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Paramount drops Blu-ray support -- everybody groans

After months of reports proving that Blu-ray sells more movies than HD-DVD, Paramount's parent company Viacom has announced that they are dropping Blu-ray support and going HD-DVD exclusive. According to Viacom, they made this decision based on researching the benefits of HD-DVD, which "confirmed the clear benefits of HD DVD." Some of the benefits of HD-DVD that they mentioned included lower sales, a much smaller user base, and limited storage space (okay okay, they actually said 'market ready technology' and 'lower manufacturing costs').

There are rumors of a 150 million dollar payout by the HD-DVD consortium to nab the Viacom exclusivity, which sure would help explain the move more than the officially given reasons. Regardless, we now can look at the format-war that nobody wanted getting strung out even longer. Yay -- thanks Viacom.

[Thanks to everybody who sent this in]

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Reader Comments

(Page 1)

1. gay

Posted at 2:21PM on Aug 20th 2007 by doug

2. Cant knock MS' hustle, major coup for HD DVD

Posted at 2:21PM on Aug 20th 2007 by milo

3. all these exclusive!

Posted at 2:24PM on Aug 20th 2007 by milo

4. It's funny how the general opinion on the web seems to be one of this just extending the format war, not of it giving HDDVD a chance to win it. Can't say I disagree with that...

Posted at 2:28PM on Aug 20th 2007 by mccomber

5. So when they lose $150 million over low HD-DVD sales, will they then switch back to Blu-ray?

Posted at 2:35PM on Aug 20th 2007 by Aaron

6. this is MADNESS!!!

and i'm not enticing a 300 joke or whatever.


once again, money talks louder than reason.

Posted at 2:38PM on Aug 20th 2007 by derrick


Posted at 2:39PM on Aug 20th 2007 by Deathalo

8. It would be tragic to me,but I use my PS3 as a GAMING SYSTEM.

On a CRT SDTV,you know,like the majority of people.

Posted at 2:40PM on Aug 20th 2007 by OTAM

9. I saw that Dreamworks is also switching over to HD-DVD exclusivity as well. I read this on engadget earlier in the day. So much for the format war being over :P Not that I care, I can play both formats.

Posted at 2:41PM on Aug 20th 2007 by James

10. I don't see what the problem is...for movies HD-DVD is really set up more sensibly. They've shown the right motivations in abiding by hardware and software standards, a solid feature-set, better authoring setup, and consistent picture quality (because of standard encoding the entire lifespan of the product, unlike Blu-ray). Much of that is thanks to the a good consortium setting the standards.

While it's obvious that Blu-ray would be a great storage medium, it really hasn't shown the right initiatives to be quality format over-all so far. The companies behind it seemed a bit too excited to escape DVD licensing, I think.

All this said, I'm still hesistant to buy a HD-DVD player when I already have the PS3. My movie-loving friend decided he's just going to buy a dual-format player...I guess if you care enough for HD content, that's the route to go at this point in time?

Posted at 2:42PM on Aug 20th 2007 by SuicideNinja

11. Maybe now Sony will get back to the negotiation table and iron how a single standard.

Posted at 2:47PM on Aug 20th 2007 by john

12. All I can say, is I guess all of Paramounts 2-3 movies that I will actually buy over the next three years will have to be on DVD...

Posted at 2:47PM on Aug 20th 2007 by Jldowning

13. #6.

Bond wasnt low quality. it looked just as good as hd-dvds bourne films. The sound was excelent, it lacked in features.

Likewise 300 blu-ray and Hd-dvd look exactly the same and sound exactly the same (unless you have that super expensive brand new PCM 5.1 sound system, then blu-ray had a bit better sound) No doubt 300 Hd-dvd had the better feature with the blue screen picture in picture commentary. It also was $6 more and featured the Dvd version. For most people though, the movie was identical in hd as in blu-ray.

There is no real quality differance. Hd-dvd offers a few more features out of the box and a cheaper start rate on a player. That and Hd-dvd bought this exclusive, come on Indiana Jones Trilogy.

It does suck for supporters of one or the other. for us both format owners its just a simple when we want a movie thats on both which version to get. But anyone that tells you the quality is higher on one verses the other.. either 1. has a super system that they can see small differances or... (and this is more likely) 2. Is a fanboy and is out of there fanboy mind.

The war moves onward and consumers wait for a clear winner, while us adpoters pick and choose or fight with each other in forums.

Posted at 2:52PM on Aug 20th 2007 by ShaggyB

14. Man, what a desperate act.

Posted at 2:53PM on Aug 20th 2007 by Brian Spence

15. YAY! for HD DVD, but what sucks is I still want to know if it's okay to buy? I'm sure I represent all the average joes out there that don't know much except how to please there women (or themselves) This war is keeping me from buy anything.

Posted at 2:53PM on Aug 20th 2007 by mike

16. This format war won't be over for a long time, until movies ($30-40) and players are a lot more inexpensive.

As far as the PS3 crowd, as long as there is a big installed base (and people keep buying PS3s) Blu-Ray will be a viable platform. If enough money is to be made, believe me, those studios will offer both formats.

Posted at 2:54PM on Aug 20th 2007 by russ99

17. But.. but.. Transformers!

Posted at 2:56PM on Aug 20th 2007 by Ithilis

18. I own a PS3 and XBox drive, and I want one format to die. I don't want to maintain two players, two movie collections, etc. I don't want to pay a higher price for dual format players. I don't think Joe Consumer is going to want buy dual players or pay the extra cost for dual format players either.

Some mistakenly believe the format wars lowers prices. No it doesn't. We're talking about a single format, not a single manufacturer. There is one CD and DVD standard. There is plenty of competition in those markets and yet they settled on a single format.

Just when it looked like the high def DVD wars was coming a close, Paramount had to prolong a terrible war. Thanks Paramount. Grrr....

Posted at 2:58PM on Aug 20th 2007 by Kyle A. Miller

19. @Adam - I'm confused with the way you keep on switching between "quality" and "quantity". If you say quantity for Blu Ray, doesn't that mean you admit higher sales? And with which movie does HD-DVD look better than Blu Ray? You didn't buy the Blu Ray player (though if you bought a PS3 you would have that plus a player for the same price as you would get the 360 elite bundle) so you couldn't have compared it with your own eyes. Shouldn't it be quantity over quality for HD-DVD if it costs less to manufacturer but has less storage? As for no find the 300 on HD DVD anywhere, your speculation is no proof of higher demand. I'd like to respect other people's opinion only if they don't come in with such an obviously biased opinion. It's hard to take them seriously when they speculate and provide opinion versus fact.

All I know is that I bought a PS3 a few months ago from Amazon for $499 and though I have never really bought any DVDs before, I recently purchased a couple of Blu Rays from and Best Buy ($15 each). Black Hawk Down, Kung Fu Hustle, and House of Flying Daggers all look amazing with the rich colors and amazing action scenes on a 50" 1080p HDTV. I originally intended to only use my PS3 for games but its ability to receive streaming media and play a USB hard drive of movies makes it even better.

Posted at 2:58PM on Aug 20th 2007 by ruibing

20. At least Spielberg has seemingly decided to stay out of this. His films are probably the only Paramount works that I actually care about.

Posted at 2:58PM on Aug 20th 2007 by Shori

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