Blu-ray's Dirty Little Secret
So, after a long Blu-ray disc (BD) release hiatus by Fox and MGM, how does one celebrate the recent press release that new titles are coming? This, of course, arrives fast on the heels of Paramount and Dreamworks Animation announcement to drop BD,
Why, one celebrates by buying one of these studios’ BD-only titles on HD DVD! Yes, Blu-ray-Only Titles are available on HD DVD. Yes, that is correct.
One might ask: How does one do this? The answer has been available all along.
BD-Only Studios’ Dirty Little HD DVD Secret
Apparently, a number of (US) movie studios that claim to be devout, faithful supporters of the BD format are guilty of a little electronic adultery. HD DVD is the mistress at a secret challis, in other markets. Life is interesting indeed.
In a recent post on Home Theater Forum, Dispelling rumors around Paramount/Dreamworks and Microsoft - Home Theater Forum, Kevin Collins, Microsoft’s key HD DVD man, says he would like to dispel rumors surrounding the recent decision of Paramount/Dreamworks Animation to drop BD. Collins disavows any payment to sway Paramount/Dreamworks Animation to support HD DVD exclusively and takes a bit of umbrage at certain articles that suggest Microsoft cash was responsible.
Much of what Collins says is similar to what Paramount/Dreamworks Animation has officially said, and incidentally, similar to what a number of other industry insiders have said regarding the costs of manufacturing Blu-ray vs. HD DVD: Blu-ray is expensive to manufacture.
What is even more interesting is that Mr. Collins provides links to several web sites, such as Amazon.co.uk, that sell movies on HD DVD, movies that supposedly should only be available on BD because of studio exclusive format deals. At least according to what we are told in the US by the BD (sic) only studios.
The best part of the whole Blu-ray farce is which titles are available and from whom.
Why, there are titles from every BD only studio around, in one incarnation or another.
If I were to say that a study of the film industry and the interrelationship between major studios and independent studios, (who owns catalog movie rights) would reveal a convoluted mess of inbreeding, it would be an understatement. Independent studios team up with majors... what might appear to be independent studio is often a front company for a major... back catalogs are not always owned by the original production studio even if they are still in business... major titles often have split distribution in different parts of the world... and competitors on both sides of the format war are often business partners elsewhere.
While perusing the availability of HD DVD outside of the US, I noticed studios that release both or HD DVD-only have no problem releasing titles under some form of their own moniker while BD on HD DVD titles tend to be hidden away under the names of local distribution and production houses or subsidiary companies to obscure who owns the rights.
All of the BD-only studios seem to have movies released as HD DVD titles in Europe and elsewhere, but they don’t use their real names in these other countries. Even better, many of the very first batch of BD releases are available.
Below are titles I found just using the two links provided by Mr. Collins, but I am sure further digging will reveal more. I have provided Wikipedia links to articles about the respective companies, studios, and films. In each Wikipedia film article, a column on the left provides production information including which studio released the title, but as rights change hands, I have grouped the movies based on who currently owns rights to release the titles using information kindly provided by www.blu-ray.com, a US-based web site.
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Recent Forum Posts:
Fred333, post: 309878
Yea this industry changes it seems everyday. I wish they would just come up with one universal format so we could share information effectively across all channels.
Are you nuts!!! That would be too easy and good for the consumer!
mtrycrafts, post: 307320
Perhaps that is so in the EU countries by EU government edict?
No it is so in every country on this planet.
Region coding is optional on Blu-ray.
Clint DeBoer, post: 307385
Total Posts: (and I didn't even write this article)
Ah, biscuits. And after Stratman and I defended your honor:o
Oh, well, it had your name on it I still liked the article.
Clint DeBoer, post: 307385
Total Posts: 19,592
- An average of 59.7 posts per week.
Um… Wow. Let's not be too upset here, he seems to really take this stuff to heart. We, on the other hand (and I didn't even write this article) are simply reporting on things that the average person might find interesting.
So far, from what I can tell, 100% of all people who have slammed this article are staunch Blu-ray supporters who have already bought a Blu-ray player. They assume we're pro HD DVD, when in fact we couldn't care less who “wins” since we believe both formats will ultimately be niche.
I agree. The individual in question at remotecentral has been on his high horse about Blu-ray for weeks now. He is a Blu-ray owner and thinks HD DVD is pretty much worthless.
Like you Clint, I too could care less. I just wish there were only one format. But in all likelihood both formats are doomed. By the time the dust settles a new format from another company will be entering the market.