Last-Minute Delays Looming for HD-DVD Launch?Posted Fri Apr 14, 2006 at 05:15 PM PDT by
High-def DVD enthusiasts chomping at the bit for next Tuesday's arrival of the first HD-DVD players and discs may have to wait a few days more, with growing indications that initial product shipments may not make it into some stores in time for launch.Continue Reading
HD-DVD to Hit Market With 'Soft Launch'Posted Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 07:22 PM PDT by
Despite months of hype and anticipation, HD-DVD will be practically tiptoeing into stores when the format's first players and discs hit the market April 18.Continue Reading
Tech Specs and Features Revealed For First HD-DVD Movie ReleasesPosted Wed Mar 29, 2006 at 07:27 AM PST by
Confirmed technical and supplemental details for the first round of upcoming next-gen high-def DVD disc releases have surfaced online, via back-of-the-box cover art for Warner's initial three HD-DVD titles due April 18 -- and it looks like fans will be happy with what they're gonna get.Continue Reading
HD-DVD Outlook Not Good as Warner Cancels Online Orders, Says Delays LikelyPosted Mon Mar 13, 2006 at 08:20 AM PST by
The first of the two competing high-def DVD formats -- HD-DVD -- is scheduled to debut here in the U.S. on March 28, but with each passing day that date is looking less and less likely.Continue Reading
Last week, we reported that HD-DVD retailers were complaining of sketchy details and contradictory information coming from Toshiba, the manufacturer producing the first machines. And now, Warner Home Video -- the only HD-DVD-supporting studio thus far to set firm street dates for titles -- has announced they will likely not meet the late-March date due to technical delays, reports Home Media Retailing.
"To be honest, the outlook is tenuous," said WHV pres Ron Sanders. "We're still coming out with an initial slate, but we may be a week or two later; we just don't know."
Warner's comments came after reports over the weekend indicated that Wal-Mart and Best Buy were forced to cancel customer pre-orders for the studio's HD-DVD titles. Online giant Amazon continues to offer e-mails alerts for HD-DVD product availability but is not currently taking orders.
A delayed launch for HD-DVD could harm what many see as the format's best advantage vs rival high-def format Blu-Ray -- being first to market. Blu-Ray has promised its first titles and players will hit stores at the end of May, and while being the first with product on the shelves is no guarantee of success for either format, further delays for HD-DVD would only prove costly and embarrassing.
Amazon, Studios in Talks for Burn-to-DVD Movie Downloads ServicePosted Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 09:55 AM PST by
Only days after online retailer IndiePix announced a new pay service that will allow consumers to download independent films and burn them on a DVD, The New York Times reports that Amazon is in advanced negotiations with major studios Warner, Paramount and Universal for a similar, broader, service.Continue Reading
Amazon's move comes at pivotal time for both the studios and online retailers. Both industries are making a mad dash to entice tech-saavy consumers with instant access to their products, amid a dizzying array of new internet and on-demand services and technologies.
Although the studios have been experimenting with video-on-demand services such as MovieBeam and MovieLink, and making select television shows available for download on Apple's iTunes, none offer the ability for consumers to burn purchases to a DVD disc and then play them on any DVD-compatible device.
If talks between Amazon and the studios are successful, the launch of such a service would send shock waves through the industry. With the online retail giant's huge reach -- and a hybrid approach that would allow consumers the instant satisfaction of a download, coupled with the ability to continue to watch movies on DVD -- Amazon could quickly bring movie downloads to the masses.
Warner to Support High-Def DVD with Day-and-Date Catalog ReleasesPosted Wed Feb 1, 2006 at 05:59 AM PST by
Warner has officially become the first studio to aggressively push catalog titles on high-def DVD. At a press event held in Los Angeles yesterday afternoon, the studio announced that they plan to release over two hundred catalog titles in 2006 (up from 181 in 2005, and a record for the studio), and that they will issue a key number of those titles on HD-DVD, day-and-date with their standard DVD counterparts. The studio also reiterated their pledge to support Blu-Ray when that format launches later this year.Continue Reading
Although Warner made no announcements of what supplementary content, if any, will be included on its initial high-def DVD offerings, it did give tantalizing hints at the studio's overall gameplan. “Some high-def titles will have features not available in standard DVD, but not all of them,” said Warner senior VP and general manager of theatrical catalog, Jeff Baker. “Some [standard DVD bonus features] will carry over [to the HD DVD editions]. And some [HD DVD versions] will add material from [initial releases].”
A sampling of the initial titles Warner announced for HD-DVD include a two-disc double dip of the John Wayne classic 'The Searchers,' the Stanley Kubrick faves '2001,' 'The Shining,' 'Clockwork Orange' and an unrated 'Eyes Wide Shut,' and the 14-disc 'Superman: Ultimate Collector's Edition,' which reportedly will include the new extended cut of 'Superman II' director Richard Donner revealed in an interview yesterday. Blu-Ray announcements will be forthcoming with the official launch of that format.
HD-DVD Comes Out Swingin' with Initial Title LineupPosted Thu Jan 5, 2006 at 07:59 AM PST by
Blu-Ray may have fired the first salvo in the high-def format war at yesterday's CES 2006, but the HD-DVD camp is not backing down from the fight. Universal, Warner, New Line and HBO unveiled their initial HD-DVD offerings today, which appeared to trump Blu-Ray in terms of diversity, day-and-date with DVD support and speed to market, with the first titles expected by mid-March.Continue Reading
While all of the studios supporting either high-def DVD format unveiled about 10 to 20 titles apiece, initial impressions give HD-DVD the edge. The obvious catalog action blockbusters like 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'Matrix' trilogies are there, but so is comedic fare like 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin.' Combine that with strong same-day-as-DVD titles as 'Superman Reborn' and 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,' and it makes for a strong opening blitzkrieg. Having HBO under the Warner umbrella also means TV DVD will be better represented than it has been with Blu-Ray, with HBO pledging such top shows as 'The Sopranos' and 'Deadwood' by year end.
HD-DVD's showing was also boosted by the first genuine surprise of CES 2006: the newly-formed Weinstein Co. announced exclusive HD-DVD support. With an upcoming lineup of titles including 'The Matador,' 'Scary Movie 4,' 'Young Hannibal,' 'The Passion of the Clerks,' that's nothing to scoff at.
However, Blu-Ray has a counterpunch of its own still left for CES 2006. Disney will unveil their exclusive plans for the Sony-backed format with a gala event tonight, which could tip the scales back in the Blu-Ray's favor.