All Hollywood studios now lined up behind Blu-Ray
By Thomas K. Arnold
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - All six major Hollywood studios are now in the Blu-ray DVD camp, a day after Toshiba pulled the plug on HD DVD and Blu-ray became effectively the only next-generation game in town.
Paramount Home Entertainment quietly came onboard via a statement issued Wednesday to The Hollywood Reporter: "We are pleased that the industry is moving to a single high-definition format, as we believe it is in the best interest of the consumer," the statement read. "As we look to (begin) releasing our titles on Blu-ray, we will monitor consumer adoption and determine our release plans accordingly."
No further details were given.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment, in contrast, cast its lot with Blu-ray within hours of Toshiba's announcement Tuesday morning that it was ending the format war by ceasing the development, manufacture and marketing of HD DVD players by the end of March.
Janet Murray, director of Georgia Tech's masters and Ph.D. program in digital media, said a single format supported by all six major studios has a much better chance of success than two rival ones that each take only a chunk of Hollywood.
"It's a big victory for the consumer," she said.
Now that the studios are no longer battling each other over which format is best, Murray said, they can focus on generating awareness among consumers of the many benefits of high-definition media. Murray predicts "a standardization of extras" now that everyone's releasing films on a single format rather than two, each with its own set of capabilities. "This will lead to a much richer experience for viewers," she added.
Murray also foresees "much more content and much more breadth of content" now that Blu-ray is the only way to go. "When people have these higher-end screens at home, they take great pleasure in them, and this will push ahead the delivery (of movies) in high-definition," she said. Continued...