|Paramount: Meet Blu-ray. HD DVD: Meet Towel
Well the winner of the "Who wants to be listed in Wikipedia next to the Betamax format" sweepstakes appears to be HD-DVD. Paramount has decided to follow Warner Brother's recent decision to support Blu-ray and is going to drop its support of the HD-DVD format.
Warner's decision last week to throw its weight behind Blu-ray saw it join Walt Disney, 20th Century Fox and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer as backers of the Sony format.
The Warner move gives Blu-ray about 70 per cent of Hollywood's output, although the format's grip on film content will increase further when Paramount comes aboard.
It is unclear whether DreamWorks Animation has the same get-out clause in its contract with the HD-DVD camp. However, Paramount and DreamWorks have a close relationship, with Paramount distributing DreamWorks Animation films.
Blu-ray is backed by Sony, so it looks like they're not going to get left holding the obsolete format bag this time. The CEO of Sony offered an olive branch to rival Toshiba, saying he'd be "open to dialogue," which is corporate speak for: would you like to buy a license for our format? The competitors had better come to some arrangement soon and start getting the general public to buy into the high-definition format in larger numbers, or it's likely to be obsolete before the majority of people even adopt it.
This says they have an easy out, but nothing final.
|Paramount is poised to drop its support of HD-DVD following Warner Brothers' recent backing of Sony's Blu-ray technology, in a move that could sound the death knell of HD-DVD and bring the home entertainment format war to a definitive end.
Paramount and DreamWorks Animation, which makes the Shrek films, came out in support of HD-DVD last summer, joining General Electric's Universal Studios as the main backers of the Toshiba format.
For reference, this is from Blu-Ray's CES press conference yesterday: