Late last week Warner Home Video surprised a lot of people with their announcement
that they were changing their policy of supporting both high-definition next-generation disc formats, Blu-ray and HD DVD, and dropping support of Toshiba's HD DVD format. So, by the end of May, Warner will continue to release standard DVDs of course, but any hi-def releases will only be in Sony's Blu-ray Disc format.
At the time we didn't know precisely what would happen hi-def-wise with the studios which distribute through Warner: mini-major New Line Cinema, cable titan HBO and the folks at The BBC. Now we've got a run-down for each:
- New Line Cinema: Although mainly know for their films, New Line has a handful of TV-DVDs out. None of there TV shows have been released or announced in hi-def yet, but the verdict is in: New Line has decided to follow the Blu-ray path.
- HBO Home Video: After supporting both HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc on 6th season Sopranos hi-def releases, the cabler has decided that going forward they will drop the HD DVD format and "go Blu."
- The BBC: Their Planet Earth releases on HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc are among the best-selling hi-def packages out there, and their Galapagos release has been praised. We directly contacted BBC Video and asked what their hi-def format plans would be. They've replied that they will continue to support both formats for now, and "will evaluate the marketplace before committing to one format." The reason given for the steady support of both HD DVD and Blu-ray is because they have sold more copies of Planet Earth on HD-DVD, and because they already have 4 different high-definition titles planned for 2008, spec'ed out for both Blu-ray and HD DVD. Specific title names were not available yet.
While the decision of The BBC may be a surprise to some of you, the superior sales of the HD DVD edition for Planet Earth
made a real difference to them. They may, of course, revisit their decision. For now, though, they will continue to support both next-gen formats.
All of them, of course, continue to support DVD. Trust us...standard DVDs aren't going to disappear anytime soon!