Warner Mulls Change in High-Def Strategy

Posted Tue Oct 30, 2007 at 09:35 AM PDT by

A Warner Home Video exec says the studio is re-evaluating its dual-format support, and appeared to suggest that it was leaning towards Blu-ray.

As first reported by Home Media Magazine, the studio's statements came at yesterday's Blu-ray Festival press event in Los Angeles, where Warner VP Dan Silverberg represented the only major dual-format studio, following Paramount's move to HD DVD exclusivity this past August.

According to Silverberg, however, that may not be for long.

"One thing that may be changing is our strategy," he said. "When both formats launched and hardware prices were high, we made a decision to support both formats and let the consumer decide. But now that hardware pricing is affordable for both Blu-ray and HD DVD, it appears consumers no longer want to decide — so the notion of staying in two formats for the duration is something we are re-evaluating now that we are in the fourth quarter."

Silverberg went on to emphasize the Warner's strong Blu-ray sales, noting that the studio's Blu-ray release of '300' is the format's top selling disc. "We can definitely talk Blu-ray," said Silverberg. "We are committed to the format."

Taken together, a "commitment" to Blu-ray and re-evaluation of its dual-format policy would seem to suggest that if the studio did choose one format over the other, it would be Blu-ray, although it wasn't immediately clear whether that was the intent of Silverberg's remarks.

Needless to say, as word of Silverberg's remarks hit the web, discussions hit a fevered pitch in our "HD DVD vs Blu-ray Smackdown Forum." Having released more high-def titles on either format than any other studio, a decision by Warner to drop support of either format would drastically change the current landscape of the format war.

Silverberg declined to provide a timeline for a final decision from the studio, but here's guessing we'll be hearing more on this topic in the coming days and weeks. Stay tuned...

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Discs mentioned in this article: (Click for specs and reviews)
300 (Blu-ray)
Tags: Warner (all tags)