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Stowaway HD DVDs in Blu-ray Boxes!

by December 14, 2007
Choose already!

Choose already!

Just when you thought the "format war" couldn't get any weirder, HD DVD's started showing up in Blu-ray boxes! Some poeple that purchased the Blu-ray version of the special edition $100+ box set containing the five Harry Potter movies found an unlikely stowaway - an HD DVD version of the fourth movie Goblet of Fire according to TG Daily. Warner Bros, the studio behind the successful Harry Potter movies, is the lone major studio that is playing both side of the format war though there is speculation that a decision could be in the works. What does this mean? Well, nothing or everything.

As it stands, if Warner moves to the Blu-ray camp exclusively, Blu-ray would be have in the neighborhood of 70% share of the DVD market. If they go for HD DVD, the two camps would be essentially balanced. So does Warner have the ability to end the format war? Only time will tell. But they have some hard choices ahead of them. Currently, Blu-ray disc sales are nearly double HD DVD though the lower cost of HD DVD hardware might be a huge factor. Dreamworks Animation and Paramount were wooed to an HD DVD exclusive deal supposedly because of lower hardware costs, though the $150 million in incentives and licensing for the Shrek character for promotional purposes probably didn't hurt.

In the end, we may see the death of either one or both formats depending on the Warner decision. If they choose Blu-ray, HD DVD will have a hard time convincing customers that their format is viable (but I've already seen Transformers!) even if they give their hardware away. If they choose HD DVD, the format war could drag on until someone releases a new format that will allow consumers access to all movies. If they decline to choose... well, pretty much the same thing. The only way that any one of the high def formats is going to win is to actually have one win (and the other go away). A prolonged battle will most likely kill both. It is not inconceivable that Warner is just waiting for the end of the holiday season to make a decision.

About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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