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-   -   Blockbuster To Push Blu-ray Starting This July ( 06-18-2007 01:25 PM

Blockbuster To Push Blu-ray Starting This July
Somebody had to pick side and home video rental company Blockbuster has made a strong statement in favor of the Blu-ray format over the competitor, HD DVD. Starting this July, 1,700 Blockbuster retailer locations and their online rental service will make a strong push in support of the Blu-ray format with over 170 total titles to be implemented.

This move, while not clearly decisive, comes early in the format war and is coupled with many potential problems for Blockbuster and their consumers. The first problem with the move is that Blu-ray players – even the more affordable Sony Playstation 3 game console – are significantly more expensive than HD DVD players at this point in the marketplace. While Sony, the driving force behind Blu-ray, is offering their second-generation Blu-ray player, the BDP-S300 for $499, they currently charge upward of $800 for their BDP-S1 stand-alone Blu-ray player. Pioneer and Panasonic charge even more for their Blu-ray players. Blu-ray capable Playstation 3 units are priced around $600, yet Toshiba is able to offer various grades of HD DVD players, available for between $400 and $800 (not taking into consideration their current offers for $100 off and free HD DVDs with the purchase). This makes them an easier “attach sale” in the booming HDTV market. Moreover, most early adopters have bought both formats in order to get the most video performance from their HDTV investment.

Other problems facing Blockbuster as they make this move include the fact that many of the best titles in HD are on HD DVD. It’s hard to explain to a customer in a store why he has to watch The Matrix in standard definition when the title is offered on HD DVD and the client has made the investment in the player and a large HDTV.

By: Jerry Del Colliano

deacongreg 06-18-2007 02:15 PM

Re: Blockbuster To Push Blu-ray Starting This July
Your right, BlockBuster will have some explaining to do. But, Jerry, you know where I stand on this. We have consumers that invested money, some thousands of dollars on HDTV. Then, for each ones individual reasons, they chose either Blu - Ray, or HD - DVD for a player. Two formats, consumers on two different sides once again.
We saw what has happened with DVD - A, and SACD. BlockBuster made its choice, kudos for making one. Now, we will see.

Archangel 06-19-2007 05:25 AM

Re: Blockbuster To Push Blu-ray Starting This July
Yes the Blu-Ray players and DVD's are more expensive than HD-DVD, however, the customers to not seem to care as far as the DVD cost because Blu-Ray is outselling HD DVD. Now with the customers buying up all of these Blu-Ray DVD's, what are they playing them on? The PS3? One of the Blu-Ray camp's expensive players? Or on a standard DVD player and just holding out until the Blu-Ray camp drop the price of their Blu-Ray DVD players or wait for the second generation players to come out which will be more cheaper? This by no means means the format war is over, but this does put a nail in the HD DVD format coffin lid.

slugbug 06-19-2007 10:56 PM

Re: Blockbuster To Push Blu-ray Starting This July
Wouldn't it be nice if manufacturers could sit down ahead of time and settle on one format. It royally ticks me off that I might end up with a dead format before long.

jnemesh 06-21-2007 01:58 PM

Re: Blockbuster To Push Blu-ray Starting This July
Blockbuster has done this before...remember Betamax? So, how should they explain about "The Matrix"? Well, they should start by letting people know that the Matrix will be available this fall in Blu-Ray for starters! The only delay for the BD version was the ability to do picture in picture (using Java) and at a guess BD+ copy protection was probably holding up a few releases as well.

To the customers that bought the nice $300 HD-DVD player and are now upset that Blockbuster is not carrying their preferred format? Sorry Charlie! I hate to say it, but in every war, there is a winner and there is a loser. Mr. customer, I am sorry you have an expensive paperweight, but you knew that this might happen when you bought this with it!

I have been reading the "spin" in every press release since the start of this mess, and here is what I have found.

Blu-Ray group: "we sell more discs and have more players capable of reading and playing back Blu-Ray discs on the market. We have more studio support, and 15 of the top 20 movies of last year will be on Blu-Ray disc this year."

HD-DVD group: "the PS3 doesnt count! No really, it doesnt! Look at how many stand alone players we have sold. No, really, look! Dont believe the other group, we REALLY know what the customer wants! Never mind that we only have ONE major studio exclusively in our camp...we have a better format guys, really!"

If it sounds like I am biased, I am! I have stayed carefully neutral through 2 YEARS of this junk, telling my customers to wait and see. Finally, I can see the endgame in progress. Checkmate is just a couple moves away.

Guys, the writing is on the wall...if ANYONE doubts what I am saying, just go through the archives, look up all press releases from BOTH camps over the past 6 months, and you tell me. (let the flaming begin!) :)

nikodimus 06-21-2007 11:43 PM

Re: Blockbuster To Push Blu-ray Starting This July
Can you say the War's not over till the Fat lady sings. Sony hasn't won one of these yet. Blockbuster has it s own war with Netflix and they are getting their butt kicked there. Revenues are down. the CFO is leaving the CEO is leaving at year end. Stock is at like 4 bucks and Netflix is around 20.
Still too early to call. I've been reading a couple things in the forums and the new cheaper $499 Sony player doesnt have an ethernet port like the new and i just saw at Circuit City Toshiba HD player for $299 with 5 free titles so it wont be able to meet the new blu ray requirements for picture in picture specials and such or get new firmware upgrades unless they are shipped on a disk i guess.
Point is it s still a wait and see world for most of us. What if Netflix said we choose HD just to **** off Blockbuster

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