Blockbuster to eschew HD-DVD in favor of Blu-ray. But are Blu-ray discs 'rotting'?

Blockbuster to eschew HD-DVD in favor of Blu-ray. But are Blu-ray discs 'rotting'?

Summary: Interesting developments in high def DVD world. On the one hand, it looks like Blockbuster is going all Blu-ray (in other words, no more discs that conform to the HD-DVD format).

TOPICS: Tech Industry

Interesting developments in high def DVD world. On the one hand, it looks like Blockbuster is going all Blu-ray (in other words, no more discs that conform to the HD-DVD format). According to a story from the Associated Press as seen on Fox (there's also a blog on about it):

Blockbuster Inc. will rent high-definition DVDs only in the Blu-ray format in 1,450 stores when it expands its high-def offerings next month, dealing a major blow to the rival HD DVD format.

The move, being announced Monday, could be the first step in resolving a format war that has kept confused consumers from rushing to buy new DVD players until they can determine which format will dominate the market.

Blockbuster has been renting both Blu-ray and HD DVD titles in 250 stores since late last year and found that consumers were choosing Blu-ray titles more than 70 percent of the time.

The story goes on to say that the HD DVD crowd isn't at all too pleased with the news:

The North American HD DVD Promotional Group said Blockbuster's decision was shortsighted and skewed by the success of films released by Blu-ray studios in the first three months of the year.

Could Blockbuster's move mean the death knell for HD-DVD? Is Blockbuster even relevant in this market where people are getting their video on-demand and through outlets like Netflix?

Meanwhile, elsewhere on the Net, questions are being raised about Blu-ray discs engineering. Via Engadget comes a report that certain Blu-ray discs are "rotting" to the point that they're unplayable. Writes Conrad Quilty-Harper:

A thread over at the AVS Forums has highlighted a potential problem with the coating of Blu-ray discs, described by many as "disc rot" due to the mould-like spots that have made several owner's Blu-ray discs unplayable.

Meanwhile, I'm a laggard. I don't have HD anything on the homestead.

Topic: Tech Industry

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  • Blu-ray PLAYER rental only

    I think they are only going to be renting Blu-ray players. They will still carry HD-DVD titles.
  • HD Blueray... ends up with blu balls and empty wallet.

    I don't understand the push to high def video.

    TV shows on DVD won't look much better on a blu-ray disc. (Try entire seasons on 1 disc instead of 4, they'll still need to use compression.)

    All the DVD movies I've got play beautifully on my widescreen LCD TV, a model that can filter out some MPEG2 artifacting.

    Once the titles I want come out on blu-ray, and 70" sets become affordable, I'll upgrade...

    But disc rot? The old Laserdisc technology suffered from that, but those discs took years for the problem to develop. Not months.
  • Bad choice...

    I want nothing to do with BlueRay. Guess I won't be renting/buying at Blockbuster...
    • That's like saying

      I want nothing to do with potato bread. Guess I won't be shopping at any supermarkets or convenience stores.

      All you have to do is go to the other side of the aisle and get a DVD.

      Or did you mean to say "I only want HD-DVD for my hi-def video entertainment because that's the player I bought"? If that's the issue, then say that.
      Michael Kelly
      • Don't worry

        Blu-ray (or HD-DVD) aside, there are plenty of reasons for not going to Blockbuster anyway, starting with their censorship policies and that they drove all of the independent video stores in my neighborhood out of business.
        tic swayback
        • I don't disagree with that

          I was just trying to get to the bottom of the Blu-ray objection.

          The only independent video store I know of is the one from the movie Clerks, and that's at least a two hour drive away for me (I have family that lives in the neighborhood). And that's sad, because you do get better service and more options. Plus when you make a suggestion as to what to add to their inventory they listen.
          Michael Kelly
        • Blockbuster woes . . .

          If it makes you feel better, Blockbuster is getting a little of their own back. Out here in the hinterlands, there's a Video chain called Family Video. In smaller towns, when a Family Video moves in, usually the Blockbuster ends up closing. The only time I've seen BB survive is in the larger towns that can support both of them.

          Time will tell . . .They're getting ready to build a FV in my town soon, so we'll see what happens . . .
    • I wont either

      One reason: Region codes. HD-DVD disks can be bought and played all over the world. BluRay has DVD-like region codes that would stop me buying a disk in the US and playing it at home.

      Not a big deal in the US I guess (or Japan, which Sony saw fit to include in the US region), but its a killer in Europe where we all have region-free DVD players and rent US titles as often as local ones.
  • Unplayable is good

    The studios have been trying to come up with a limited-life ("play for a day") video format for a while now, including Disney's DZVD-in-a-foil-bag that goes black after about a day [1] so that you don't have to return the rental.

    A limited-life Blu-Ray just protects studio sales.

    [1] I prefer the one that goes opaque after the player laser hits it, but apparently it's subject to "false positives" from sunlight.
    Yagotta B. Kidding
  • Blockbusters and Netflix both carry both formats online for delivery

    Blockbusters and Netflix both carry both formats online for snail-mail delivery. Yes this is a set back for HD DVD but the cheap HD DVD players keep popping up. Blu-ray primarily depends on the PS3 which accounts for more than 90% of all Blu-ray players on the market.
  • How about digital download kiosks

    Imagine a kiosk where you can take a jump drive, plug it in and while you're shopping you can have a movie downloaded or perhaps two, etc.

    I mean people have to eat so they will shop for food, why not just improve on the experience by giving them the ability to also get any movie they want.

    Perhaps there can be a website similiar to netflix, but that allowed you to select a couple of movies that you can get at your local download location - equipped with a fiber connection so that it can download the movie while you're in transit if it's not already present on their system.

    On Demand is still in the future as far as true HD content is concerned, so why not...just a thought.

    Flash memory density is increasing and will eventually become large enough that it "WILL" replace rotating drives (hard or soft) as a perfectly acceptable medium for today's HD content.