Best Buy, Netflix declare Blu-ray the winning high def DVD format

Best Buy, Netflix declare Blu-ray the winning high def DVD format

Summary: Best Buy and Netflix on Monday declared Blu-ray the winning format of the high definition DVD war.The writing was on the wall for HD-DVD, which was primarily backed by Toshiba and tech giants like Microsoft.

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Best Buy and Netflix on Monday declared Blu-ray the winning format of the high definition DVD war.

The writing was on the wall for HD-DVD, which was primarily backed by Toshiba and tech giants like Microsoft. Warner Bros decision on Jan. 4 to back Blu-ray crushed the hopes for HD-DVD. But when one of the largest electronics retailers (Best Buy statement) and a premier movie rental service (Netflix statement) say they're only stocking the Sony-backed Blu-ray it's game over for HD-DVD.

Best Buy said that it will "prominently showcase Blu-ray hardware and software products in its Best Buy retail and online channels in the United States." Best Buy said its customers were tired of trying to select a format so the retailing giant picked one.

It was a similar story for Netflix, which added that it will stock high-def DVDs exclusively in the Blu-ray format. All six movie studies have backed Blu-ray and the industry has been headed toward one format. Netflix noted that most of its customers have selected Blu-ray over HD-DVD formats.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware

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40 comments
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  • It's about time this ended...

    ...but thanks to the format war, the players are a lot less expensive than they would have been if there was only one format the entire time.

    So when's transformers coming out on Blu-Ray Disc?
    nix_hed
  • RE: Best Buy, Netflix declare Blu-ray the winning high def DVD format

    Meanwhile, I've seen HD-DVD players going for 1/4 the price of BLU-ray at several stores the last two weeks. I feel sorry for the consumers who are getting suckered on the inventory cleanouts.
    ac2_z
    • Don't be so sure on that

      Are they really being suckered at 1/4 of the price. If more people have more HD-DVD players than Blu-Ray then it doesn't matter what Best Buy or NetFlicks offers. They will be forced to change. Price of the player is what will win this war not what content is offered as both players play regular DVDs just fine.

      I'd skip both though and hold out for solid state formats.
      voska1
      • It's not over....

        ...until one is discontinued. Then it is over.
        Eriamjh
        • My though exactly

          There's no way I'm going to buy either until one is completely DOA. As long as HD-DVD players are being sold they are still in the race.
          voska1
          • I guess its possible...

            to continue running around a track, long after the winner has collected his trophy and gone home :)
            Tigertank
        • That may not matter

          Momentum may render HD-DVD moot in the consumer market. I suspect we are seeing a trend which will accelerate to a point where HD-DVD will be marginalized by both media company support, and the consumers themselves who don't want to invest in a system without many titles to choose from; a condition which reinforces itself.
          It is possible that HD-DVD could peter on because of a loyal fanbase of hardcore anti-bluray consumers, but since the technology is so recent I can't see how deep that loyalty would run.
          Tigertank
      • I think content is critical

        If Universal and Paramount both switch to Blu-ray, it's over. If they don't switch, the format war will drag on. I can't imagine any of the major studios currently backing Blu-ray changing. It's in their best interest to get people to re-purchase their favorite movies in HD and the format war is keeping a lot of people on the sidelines.
        JohnQPublic
        • Yeah I could see that working too

          If 100% of the content goes Blu-Ray that would have a direct impact on killing HD unless there is enough content in the market that is HD already. Which I'd say there isn't at this moment and very unlikely to happen unless some studio flip flops.
          voska1
      • And when praytel will that occur?

        i want solid state sooner than later.
        Been_Done_Before
  • Consumer, screwed - One Each

    What a horror story for consumers :(
    BitTwiddler
    • bleeding edge tax?

      Looks like bleeding edge tax to me.
      If you HAVE to have it as soon as it comes out, well, thats the risk you take.
      It's not like one format was ever much better than the other. Anyone buying HD DVDs should have seen this coming. (one dying, not necessarily this one that is.)
      Joe_Racer
    • Who cares

      You go bleeding edge, you deal with the concequences. Its not like no one knew about this competition.

      --This is a no WHINING zone--
      Been_Done_Before
  • Still a big gamble for the Netflix and Best Buy

    Here's why.

    First most people don't even have HD TVs to make use of these players. So buying one or the other isn't going to happen unless prices come down and regular DVD players aren't available. Then the cheapest High Def player will be bought through attrition as regular DVD players die. I've notice this already happening now as regular DVD players are becoming more scarce. Sure you can still buy them but they aren't as cheap as they once were and there is fewer choices unless you buy online.

    So the first High Def player to dip below $100 a unit will win the Format war as that will be the player bought by the masses to play regular DVD on their regular TV. Over time as TVs get replaced with HD equivalents you will see more people buying the content for the cheaper model. If not content exists then the other format will stagnate as people continue buying regular DVDs.

    Of course this could all be moot in 2 years as solid state formats take over.

    Either way this format war goes could be a really big gamble for retailers to take.
    voska1
    • Actually, it's more than just attrition

      Best Buy of course would want Blu-ray to be the ultimate winner it's better for the bottom line because not only do you have to buy a new player but guess what since Blu-ray isn't compatible with DVD you have to buy your movies over again. HD-DVD is backwards compatible and the units are less expensive and have been for a while now. I can see why studios would also be interested in making consumers re-purchase products. It seems that microsoft has taken over the movie industry and the attitude is screw the consumer.
      maldain
      • Bad Maldain, no cookie!

        [i]It seems that microsoft has taken over the movie industry and the attitude is screw the consumer.[/i]

        Your try at making this a M$ jab just backfired. MS backed the HD-DVD format, not Blu-Ray, so your completely backwards. It is Sony who is the main pusher of Blu-ray, and yes, they are heavily involved in the movie industry, through their own hardware, software, and production companies. Since HD-DVD is dying, that puts MS in the failing camp and refutes your claim.
        jheine
      • Blu-Ray does play older DVD just fine

        It says so right on the Box of most Blu-Ray players that I've seen. If Blu-Ray didn't play basic DVDs then Blu-ray would not be worth squat.
        voska1
    • Not really.

      A year ago I could have agreed, but at this point in the game it is not really much of a gamble. Many people hold off buying because of the format war. Now that more companies are backing Blu-Ray over HD-DVD, especially the studios which provide the content, it doesn't matter how low the price goes on HD-DVD. It is in essence a dying format. Those that are informed will stay away, and those who think they got a deal by getting a cheap HD-DVD will relive the Betamax experience. Also, as industry support ramps up on the Blu-Ray side, manufacturing will also follow, which will lower prices and speed adoption. Of course, this adoption means more people buy players and videos at Best Buy and rent videos from Netflix, which makes this much less of a gamble. There is also an more immediate effect of this announcement, as they can now focus their resources (marketing, inventory, etc.) on one format instead of two.
      jheine
      • Poor Comment Research Correction Time!

        voska1, when players are sold at 1/3 the price at a large loss for the company they do not continue those sales. They stop production or raise prices again. Price alone usually does not win a marketing war - reductions are fleeting and are matched by competitors (if needed). Great reductions in price are usefull in clearing out inventory that would otherwise not sell.

        voska1, although most people currently don't have a high def TV, 90% of sales are now high def TVs.

        maldain, Blu-ray IS compatable with standard DVD.

        Terry Flores, Blu-ray player prices will come down to a point where they are near standard DVD. People won't purchase standard DVD players when this happens and the format will die. It is the same old story of new tech. Already, Blu-ray is being adopted at a faster pace that DVD was over VHS. Unlike VHS, you can still play your old DVDs on a Blu-ray player (except the PS3). The transition is also happening in PCs. Blu-ray 6x recorders are faster than CD and DVD recorders (and HD-DVD recorders) and can store more.
        Aaron Moore
        • For now, maybe

          even though Blu-ray players are compatable with standard DVD, it is an option, or recommendation for manufactures, not something that is mandatory via licensing. Sony and a few other's players no longer support standard CD's (no big deal there), but that may just be the first step in a "forced library upgrade" to Blu-Ray from those that would definately profit from that.
          GuidingLight