Will Bueché

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High-def wars surprising news

Posted in Personal by Will on Monday, August 20th, 2007 ~ 11am

Holy crap. In the format war between the two high-def formats, BluRay and HD-DVD, Paramount reportedly just received a $150 million dollar “bribe” to stop supporting BluRay.

Paramount announced this morning that they will exclusively back the HD-DVD format, which until today was spiraling down the drain (with Blockbuster and Target both having announced they’d only be selling BluRay, and with most major studios all releasing either exclusively in BluRay, or in both BluRay and HD-DVD).

I put bribe in quotes because that is only what it seems like. Paramount will reportedly receive $50 million and DreamWorks (part of Paramount) will receive $100 million for “promotional” use. Not a bribe. You better believe that the government will open an investigation into this. Wow.

This only affects me personally in that I’d planned on eventually getting BluRay — like, in a couple years. Now, who knows what may happen.

It’s a toss-up for me now, though HD-DVD seems to have a slight edge. Picking a few recent favorites, here is their availability as far as I can tell (some haven’t been announced but the distributors have sided with one format or another, making them likely):

BLURAY The Fifth Element
BLURAY Terminator2
BLURAY Underworld
BLURAY X-Men 2
(BOTH) Blade Runner
(BOTH) Blade3
(BOTH) Superman Returns
HD-DVD Battlestar Galactica series
HD-DVD Bourne Identity
HD-DVD Heroes tv series
HD-DVD Kill Bill
HD-DVD Serenity
HD-DVD V for Vendetta

I’ve been a BluRay fan, hoping it would win, but if this war is going to continue another year then I have to say that based on the available titles in the sci-fi and adventure categories, that HD-DVD may have the advantage.

I still believe BluRay is the superior format, technologically. But BluRay winning depended on HD-DVD failing. If they are both around, then the war is decided on titles alone. And HD-DVD has more titles I am interested in. But some of the best titles (Underworld) are essential too. This format war sucks.

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