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Blockbuster massively expands Blu-ray support

According to an article in the El Paso Times, starting next month Blockbuster will finally expand the amount of stores that rent HD movies from a paltry 250 to over 1400 stores, and they're doing this exclusively with Blu-ray. They decided to not increase any additional HD-DVD support after their initial testing showed that 70% of renters were going Blu-ray last year. Matthew Smith, the senior vice president of merchandising at Blockbuster said, "The consumers are sending us a message. I can't ignore what I'm seeing."

They will continue to rent HD-DVD movies online and at the original 250 stores, but this is a major victory for Blu-ray. Getting support from the largest movie rental company in the world will give Blu-ray a lot of additional exposure into the more casual market and and could end up being a decisive move towards ending the format war. Though you couldn't tell from this week's release schedule, momentum is strongly in the Blu-ray format's favor right now, and it's starting to look dubious that HD-DVD is capable of turning the tide. Now if only a certain movie studio would realize that as well ...

[Thanks Dom!]

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Reader Comments

(Page 1)

1. SHOT THROUGH THE HEART AND YOU'RE TO BLAME

Posted at 10:42PM on Jun 17th 2007 by Chris

2. another blow to hd dvd and microsoft xbox 360. good job blu-ray.

Posted at 10:50PM on Jun 17th 2007 by Lp47

3. BLU-RAY IS GONNA WIN THIS FORMAT WAR SONY FINALLY DID GOOD WITH A FORMAT THERES NO WAY IM GOING WITH A FORMAT IF I CANT WATCH SPIDERMAN IN HD f&*^ THE MATRIX I CAN WATCH IT IN BLU-RAY LATER ANYWAY I LOVE MY PS3 AND MY 1080P TV F(&* OFF HDDVD

Posted at 11:06PM on Jun 17th 2007 by Mr. Nevelo S.

4. 70% = (almost) 3:1 | BD:HD-DVD

Posted at 11:11PM on Jun 17th 2007 by humpty

5. Lol, with exactly what movies are they going to expand with?

Posted at 11:33PM on Jun 17th 2007 by wisemanleo

6. I for one hope soon Family Video will rent Blu Ray movies. I always went to Blockbuster but after Family Video came out I have been going there. Rentals are nice and cheap. So if FV could do the same thing and rent BR for ceap I would be using my PS3 for a lot more movies.

Posted at 11:49PM on Jun 17th 2007 by Joe

7.
Who cares if Blu-ray has all of the content, movie studios, bigger storage. HD DVD has exclusives like:

Poppy and the Seed
Bombay or Bust
Leave it to Aardvark
The Berserker
Candy and the Milkman
Submarine Down
The Lonely Bumble Bee

You'll never find these on Blu-ray.

Posted at 11:51PM on Jun 17th 2007 by Breeze

8. hey! i'm a writer for that paper!!! go el paso!

Posted at 12:15AM on Jun 18th 2007 by Mishi

9. Just what Sony needs another dying company to latch on to its corpse.

Neither format will win. Digital distrobution is the way to go.

Posted at 12:41AM on Jun 18th 2007 by Bababooey

10. @2
i dont see how blu ray winning affects the 360 but i agree with 9 that digital distribution will win. look how few 360 HD-DVD are sold, because no-body wants them but with Xbox Live 360 owners are prepared for the future - digital distribution.
either way this is a major victory for blu-ray and even if it lasts only like 5 more yrs which it most probably will its a solid step over HD-DVD for it.

Posted at 1:06AM on Jun 18th 2007 by WTangoFoxtrot

11. LOL @ bababooey. Digital distribution is retarded for 25G+ movies.

Posted at 1:15AM on Jun 18th 2007 by Popfrogs

12. I'm sure if I told you 20 years ago that 25 GB Hard drives would be the norm you would have laughed as well.

It's technology buddy, things progress. Normal DVD will remain supreme for the time being but times change eventually.

Posted at 1:28AM on Jun 18th 2007 by Bababooey

13. I think many of you assume because yourself, the people you know and Xbox Live! users utilize the DD features of the service this translates into mass-market appeal. It doesn't. You may know a lot of people that have the means and interest, but chances are because of your own personal tastes you associate with others whom have similar values. DD will be a successful form of media delivery but I don't think it'll run physical soft media into the ground.

Posted at 1:35AM on Jun 18th 2007 by Chainblast

14. Back shortly after DVD had the hit market Blockbuster was going to support the now what seems like the long ago failed DIVX (Digital Video Express) format. People were up in arms about that joke of a format. I know this is different, but that was a bad thing and I won't ever tip my hat to Circut City or anyone else who, like Blockbuster was going to support it. Blockbuster can take a spoon and eat my ___. In light of their choice for Blu-Ray it can be only a good thing. I still hate Blockbuster.

---DIVX (Digital Video Express)
---http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DIVX

Posted at 5:14AM on Jun 18th 2007 by Jason

15. I'm with Chainblast on this one - as of right now,the infrastructure can not handle DD at the capacity that BD can deliver. I think we can expect "hard" media for quite a few years to come.

@14. This is a much different creature than DIVX. Blu-ray was not created by Blockbuster, merely adopted by it. No one expects you to tip your hat to Blockbuster for their move (I know I wouldn't), but this simply means that the format war has been shifted quite a bit toward Blu-ray. We're not out of this yet though- we'll see what happens in a couple years.

Posted at 7:19AM on Jun 18th 2007 by Luke

16. This will not increase sales of the PS3. I could careless about Blu-Ray or HD-DVD, I want games on my PS3. I will always a separate player to play movies.

Posted at 9:29AM on Jun 18th 2007 by The1

17. We all bought PS3's to play games. BR movies are a perk that we get.

Posted at 9:42AM on Jun 18th 2007 by Matt B

18. "17. We all bought PS3's to play games. BR movies are a perk that we get.

Posted at 9:42AM on Jun 18th 2007 by Matt B"

Again, I bought the PS3 for games, it seems like we have more Perks out than good games and Perks do not sell a console.

Posted at 9:51AM on Jun 18th 2007 by The1

19. @19, I agree and have seen and heard this as well. Blockbuster has definitely been struggling the last couple years with competition from Netflix as well as competition from On-Demand. I personally hate Blockbuster and proudly rent from Hollywood Video.

However, I agree that this is huge for Sony and Blu-Ray. Since this announcement people have asked if these means the war is over. Unfortunately, it may be over. This could very well be all that people needed to finally make that decision. I, for one, have been patiently awaiting some type of announcement like this.

Posted at 11:09AM on Jun 18th 2007 by Matt

20. digital distribution will not win anytime soon because of the restrictions on he content. If pay for a move i want to own it. Microsoft only lets you get the movie for 24 hours. I rent one movie this weekend and the next night I was watching the movie and it stopped and said my license expired. Fu$k that I was mad 6.99 and watched it once and then to stop it in the middle while it is playing is a bad idea. I will buy Blu-Ray movies before I rent another movie of the Xbox 360 Market Place. Screw the Market Place bring on Blu-Ray so I can control My Media not another company.

Posted at 12:16PM on Jun 18th 2007 by PS3 RULES

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