mini-DVD = Losing and inferior technology.

  10. Pete, you sound bitter. What good do another 87 titles do if no one is buying them?

  11. Pete the HD Expert…. Stop lying to yourself. It’s over. HDDVD zealots, time to see the light

  12. This just points out that those who jump on the new technology latest and greatest like Blu Ray.
    Those cautious consumers who have jumped on the the flaming the band wagons and have gotten burned in the past are still waiting for a resolution of this format conflict.

  13. The first to market a HD disk for $10 retail along with a $100 player will win the market. If Hollywood price their disks low enough the threat of piracy disappers. HDDVD can be used on existing DVD pressing equipment with little additional cost for modification. Blu Ray upgrade requires lots of dollars for new pressing equipment.. No difference in picture quality. So if Toshiba can get enough inexpensive players out there along with enough inexpensive good titles, they might win the war.

  14. hd dvd just signed dreamworks and paramount to HD-dvd ONLY. that means no blurays from them. given paramount had the strongest dvd sales this year, this battle is far from over. right when i was gonna buy a bluray too….damn.

  15. If you would belive the Blu Ray hype then yeah, HD-DVD is dead from the get go.
    However the truth is more convoluted. I think one factor will make a big difference. the protective coating. It is the same material, however blu ray is 6 times thinner.
    how many of you have a DVD with absolutly no visible scratches on them?
    The protective layer on blu ray is so thin that a non visible scratch will prevent it from playing. In few more months, I’d be willing to bet the “quality” of blu ray comes into question. espcially for the hoses with kid, as most of the ps3 buyers are.

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