Top Studio Execs Weigh in on High-Def's Future

Posted Tue Aug 1, 2006 at 12:06 PM PDT by
Woman Making Sales Chart Despite differing format allegiances and a lack of unified industry support, the major studios can agree on one thing about the future of HD DVD and Blu-ray: the real war will begin in the fourth quarter.

That's according to a new report by industry trade mag Video Business, who recently polled the top executives of all the major studios on their expectations for the 4Q holiday buying season and the role the high-definition formats will play in the marketplace.

"This is just the start up year, and it’s really about early adopters," said Craig Kornblau, President of Universal Studios. "That’s why it’s so important to do it right. Whatever we do on HD, we've gotta do it very well."

While some studios, including Warner and Paramount, are supporting both the Blu-ray and HD DVD formats and letting the consumer decide the victor, most are taking sides in the high-def battle -- and showing no signs of compromise.

"Quite frankly, I don't believe there is a format war," said Mike Dunn, president of Fox Home Entertainment, who are solely supporting Blu-ray. "The HD DVD camp hasn't brought in enough consoles to form a beachhead. I don’t believe they intend to do so. We'll see Blu-ray start to take hold this year."

All studios are in agreement, however, that 2006 is just the beginning for pre-recorded high-definition content. Though Warner expects high-def sales to account for less than 1% of overall home video revenue this year, it will still account for hundreds of millions in sales. "It [high-def] is a high-margin business," said Ron Sanders, President of Warner Home Video. "Plus, the early adopter is a voracious consumer of movies."
Tags: Industry Forecasts (all tags)