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Netflix to cease carrying new HD DVD titles

The tide continues to turn in the ongoing high-definition format war. Netflix, the first choice in online movie rental service in the U.S., today announced that it will exclusively stock Blu-ray Disc as the only choice for its customers looking for high-definition content.

Earlier this year, Warner Bros. shook the industry when it announced that it would release movies exclusively on Blu-ray Disc starting this summer. Netflix states that, with four major Hollywood studios now behind Blu-ray Disc, it too will back the format held by the majority.

Since the inception of HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc, Netflix gave its customers opportunity to rent from both formats. But by the end of this year, the online rental service will have phased out HD DVD, leaving Blu-ray Disc as the lone option.

HD DVD hardware owners will have to look to alternative rental outlets for software, as Blockbuster announced last summer that its retail stores would also carry only Blu-ray Disc. Blockbuster’s Total Access online rental service, however, continues to provide HD DVD as an option.

"The prolonged period of competition between two formats has prevented clear communication to the consumer regarding the richness of the high-def experience versus standard definition," said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix. "We're now at the point where the industry can pursue the migration to a single format, bring clarity to the consumer and accelerate the adoption of high-def. Going forward, we expect that all of the studios will publish in the Blu-ray format and that the price points of high-def DVD players will come down significantly. These factors could well lead to another decade of disc-based movie watching as the consumer's preferred means."

Only a small percentage of Netflix’s seven million subscribers elected to rent high-definition movies, and the company says that most of its customers have chosen Blu-ray Disc over HD DVD.

"From the Netflix perspective, focusing on one format will enable us to create the best experience for subscribers who want high-definition to be an important part of how they enjoy our service," Added Sarandos.

As part of the transition to Blu-ray Disc, the Netflix said it will acquire no new HD DVDs but that its existing inventory would continue to rent until the discs' natural life cycle (through loss or damage) takes them out of circulation in the coming months.

Although Blu-ray Disc may have more support, Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Entertainment are still exclusive to HD DVD. This means that Netflix customers will be without a high-definition option for upcoming releases such as Beowulf, Bee Movie, Sweeney Todd, The Jack Ryan Collection, American Gangster, Braveheart, Forrest Gump, Star Trek and potentially even Indiana Jones.



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RE: uh, what?
By ATC on 2/11/2008 12:40:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"Format War" is not holding people back


I don't know whose kool-aid you've been downing to think that. That's what the HD-DVD group would want everyone to believe and they've successfully fooled some, evidently, into thinking two competing incompatible formats is in the best interest of consumers.

However consumers this time around are a lot more informed than before with open access to information which is precisely why the format war is indeed holding back mass adoption.

Player prices will continue to go down as will the media. You don't have to look too far into the past to recall when people said the same thing about CDs and then DVDs and now this.

Are you one of those who bought that $3000 dvd-burner or the $1500 dvd player? Get over the price point please.


RE: uh, what?
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 2/11/2008 12:49:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
However consumers this time around are a lot more informed than before with open access to information which is precisely why the format war is indeed holding back mass adoption.

Everyone I have talked to has stated price as the reason they aren't buying into it. Most of them want to buy into Blu-Ray but they arent willing to shell out the cash when they state that "Upscaled DVD's are good enough".

quote:
Player prices will continue to go down as will the media. You don't have to look too far into the past to recall when people said the same thing about CDs and then DVDs and now this.

Yes, and it was quite a few years after introduction before CD's and DVD's were adopted on any mass scale.

quote:
Are you one of those who bought that $3000 dvd-burner or the $1500 dvd player? Get over the price point please.

No, I would never pay such an amount for those things. My first DVD-Burner was $150 and my first DVD player was about $110.


RE: uh, what?
By Chaser on 2/11/2008 1:11:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Everyone I have talked to has stated price as the reason they aren't buying into it. Most of them want to buy into Blu-Ray but they arent willing to shell out the cash when they state that "Upscaled DVD's are good enough".


And that's just more HD DVD PR speak too. "Our players make great upscalers"? But most consumers don't even care or know about "upscaling". They will want their High def player and the guy at Best Buy won't have to spend an extra 30 minutes explaining the two formats.

Now thats a win that everyone should appreciate.


RE: uh, what?
By leexgx on 2/11/2008 1:26:08 PM , Rating: 2
up scaling on PS3 is off untill you turn it on (green button/options when playing an movie and goto AV+ and set it to Full) theres only so mouch you can do with an DVD when upscaling


RE: uh, what?
By sweetsauce on 2/11/2008 1:31:00 PM , Rating: 5
Now you guys are just being dumb. I buy a HD-DVD player because its CHEAP.

So far im not confused.

A movie comes out, but damn its only available in DVD or Blu, so i say to myself "screw it im not buying a dvd, and blu is do damn expensive that i won't be buying that player for a while, so i guess i just won't buy anything."

Still not confused.

More and more titles continue to come out on Blu only because the studios decided that me having content on my HD-DVD player is bad for me.

Still not confused.

At first i didn't mind so much since my player only cost me $100, but now im starting to resent those Blu guys for getting all the sweet movies that are coming out.

Still not confused, but i am getting pissed off if that counts.

Damn those HD-DVD PR guys!!!!!!!


RE: uh, what?
By Spuke on 2/12/2008 12:50:48 AM , Rating: 2
Even though Netflix bailed on me, I'm not pissed. I needed a DVD player anyways since mine broke and that $100 HD DVD deal was excellent timing. I have a HD DVR too and most of my HD content comes from there. I haven't bought not one HD DVD movie (the only one's I have are the free one's) although I was considering re-buying the Matrix series. Now that everyone is jumping ship, I won't be buying ANY HD movies in either format until the BR spec is ironed out AND the players get down to $100.


RE: uh, what?
By 777 on 2/11/2008 10:50:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

I don't know whose kool-aid you've been downing to think that. That's what the HD-DVD group would want everyone to believe and they've successfully fooled some, evidently, into thinking two competing incompatible formats is in the best interest of consumers.

However consumers this time around are a lot more informed than before with open access to information which is precisely why the format war is indeed holding back mass adoption.

Player prices will continue to go down as will the media. You don't have to look too far into the past to recall when people said the same thing about CDs and then DVDs and now this.

Are you one of those who bought that $3000 dvd-burner or the $1500 dvd player? Get over the price point please.


Amen! I couldn't agree more!!!


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