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Paramount to return to Blu-ray?

updated 08:35 am EST, Tue January 8, 2008

Paramount May Return to BR

Film studio Paramount is likely to return to the Blu-ray camp after Warner's highly publicized abandonment of HD DVD, according to sources reportedly in touch with the Financial Times. Those "familiar with the situation" claim that the Hollywood firm has a clause that will let it drop its months-long HD DVD contract for exclusivity in the case that Warner defects. This will save the company from having to produce HD movies in the disc format regardless of whether genuine support exists, says the report. DreamWorks Animation, whose movies are distributed by Paramount, may also follow suit.

As late as yesterday afternoon, Paramount spokespeople had drawn attention by noting that the studio would continue to support HD DVD but yet decided against announcing any movies that use the format at CES. The company has yet to comment on the latest speculation.

If announced, a conversion back to Blu-ray would all but end conflict between the rival formats. Warner's backing of Blu-ray has left HD DVD with just 30 percent of the market, split chiefly between Paramount and Universal. The effect has not deterred Toshiba and others from announcing HD DVD-based products at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas but is widely acknowledged as having shaken the confidence of the format's supporters. The HD DVD Promotional Group canceled its keynote for CES shortly after the Warner announcement and has not rescheduled the presentation for later.

Such a move could also hasten the adoption of Blu-ray in computers and movie readers, as manufacturers that are not committed solely to one format (such as Sony and Toshiba) have either had to avoid Blu-ray or HD DVD altogether or else offer both at the same time, such as the option of either standard for HP's new desktops or LG's Super Multi Blu multi-format movie player.

by MacNN Staff





  1. Deal

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I really hate these late to the party copy-cat formats that complicate users lives, postponing technology in limbo and in the end—hurting us all.

    Shame on HD DVD, shame on DVD+R...

    and we could extend that to... Pepsi, Windows, etc... all copy-cats.

    Those Pepsi drink'n Chevy drive'n Windows usin' HD DVD watch'n DVD+R users... themz is the worst kind!

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Another industry where microsoft's attempt to manipulate the market failed.

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: impressive but...

    "I can build from an XPS Shuttle chassis, a machine that totally trounces a Mini for the same price"

    The Shuttle chassis is much bigger than a Mac mini, and from what I've seen more expensive by the time you configure it.

    But who knows? Maybe this price increase is making the way for a new desktop.

  1. horvatic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    We need Blue Ray

    We need Blue Ray as the standard HD format so people don't need to be in limbo anymore about what to buy. Go for it Paramount and then the rest will follow and then finally we all can move towards HD and get the prices down so everyone can afford it. We can't let Microsoft win anymore with there DRM filled c***! Blue ray holds twice as much so it has more room to expand so why not standardize on Blue ray and be done with this finally!

  1. tindrum

    Joined: Dec 1969


    for the record

    Blu-Ray has region encoding, whereas HD-DVD does not. So, there's a modicum of "c***" on Blu-Ray, don't ever doubt that. Regardless, I, too, am glad to see this coming to a close. I have both, an xbox 360 w/HD-DVD player, and a PS3. Still, it will be nice to share HiDef movies with others without having to ask what format they use.

  1. ClevelandAdv

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Figures Universal is on the wrong end of this fight - just like they are on every other media decisions they make

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: universal

    Figures Universal is on the wrong end of this fight - just like they are on every other media decisions they make

    How does trying to pick a format for the next generation DVD turn into choosing a side in a fight? You make it sound like they chose one poorly, when, in fact, both parties made their decisions long ago, before either had any semblance of knowing who was going to 'win'.

  1. nhmlco

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Did Warner know?

    The interesting question is whether or not Warner knew about the clause in Paramount's contract, and if they unilaterally dumped HD DVD and thru in with Blu-Ray to force Paramount's hand and effectively end the war.

    Digital is coming on strong and both formats stood to lose if they kept sitting in the corner and bickering.


  1. coldfusion1970

    Joined: Dec 1969


    great news

    It was obvious that BR would win. Its in the PS3 for christs sake. Thank goodness its all getting sorted out. Now we know why M$ didnt build the HDDVD drive into the latest version of the 360.

  1. CadetStimpy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    RE: Price drop? Nope...

    Uhmm... anyone who thinks that this outcome means cheaper Blueray players and discs is going to be sadly mistaken. As of this moment, Sony hasn't licensed the Blueray format to any other vendors - so if you buy a Blueray player, it'll have a Sony name on it. And, with no competition for the near future, I wouldn't expect them to drop the price. Same goes for the discs - if you want it, might as well go ahead and buy it. It won't be getting any cheaper for a long time.

    Lack of competition has never resulted in lower prices. Don't get me wrong - I love Blueray. But just don't expect it to get cheap anytime soon.

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