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Old 02-11-2008   #1
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Default Netflix to Stop Renting Movies on HD DVD Format

Netflix announced today to its customers that they will no longer be ordering or replacing discs on the HD DVD format, subsequently making Blu-ray the only supported HD format at the rental service. The move comes only weeks after Warner Bros. announced they would exclusively support the Blu-ray format. Netflix will follow Warner, Sony Pictures, Fox and Disney by ultimately offering exclusively Blu-ray titles.

In an embarrassingly bad marketing move, Netflix announced in an email to clients that they will substitute any HD DVD movie “currently in the queue” with a standard DVD by March 2008. Yes, a DVD will be backwards compatible, but the move shows the fundamental lack of understanding of the home theater client on Netflix’s part. You don’t need to be Nostradamus (or even Jimmy the Greek) to see that DVD isn’t a high definition format. People who invested in the players and HDTVs don’t want a ten year-old standard definition format.

Despite the recent troubles the HD DVD camp has had, specifically since “Blu-Friday”, this move by Netflix is a head scratcher. Why would a rental company limit the options their consumers could choose from? My wife and I own multiple players for both formats and use Netflix to rent any and every title in HD that we might want to see. The idea of a rental company limiting my options isn’t very impressive. Before I rip my HD DVD player from my rack, I want to see any and everything good on the format as I have invested deeply to get the best possible video for my theater system.

While it is popular to jump off the HD DVD bandwagon these days, it wasn’t Netflix’s place to make a political statement. They should have sat on the sidelines until bigger players, like Universal, Paramount, Best Buy make their decision on a format. In the end, some will say Blu-ray wins because of Netflix’s decision, and they might be right. However, the way I see it, it is more of a loss for the consumer than a win for Blu-ray.

by: Jerry Del Colliano
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Old 02-11-2008   #2
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Default Re: Netflix to Stop Renting Movies on HD DVD Format

This is the e-mail I received today from Netflix.

________________________________________ _______________________________

WE'RE GOING BLU-RAY

Dear Andrew,

You're receiving this email because you have asked to receive high-definition movies in the HD DVD format. As you may have heard, most of the major movie studios have recently decided to release their high-definition movies exclusively in the Blu-ray format. In order to provide the best selection of high-definition titles for our members, we have decided to go exclusively with Blu-ray as well.

While we will continue to make our current selection of HD DVD titles available to you for the next several months, we will not be adding additional HD DVD titles or reordering replacements.

Toward the end of February, HD DVDs in your Saved Queue will automatically be changed to standard definition DVDs. Then toward the end of this year, all HD DVDs in your Queue will be changed to standard definition DVDs. Don't worry, we will contact you before this happens.

________________________________________ _________________________________

I agree with Jerry in that this move is not a notch in Blu-ray's belt but a hit against consumers. A rental service is served just as well offering both for they can better meet the needs of their users; users who may have supported HD DVD. Users who are still going to need and want HD DVD rentals. My HD DVD requests have been switched to lower res DVD or now Blu-ray. I can go back and change them back for the time being, but to say, as a service we won't offer you what we said we would is a slap in the face.
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Old 02-11-2008   #3
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Default Re: Netflix to Stop Renting Movies on HD DVD Format

I just canceled my account today. No big deal, I’m just once customer and probably no more than a few dozen people will cancel because of this. Today, Netflix told me they don’t want my business.

I was paying $17 a month for the 3 movie plan and I would watch about 3 to 4 movies a month. From now on I will use that money to rent from Apple TV and Xbox Live.
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Old 02-11-2008   #4
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Default Re: Netflix to Stop Renting Movies on HD DVD Format

Quote:
Originally Posted by AVRevForum.com View Post
Despite the recent troubles the HD DVD camp has had, specifically since “Blu-Friday”, this move by Netflix is a head scratcher. Why would a rental company limit the options their consumers could choose from?
Well I can think of a couple of reasons,
Right now Netflix is having to buy each movie in 3 different formats not only is that expensive for them it's causing other problems, for example, since they are having to buy 2 different formats of HDM movies there are fewer of them to rent, I've heard lots of Netflix customers complain about long waiting times for HDM movies.
With only 1 HDM format to buy they can have more of them in stock to ship out sooner to the customers.

Netflix is just doing what they see as being best for them, & it's not like they are the only ones abandoning hd-dvd.

Toshiba had better do something damn quick if they want to stay in the battle.
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Old 02-11-2008   #5
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Default Re: Netflix to Stop Renting Movies on HD DVD Format

How is that a bad marketing move? The "saved" movies on the queue will never be ordered on HD DVD so they're changing it to the DVD version. That's logical.

It doesn't hurt them, they don't make any extra money from HD DVD, it costs them money to support either format. It's a perk they offer to high-def adopters. If they actually charged more for high-def discs, maybe you might have a point. Otherwise this just sounds like a partisan blog by an HD DVD owner who is bummed their format lost.

Whatever happened to objective journalism?

It seems like the HD DVD guys who refuse to at least go neutral are sticking themselves in an awkward position. They won't be able to rent HD DVD from Netflix, but a lot of them also left Blockbuster last year because they too supported Blu-ray in stores. So do they return to Blockbuster Online, the last hold-out of HD DVD rentals? Even my local indie rental chain dropped HD DVD.

And now you have Best Buy encouraging customers to chose Blu-ray.

What's the motivation behind sticking with HD DVD when the obvious signs are clearly saying HD DVD is on death's door?
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Old 02-11-2008   #6
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Default Re: Netflix to Stop Renting Movies on HD DVD Format

I have to say that I respectfully disagree with Jerry and Andrew. Even though I just bought an HD DVD player (Toshiba A35), I am pleased at every sign that this format war looks more likely to end soon. The sooner the industry settles on a single format, the better for everyone!
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