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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: another blow.....
By sweetsauce on 2/11/2008 1:11:24 PM , Rating: 2
You're right that we don't need 2 different formats, but we have 2. If you believe the hype then yes blu won the "format war". I argue that there was never a war since the 2 formats never competed on equal ground. My question to you is this: do you really think killing off the cheaper alternative in this supposed war is best for the consumer, or is killing off the more expensive one the best thing? Is it better to kill off the complete format or the one that still hasn't reached maturity? Is it better to support toshiba or sony? Is it better to put butter or jam on your toast? All these questions must be answered honestly without any fanboyism. I'll let you in on a little secret, the studios couldn't care less whats best for the consumer.

P.S. PS3/xbox360 needless redundancy?


RE: another blow.....
By Chaser on 2/11/2008 1:21:34 PM , Rating: 1
Despite how you re-package all these old tiring worn out denial spin attempts I have a secret for you too:

It's over. Accept it. Move on and enjoy life.


RE: another blow.....
By SirLucius on 2/11/2008 1:36:49 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
I argue that there was never a war since the 2 formats never competed on equal ground.


Huh? HD-DVD had a head start on Blu-ray. Just because Toshiba's marketing team sucks doesn't mean the two weren't on equal ground.

quote:
do you really think killing off the cheaper alternative in this supposed war is best for the consumer, or is killing off the more expensive one the best thing?


Can you really only think in the short term? Blu-ray prices WILL drop given time. There are multiple manufacturers of Blu-ray players. They will compete with each other to make the best product and get the most sales.

It's also more than just "cheaper vs. more expensive." HD-DVD is cheaper, but also holds less data. With Blu-ray discs you'll be able to put more HD content on a disc, i.e. special features will be in HD. Or do HD-DVD fans now not care about special features? I can never remember. Movies aside, the winner will be the next storage medium for the PC. Again, more storage is better than less. You pay more initially, but you get more. And like I said before, it's getting easier and easier to produce Blu-ray players and discs. Prices will drop.

quote:
Is it better to kill off the complete format or the one that still hasn't reached maturity?


I've got no real argument here other than that by the time Blu-ray has reached mass adoption, the spec should be complete.

quote:
Is it better to support toshiba or sony?


That's a stupid question. Both are companies out to take your money and make profit. I have no allegiance to one or the other. Besides which, Blu-ray is more than Sony. But you'll probably continue to ignore that little fact.

quote:
Is it better to put butter or jam on your toast?


Depends on my mood.


RE: another blow.....
By sweetsauce on 2/11/2008 2:05:11 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Huh? HD-DVD had a head start on Blu-ray. Just because Toshiba's marketing team sucks doesn't mean the two weren't on equal ground.
I think im talking about today, and today there isn't equal footing. I know 3 people that broke down and bought a blu player because theres nothing available on HD-DVD. IF, and i emphasize IF there was the same title available on both players, they would have purchased the HD-DVD one.
quote:
Can you really only think in the short term? Blu-ray prices WILL drop given time.
Once again im thinking of NOW. Right NOW i have to shell out over $300 for a player that doesn't do anything my current $100 HD-DVD player can do. I really don't care that in 2 years blu will be under $100, i care now that i have my hd tv and no movies to watch it on.
quote:
I've got no real argument here other than that by the time Blu-ray has reached mass adoption, the spec should be complete.
Is there any reason why the spec isn't completed now? I can think of only one, to get you to purchase another player in the future.
quote:
That's a stupid question. Both are companies out to take your money and make profit. I have no allegiance to one or the other
That part was a joke, since i don't really care who makes what. I care that i own HD-DVD and theres nothing to watch on it.


RE: another blow.....
By BansheeX on 2/12/2008 11:15:27 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Right NOW i have to shell out over $300 for a player that doesn't do anything my current $100 HD-DVD player can do.


$100 players is the REASON Toshiba had no manufacturer support. No business wanted to follow their kamikaze sales model. So you can't have your cake and eat it, too. If you want better industry support, you have to raise prices and get friends. If you want to try and firesell your competitor into oblivion, you have to forsake industry support.

Blu-ray is no more expensive than DVD when it was new, you're simply perceiving it as expensive in comparison to an inferior competitor that was cheaper to make, something DVD never had. And now that you've wasted hundreds of dollars on the losing format, you complain about expense? You'll end up paying the same overall in the end. I got my blu-ray player for $300, and when you get yours in two years, you'll have paid $150 for HD-DVD and $150 for Blu-ray. So you espouse savings, but you're actually quite short-sighted with money because you picked a rogue format with crap recordable capacity and lossy audio.

quote:
Is there any reason why the spec isn't completed now? I can think of only one, to get you to purchase another player in the future.


That conspiracy theory makes no sense because 2.0 makes ethernet manadatory. Ethernet, of course, is the conduit through which firmware can be updated.

quote:
That part was a joke, since i don't really care who makes what. I care that i own HD-DVD and theres nothing to watch on it.


Then why did you buy it in the first place? Brilliant consumer here, folks.


"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer














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