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Rounding Up HD News: It Could Be Ho, Ho, Ho for Blu-ray

Oct 4, 2007  •  Post A Comment

It Could Be Ho, Ho, Ho for Blu-ray
It looks likely that by the end of this year’s holiday season, Blu-ray players could gain a sizable advantage over HD DVD in the next-generation DVD format battle. Or so says Kazuhiro Tsuga, a prominent technology executive at Matsushita Electric Industrial, the parent company of Panasonic. According to Cnet.com, Mr. Tsuga said at the Ceatec trade show in Chiba, Japan, that Blu-ray manufacturers soon will slash player prices and deck the halls with advertisements and promotions. By the end of the holiday season, Mr. Tsuga predicted, Blu-ray will bury HD DVD; he also suggested the format war will last only one more year. Mr. Tsuga minimized Paramount Pictures’ commitment to release movies on HD DVD exclusively, saying it lasts only for 18 months. He said the studios are siding with HD DVD “because big money came” to them.
Samsung Shelves Two Next-Gen Players
Two of Samsung’s anticipated Blu-ray players will not be hitting the market next month as planned, WesleyTech.com revealed. Samsung halted production of its high-end BDP-2400 model without explanation, canceling all orders for the player. The manufacturer then delayed the launch of its dual-format HD DVD/Blu-ray player, the BD-UP5000. The dual-format model should now arrive in December. Both players were expected to land on store shelves around Nov. 1. Retailers are said to be backing up WesleyTech’s report, which said the BDP-2400 was canceled because Samsung couldn’t meet an Oct. 31 deadline for specs.
Blu-ray Beats HD DVD in EU, Too
In Europe, sales of Blu-ray DVDs are not just gaining an edge over HD DVD titles, like they are in the U.S.—they’re trouncing them by a factor of 4-to-1, said Sony, the maker of Blu-ray. The figures were helped along by sales of the Sony-produced PlayStation 3, the home console that can play Blu-ray titles out of the box. The major lead has forced studios such as Germany’s Universum Film and France’s Studio Canal to plan Blu-ray releases for the all-important fourth quarter, according to Blu-ray.com. Sales of Blu-ray players in Europe have nearly caught up with those of HD DVD, reflecting a similar trend in the U.S. Currently, Blu-ray disc U.S. sales have a slight edge, due to support from Walt Disney and 20th Century Fox as well as the sale of about 2 million PS3 consoles.
HD Baseball in More Markets
Time Warner announced it is adding TBS HD to its high-definition lineup in the New York/New Jersey area, according to TVPredictions.com. The New York addition means Yankees fans will be able to catch TBS HD’s coverage of the Major League Baseball playoffs. TBS has the rights to broadcast first- and second-round action in the MLB playoffs. Also, East Coast fans of the Boston Red Sox will be able to watch the team slug it out in high-def during the first round of the MLB playoffs because Comcast is adding TBS HD (as well as CNN HD) in Massachusetts and parts of New Hampshire. Comcast now offers 28 HD channels in the Massachusetts area, TVPredictions.com reported.

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