Warner: HD DVD/Blu-ray Hybrid Disc "On Hold For Now"

Posted Thu Sep 13, 2007 at 01:01 PM PDT by
total hd

Last we heard, Warner's "Total HD" hybrid disc was due in early 2008, but now the studio says it's on hold, with no release date currently in sight.

The studio shook things up at CES this past January when it announced that it would introduce a new HD DVD/Blu-ray hybrid disc by mid 2007. A single disc capable of being played on both Blu-ray and HD DVD players seemed to offer a compelling (if inefficient) short term solution for the format war, and appeared to be the anchor of Warner's dual-format stance throughout much of the year.

Alas, it looks like Total HD is not to be -- at least not in the foreseeable future. After previously delaying its initial mid-2007 launch date until early 2008, now the studio says that the hybrid format is "on hold for now."

In comments first published by TWICE Magazine, Warner Home Video president Ron Sanders explained, "we’re concerned that as the only one publishing on it, it would be hard to make it go." He went on to say the company was still talking to retailers about rolling out the hybrid format sometime in the future.

As for the rumors that Warner is weighing lucrative offers to go format-exclusive, Sanders acknowledged discussions with both camps, but seemed to indicate that the studio would support both high-def formats through the holiday shopping season.

"We’re talking to both sides and it’s crazy right now," said Sanders. "We remain committed to both for the time being. We’ll see how the fourth quarter plays out. The consumer is still kind of divided, and we still believe that we should offer the content in both formats. Now, we will watch the marketplace very closely, and see how it plays out, but for now we are supporting both."

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Tags: Industry Trends, Warner, Total HD (all tags)