What will Universal and Paramount do now? - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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HDTV Software Media Discussion > What will Universal and Paramount do now?
quack724's Avatar quack724 03:27 PM 01-04-2008
Any thoughts on what Universal and Paramount will do now?
Throw in the towel? Continue support for HD DVD and force dual format?
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abuharabi's Avatar abuharabi 03:28 PM 01-04-2008
That will be the final answer to the puzzle.
Goatse's Avatar Goatse 03:32 PM 01-04-2008
announce movies on blu, unless they are locked in a contract.
Zoo's Avatar Zoo 03:34 PM 01-04-2008
How many months are left on their exclusivity deal? I think they will either go neutral or Blu exclusive. I can't see them staying HD-DVd exclusive after their agreement is up.

There is a lot I like about HD-DVD (lack of BD+ and no region encoding being the main things); but if the fat lady has not sung she is starting to warm up back stage. Today's announcement is crushing and it will take a lot for HD-DVD to rebound from this. This is not a death blow; but it is not that far off.
26hl67newbie's Avatar 26hl67newbie 03:37 PM 01-04-2008
Hopefully, accelerate production of titles and release them - have a very full release schedule (quantity, so if they decide to be neutral or Blu they can resell them as Blu-Ray titles later). Come on Universal and Paramount release everything you have on HD DVD (maybe they could get a production subsidy from Toshiba or MSFT)

i'm sure they will at least release the stuff they have in the pipeline (at least another 6 months).
joerod's Avatar joerod 03:38 PM 01-04-2008
They aren't going to do anything right away since Warner is still in until the end of this year...
Rakesh.S's Avatar Rakesh.S 03:39 PM 01-04-2008
it is a death blow...no question about it. Don't even think otherwise.

The format war is over.

Movies like The Dark Knight will be blu exclusive..

I expect Universal to go blu exclusive this summer, and Paramount will go blu exclusive at CES 2009, at which time Toshiba will announce bluray players -- it's ovah!

My only regret at this point is that BOGOs and low priced player are gone..It'll probably be another year or two before they come down to dvd prices.

EDIT:

Warner is in throught the end of the year? I thought it was may 2008.
UCFKevin's Avatar UCFKevin 03:48 PM 01-04-2008
Yeah, it said May.

I was thinking the same thing, great deals and prices on BluRay discs are done.
Asshandler's Avatar Asshandler 03:49 PM 01-04-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by joerod View Post

They aren't going to do anything right away since Warner is still in until the end of this year...

May is not the end of this year.
ottscay's Avatar ottscay 03:51 PM 01-04-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by joerod View Post

They aren't going to do anything right away since Warner is still in until the end of this year...

Where is this coming from??? Warner stops HD DVDs in May, it says so very clearly in the press release on their site. I'd expect Universal's neutrality to be imminent (Q1 or Q2). I have no idea what Paramount's congractual obligations are, so I can't comment.
Soybean's Avatar Soybean 03:51 PM 01-04-2008
Paramount's locked in a contract, so unless there's some escape clause, I'd assume they'd just release nothing until their exclusive period is over. That sucks. I hope Into the Wild doesn't get canceled.
rlindo's Avatar rlindo 03:54 PM 01-04-2008
I would have to say that unless there is some contract that Universal will go blu ray exclusive/neutral (more likely exclusive to save costs) by June at the latest. As for Paramount...who knows but I am sure they could probably get out of their contract.

The reality is to me that toshiba knows the format is done and will have no problem with these studios switching. I like what someone said in a diff thread about Toshiba making a blu ray player. They are probably talking about it right now. heh

There is no way universal and paramount can sustain the hd dvd format now so they either will flip (if they can) ASAP or simply not release on hd dvd until they are able to switch sides.
ottscay's Avatar ottscay 03:55 PM 01-04-2008
If Paramount can't get out, I'd expect their release slate to slow to the minimum number of releases their contract requires. Something about making their bed...
UCFKevin's Avatar UCFKevin 03:57 PM 01-04-2008
Realistically, why WOULD they release any new HD DVDs? Why would any company? Cripes, denying the war is over at this point is just ridiculous. Two studios can't keep an outsider format alive. No one's gonna buy an HD DVD player knowing they won't have any new content to play on it later this year.
DJ79's Avatar DJ79 03:58 PM 01-04-2008
Go full scale TWIN format, and drop regular DVD. Dual-format players will become required, and all will be happy.
JBlacklow's Avatar JBlacklow 03:58 PM 01-04-2008
I'm quite sure Paramount has an escape clause that would let them out of their commitment. If not, I expect they'll just go ahead and break it. I expect both to go neutral or exclusive by Q3 (when the Warner period runs out).
DJ79's Avatar DJ79 04:01 PM 01-04-2008
Remember, Blu-ray may have just won the HD war today, but only HD-DVD could have replaced regular DVD quickly.
quack724's Avatar quack724 04:02 PM 01-04-2008
What if dual format players come down in price? What if Toshiba made a dual format player? Could this prop up HD DVD and keep Uni and Paramount in HD DVD? Since the software is cheaper to produce in HD DVD right?
ottscay's Avatar ottscay 04:04 PM 01-04-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBlacklow View Post

I expect both to go neutral or exclusive by Q3 (when the Warner period runs out).

May is half way though Q2 last I checked.
txfilmguy's Avatar txfilmguy 04:05 PM 01-04-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by ottscay View Post

Where is this coming from??? Warner stops HD DVDs in May, it says so very clearly in the press release on their site. I'd expect Universal's neutrality to be imminent (Q1 or Q2). I have no idea what Paramount's congractual obligations are, so I can't comment.

Paramount is supposedly locked in for another year. I expect that there will be a lot of questions for Universal and Paramount at CES this year, and the execs can do nothing but stammer and repeat scripted pledges to the HD DVD format for now. It won't be until after CES that we'll start hearing if they are rethinking their position. I think it's inevitable, but I have no idea what the timetable is. Someone here had said that Universal had researched BD authoring to get a broader view of the market, but I don't know how long it would take for them to get the first titles out, if that in fact becomes their gameplan.
xclusives619's Avatar xclusives619 04:05 PM 01-04-2008
I think its just a matter of time before they jump ship and go blue ray unless hd dvd has something big to say at CES
ottscay's Avatar ottscay 04:05 PM 01-04-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ79 View Post

Remember, Blu-ray may have just won the HD war today, but only HD-DVD could have replaced regular DVD quickly.

Sorry, that's a fanboy myth. But it IS true that there has to be a single format before either could challenge DVD, and now we have a fighting chance.
Brad1963's Avatar Brad1963 04:07 PM 01-04-2008
I think Universal may downscale thier release schedule this year and only release day/date titles. Perhaps in both formats if they decide to go BLU.
ottscay's Avatar ottscay 04:08 PM 01-04-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by quack724 View Post

What if dual format players come down in price? What if Toshiba made a dual format player? Could this prop up HD DVD and keep Uni and Paramount in HD DVD? Since the software is cheaper to produce in HD DVD right?

Basically wrong. HD DVD software is an insignificant fraction of the sale price cheaper to make, and BD will keep coming down in price to produce. Dual format players will let people with large HD DVD collections go neutral while keeping their movies playable on the same machine. It's over, and I promise you that the retailers will be making that clear in the next month or two.
oscar_in_fw's Avatar oscar_in_fw 04:10 PM 01-04-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ79 View Post

Remember, Blu-ray may have just won the HD war today, but only HD-DVD could have replaced regular DVD quickly.

HDTV adoption is still not enough to allow any HD media to replace DVD quickly. And besides, you probably need a fairly large screen (30"+ ?) to notice the benefits compared with a $50 1080p upsampling DVD player. That and software prices would also have to be competitive with DVD for quick HD media adoption.

Given Universal's lukewarm support for HD DVD lately, I won't be at all surprised if they announce Blu-ray support at CES.
deez's Avatar deez 04:12 PM 01-04-2008
There is now war how many times does this need repeating?

Both are niche markets at best and have a long, long,long, way to go before dvd is gone...think 10 years. BD will not overtake and replace DVD.....by the time it does or even gets close there will be another format that has less problems and is unified. as an owner of a FP and 100" screen I have been amazed lately at the dvd transfers I have watched and I was 1 who swore that I would never go back to sd after seeing hd. Problem is is even with hd the differences from film to film are not that great over dvd. This is why I dont think that unless BD discs or HD DVD discs and players rival DVD and the hardware has 0 problems will we ever see mass adoption. When was the last time you updated your dvd players firmware twice a month?
bobpenn's Avatar bobpenn 04:17 PM 01-04-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by quack724 View Post

What if dual format players come down in price? What if Toshiba made a dual format player? Could this prop up HD DVD and keep Uni and Paramount in HD DVD? Since the software is cheaper to produce in HD DVD right?

I don't think so. I think dual format players will have a footnote at best in the rollout of this technology. It's clear now that Blu-ray is the winner. I am sure that it's just as clear to Universal and Paramount. It's hard to believe that they aren't going to quickly look for a way to jump ship and go blue. It's not in their interest anymore to stay with HD-DVD.

I only hope that Gates doesn't confuse the issue at CES this weekend. Apple is about to release Blu Ray into their Macs, which will also help the acceptance of Blu-ray due to the incredible image Apple has as an innovator.

I just can't see any scenario where HD-DVD survives more than a year ... forget about it winning anymore.

PS - I an neutral with a Toshiba A3 and a Panny 30.
Swoosh-X's Avatar Swoosh-X 04:21 PM 01-04-2008
Universal will go format neutral by the summer, Paramount will try and do the same by weaseling out of their contract.
rlsmith's Avatar rlsmith 04:27 PM 01-04-2008
Articles last fall indicated that the Paramount contract was very complex and contained many possible exceptions and escape clauses. I would think it very likely that Paramount can find a way out.

It is also possible that Toshiba may seek an escape especially if they have payments that were not made, which seems likely if there were in fact escape clauses. For example, it is known that part of the contract allowed Toshiba to use Shrek in promotions.

WRT Universal: I had been under the impression that their contracts were up at the first of the year. Have not heard anything about what the new status might be. If you look at the release schedule for upcoming months, Universal has very few titles announced for HD DVD. Perhaps they have left their options open.

While it is impossible to time these sorts of things in a totally happy way, one benefit of Warners announcing today is that this gives other parties (especially Universal and Paramount) an opportunity to think about their response instead of going to CES and making statements that they might choose to not have made.

I suspect that this will be a very busy weekend at NBC and Viacom as they come up with their response. It is highly likely that they will not proceed in the manner they had expected.

If one of them makes a change, I think the probability is extremely high that the other one will go instantly.

Finally, there is a huge amount of pressure on all studios from the financial community to get this resolved. DVD sales were off for the year (probably about 4%) and were down 2% for Q4, which was thought to be extremely strong from the perspective of content. You can bet that NBC and Viacom are hearing to get this resolved pronto.
jb0072007's Avatar jb0072007 04:28 PM 01-04-2008
As terrible as this news is it was not unexpected. If you look at HD-DVD release schedule compare to Blu you will notice many more titles on Blu to be released. Also I believe that Paramount, Warner and Universal have purposely withheld releasing some of their biggies (on HD) figuring this was going to happen. I would be surprised if any of the HD studios release many titles now. I still can't believe sony actually won a format war. Dam and I bought an XA2 which will now become an expensive paperweight! BTW I am purple but favored HD.
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