Top Studio Execs Weigh in on High-Def's Future
Posted Tue Aug 1, 2006 at 12:06 PM PDT by
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."