Warner Bros. Goes Blu-Ray Exclusive

Warner Bros. rolled up its sleeves in the format war today and announced that it was discontinuing support for HD-DVD after May 2008.

From their press release:

“Warner Bros.’ move to exclusively release in the Blu-ray disc format is a strategic decision focused on the long term and the most direct way to give consumers what they want,” said Meyer. “The window of opportunity for high-definition DVD could be missed if format confusion continues to linger. We believe that exclusively distributing in Blu-ray will further the potential for mass market success and ultimately benefit retailers, producers, and most importantly, consumers.”

“A two-format landscape has led to consumer confusion and indifference toward high definition, which has kept the technology from reaching mass adoption and becoming the important revenue stream that it can be for the industry,” said Tsujihara. “Consumers have clearly chosen Blu-ray, and we believe that recognizing this preference is the right step in making this great home entertainment experience accessible to the widest possible audience. Warner Bros. has worked very closely with the Toshiba Corporation in promoting high definition media and we have enormous respect for their efforts. We look forward to working with them on other projects in the future.”

Format wars suck. That’s all we really have to say about it.

Warner Bros. Entertainment to Release its High-Definition DVD Titles Exclusively in the Blu-Ray Disc Format Beginning Later This Year [Time Warner]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Tejas says:

    consumers really havn’t chosen blu-ray over hd-dvd (at least here in australia.) Blu-ray has the advantage that it’s in every PS3 that ships, so people who are buying PS3s are getting a Blu-Ray Player as well. people are than buying blu-ray discs because they already have a player. they are not buying a blu-ray player to play discs.

  2. pepe the king prawn says:

    format wars *do* suck. until the day someone (blu-ray, hd-dvd, whatever) will replace all of the dvds i currently own, then i would consider buying a new format.

    i’ve been screwed too many times. audio: 8 track -> cassette -> cd. video: beta (yeah, i’m an idiot) -> vhs -> dvd.

    to the folks who think i want to buy everything again: fuck you!

  3. ShadowArmor says:

    I really hope this will be the final nail in the coffin for HD-DVD. Blu-ray is the superior technology, and yes — format wars DO suck. It is very very true that format wars lead to indifference.

  4. @pepe the king prawn: That’s why I make it a practice to skip every other technological innovation. Like every other generation of video game consoles, and every other generation of music or video recording formats.

    Everything that comes out on the one you skip becomes available on the next-generation console/in the next-generation format ANYWAY, or the new tech is backwards-compatible with the old tech.

  5. MBZ321 says:

    This is why I don’t buy movies (I don’t own one single (legal) DVD). I almost never watch them more than once, and are useless when a new format comes out (VHS anyone?) This is regardless of the cost of the machine (since I wait till it is as cheap as my $30 VCR or $7 DVD Player)

  6. chutch says:

    Format wars suck. I have both players, but I’ll be happier if BluRay wins this one. The technology seems leaps and bounds better than what I’ve seen from HDDVD.

  7. IrisMR says:

    He’s darn right, I’m uninterested in that format war and I don’t even consider anything HD. When the players become a decent price and there’s just one left I’ll consider to buy HD stuff.

    …I’ll also have to get an HD TV first. Oh hum. Still got good ol’ tubes. A couple big nice Toshiba. And the TV in the basement is one of ’em old TVs that look like a desk.

  8. mungojerry says:

    I heard a rumor that blu-ray sucks – AND the discs cost 3 times as much as HD. How come no-one other than sony-people are buying the discs?

  9. glass says:

    Man… HD-DVD, I’ve been rootin for ya… Honestly I prefer HD-DVDs. They have more capabilities, and they’re already standardized. People say that the video content of HD-DVD

    But… I also own a PS3 so I guess I’m covered either way.

    I don’t see how HD-DVD is going to survive this.

  10. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    And of course, I’m sure this decision was purely motivated by a heartfelt desire to give the consumer the best possible choice and value for the money, and not by some factor of corporate greed.


    Earth to Warner Brothers: Get bent.

    Excuse me while I continue browsing the fine selection of DVD’s in the $5.99 bin at Wal-Mart.

  11. snoop-blog says:

    i thought a blu-ray disc could hold up to 50gigs? i thought that was the number 1 reason to adopt it. think about having every season of the sopranos all on just one disc. but then again, when your ONE disc gets scratched, your f’d. which side of the sword do you prefer?

  12. Rachacha says:

    One advantage that I thought HD-DVD had was backwards compatibility that would allow an HD-DVD player to play a standard DVD (and CD) (therefore allowing you to get rid of your standard DVD player (and possibly your CD player) from your entertainment center).
    Blu-Ray has more storage capability, however I believe that HD-DVD was working on a technology that would allow it to exceed the Blu-ray capacity.

  13. nyyankees says:


    You can play DVDs in blu-ray disc players. Blu-ray is working on 100gb and 200gb discs, not HD-DVD.

  14. glass says:


    yes, but a bluray player wont upconvert, which is a big deal to most people.

  15. FrankM says:

    I call BS on the “Consumers, Consumers, Consumers” lines. It’s about the easiest way for WB to streamline their production, and to make the most money as quickly as possible.

    WB took 7+ years to give in to consumers’ wishes to ditch the crappy “snapper” packaging.

    If they were truly listening to their customers, they’d institute the following on their DVD products:

    1. No forced trailers or warnings — it only serves to piss off buyers. People who copy or download a DVD cut those elements out. Why should the lesson here be “the better viewing experience comes from a stolen copy.”?

    2. How about a booklet? A disc and a sleeve? That’s it?

    3. Quit using “O-cards” and other non-durable paperboard packaging, as they are pointless and wasteful.

    4a. If you are going to reissue a “classic” movie with new bonus materials and a better presentation, include a $5 rebate coupon for “upgraders”. (Early DVDs were lacking, but now the format is mature and you want to correct those early flaws.)

    4b. If you are going to put out different versions of a NEW movie, do it at the same time, or at least let buyers know that another version is coming. (Like the first & second versions of the LOTR movies, not like the third!)

  16. WhiteTrashLegend says:


    Um, actually Blu-ray players upconvert just fine.

  17. b-real says:


    This is incorrect. Blu-ray players can upconvert DVDs. I’m watching an upconverted DVD on my PS3 as I’m typing this.

  18. itmustbeken says:

    The Betamax VS VHS ware was settled when the porn industry released titles on VHS. Has anyone spoken to them about this?

  19. gamaliel says:


    Dirty little secret: nobody wants HD porn. Do you really want to see every genital wart and razor burn?

  20. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    I would post that I don’t care, but then I would have to post complaining about yet another “I don’t care” post :)
    Seriously, I am with several others. Once the dust has settled and the discs and players are as inexpensive as what we have now, maybe I’ll buy.

    And +1000 on the ditch the forced warnings and trailers thing. I already BOUGHT THE FUCKING MOVIE, I don’t need an FBI warning in THREE FUCKING LANGUAGES.

  21. West Coast Secessionist says:

    Fuck Sony, that’s my only comment on this. Fuck them and their format with worse DRM than DVD or HD-DVD ever had, fuck their region-encoding, fuck their overpriced PS3, and fuck betamax in its grave.

    Thanks, I’m done. I think I’ll just download all my HD content for free from the Internet from now on.

  22. cerbie says:

    @FrankM: 1-3: yes, yes, and yes. I’ve been quite impressed with the MGMs I’ve gotten recently, in that they have previews, but they can be skipped.

    4a. You paid early adopter tax. Many of us waited. Want firsties? Pay for firsties. I’ll take a later edition. I’d like to say CDs were the same way, but while somewhat true, it’s a big can of worms (“Yeah, can you have everything louder than everything else?”).

    4b. Agreed. 4a applies to the first release, but not the third. And, what’s up with films that have many basically similar releases? I can see Evil Dead movies, FI, with book packaging, but why all the other editions? Just figure out what you want to fit in ~8.5GB, and make it. Once. It’s not like I’m going to buy all bazillion Evil Dead releases (especially all the Army of Darkness editions), but I’d like to know the differences between them, beyond physical packaging.

  23. Smackdown says:

    This news makes my recent PS3 purchase seem better and better.

  24. DTaylor404 says:

    This is really old news. Why is it showing up in the RSS feed for Dec 19 2009?