When Warner Bros. announced at CES last weekend that it would no longer support the HD-DVD format and would exclusively offer Blu-rays, Toshiba and the other companies that support the HD-DVD format canceled an HD-DVD event that was to be held at CES and went into damage control. Rumors of Paramount’s imminent switch from HD-DVD to Blu-ray have been making the rounds for days. Paramount claims it has no plans to switch formats.
As a recent buyer of an HD-DVD player, you would think I would be frustrated at hearing this news, but that is not the case. The end of the war is what’s important — Blu-ray’s win will be a beautiful thing. With any luck all the studios will kick Blu-ray production into high-gear so that I will be satisfied when I inevitably buy a PlayStation 3 later this year.
I recently rented an excellent Japanese animated film, Paprika. I had to get it on standard DVD because it is on Blu-ray and not on HD-DVD. I have decided to buy the film and it will be one of my first Blu-ray purchases. I am sure thousands of film geeks the world over are facing a similar HD dilemma.
Many consumers have been waiting for combo players to become affordable before jumping into the HD film market. Others have been hoping that one format will surpass the others. Either way, the result has been a hindered adoption rate. Let’s hope Paramount — and Universal, the other major hold-out — follows Warner’s lead. And then maybe I can stop writing blogs about the slow demise of a format war that should’ve never happened in the first place.