I picked up an HD player in December for a good price, have been enjoying it, and was disappointed to hear the WB decision, as I truly feel HD DVD is the better executed format, IMHO. But I digress, there are many other threads for that discussion...
However, with all the reading on the web, I have not read anything about WB actually making a commitment
to Blu... have they actually signed a contract or anything to this effect?
Just wondering if they can still change their mind if the market changes from here through May, as HD player sales were quite strong over the holidays and with the very real chance of discounted movies/players in the coming months, it is possible sales may pick up significantly. Can WB still (legally/contractually) change their mind about their Blu decision before June?
Furthermore, I do have an idea for HD DVD that is a bit radical but could potential help them greatly improve title sales and get back in the game by taking advantage of a uniquely HD-DVD feature;
Given the HDM market is miniscule compared to DVD sales, and HD DVD is the only format capable of doing combo format discs (SD on one side, HD on the other), why not work out a deal with Paramount & Universal to discontinue SD-DVD altogether and release all titles on HD DVD combo discs, and price it at (or very close to) the SD-DVD price?
Also important is to educate the general SD-DVD customer about this unique format allows them "future-proofing" for no additional cost. Once a small title library is built up (and player prices erode further), picking up a cheap HD DVD would be a no-brainer.
Of course, the big issue with this is production costs, but I would think there would be savings by consolidating your products into one format, and perhaps Toshiba/Microsoft/etc can work out some sort of funding support for x number of months to help make this happen.
A secondary concern from the studios POV is that they would be sacrificing their current double-dipping ability for SD/HD, but the PR
upside of free HD would be a pretty powerful selling feature, IMHO. If HD DVD regains foothold in the market and player prices get below $100 as regular price, they could then drop the combo format and going HD exclusive since the entry price would be minimal by then. Even if you don't have an HDTV, HD players will still output to an SDTV, right?