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Blockbuster chooses Blu-Ray |

BusinessWeek URL at the bottom. Short quotes for the lazy:

Blockbuster Inc. will rent high-definition DVDs only in the Blu-ray format in 1,450 stores when it expands its high-def offerings next month, dealing a major blow to the rival HD DVD format.

Blockbuster has been renting both Blu-ray and HD DVD titles in 250 stores since late last year and found that consumers were choosing Blu-ray titles more than 70 percent of the time.

“The consumers are sending us a message. I can’t ignore what I’m seeing,” Matthew Smith, senior vice president of merchandising at Blockbuster, told The Associated Press.

Also, I’ve noticed that Fox/MGM hasn’t been releasing much Blu-Ray content and Disney/Buena Vista is releasing some great new releases but almost nothing from their catalog. Supposedly, they are holding back titles until BD+ encryption is ready.

BusinessWeek: Blockbuster to favor Blu-ray over HD DVD

(BTW, I normally try to limit posts to PS3 info, but this was interesting enough to warrant a post)

UPDATE: Fixed studio names. Thanks Sporty.

  • Sporty

    “I’ve noticed that Fox/Buena Vista hasn’t been releasing much Blu-Ray content and Disney is barely releasing anything”

    Did you mean. “Buena Vista hasn’t been releasing much and Fox/MGM is barely releasing anything”?

    Just wondering. Buena Vista is releasing steady but slow atm. Primevil was last week, Pirates were early this month and Bridge to Terabithia is Tuesday. So BVHV is releasing. (Disney Releases are done by Buena Vista)

    It’s Fox/MGM (MGM’s releases are handled by Fox now) that have been pulled waiting for BD+ since the AACS was cracked thanks to the 360 add-on with WinDVD.

    But back to the main part of the post. Yes, this is good news for BD. Might get overshadowed by the BD rot stories going around. It’s one disk on a thread on a site with avid HD-DVD fans and openly MS employees but it’s making the rounds as if it’s dateline NBC and widespread.

  • John

    BluRay being scratch resistant probably also played a role.

  • Darrin

    Thanks Sporty. Yes, Disney released Pirates and Terebethia is coming, but where is their huge back catalog? Hopefully BD+ will be ready later this year and we will see all of that.

    The Blu-Ray rot story looks like junk news at this point. If a real issue like that develops, I wouldn’t want to downplay it, but as of yet, it just seems like nonsense.

  • Sporty

    I agree with the back catalog. Fox/MGM should pick up massively once BD+ get ready but I wish they would hurry the hell up. I can see their point in a way. Get their content secured and wait for the install base to go up. But it’s still giving current users the shaft in the mean time.

    Like the BD version of Matrix was pushed back for the BD-J being finalized. One nice thing is Columbia house will be carrying HD Disks this fall. For awhile I was rotating 3 memberships there at a time, just opening, full filling and closing. Got it down to paying less then $5 a DVD and blew my collection up to over 300 DVDs. I doubt I will go crazy again since I still have dozens of sealed DVDs. But will be a good way to catch up since I stopped buying DVDs once I saw a 1080 picture and decided I wont buy movies twice.

  • Mediamonkey

    In the UK Blockbuster only rents Blu Ray and never even bothered with HD DVD (or trialed it as far as i know). and I’m talking since march. You can look on any gadget site in the Uk ( and find 5 Blu Ray writers – but HD-DVD ones? you’ll be lucky to find 1.

  • I don’t know why Toshiba doesn’t just bow out gracefully at this point. It would make things a lot easier. Kinda like Stallone – doesn’t know when to quit making Rocky movies – just makes him look bad.

  • liar

    1. This is PS3 related info and great news at that 🙂

    2. Disney has been smacking them out of the park. The quality of the releases has been the best of everyone and their promotion has been second to none as well.

    3. All studios are releasing mostly new titles because that is what sells the best right now..many people have back catalogs on DVD and the early adopters are buying new stuff first, upgrading catalog second. As the prices come down that will change…but right now it makes most sense to push new titles.

    4. Blu-ray rot is likely more FUD in a long line of it coming from AVS. No one else has seen it..go figure.

  • This is great news for Blu-ray! I don’t see HD-DVD lasting past this year. But we’ll see.

  • Henning. Here’s my conspiracy theory on Toshiba not bowing out of the HDDVD wars.

    Microsoft pays them to stay in. MS believes that as long as there is a “HD WAR” it is good business for them. If Bluray were to become the winner then the value of the 360 as a console entertainment unit goes way down. It’s value proposition goes down as well. Why buy a 360 and a separate Bluray player when you can get both in the PS3. The longer the “war” lasts the longer there is consumer indecision. Indesisive consumers don’t buy PS3’s. This is the reason all the paid blog shills for Microsoft always try and say thing like. Bluray is a Sony tax, I only want a games machine. Why pay more for both.
    Anyways here’s hoping for a quick end to the “war” so that studios can get moving on pushing out movies.

  • Matt

    Disney has always dripped their movies into the market. From VCR to DVD and now Blu-Ray. They always make a huge deal when they release a classic. “Snow White, the first Disney Full Length movie is being sold for the first time in 10 years, and now you can get it on Blu-Ray!” Now that I pointed this out you will either remember or pay attention in the future. Anyone who has kids in the family should know this though. It is a really good marketing skeem because they only sell the movie for a short time and people go running to the stores to pick it up.

  • Sporty

    Yea, ‘Disney Vault’ titles are always rare and Disney tries to make them events.

    I’m sure we’re a few years from Toy story or Lion King, but once they are announced they will only be on the market for a few months then “go back in the vault”

  • It took disney forever to release some of its back catalog onto DVD. Even when DVD became king, Disney only dripped its classics out on the format, releasing them for only 6 or so month runs, before stopping production and putting it back in the “vault” with the nazi donald duck cartoons.

    Blu-ray’s final hurdle is to cut down on the average cost for a dedicated player. There are some that are getting down to the mass market level, but they are being undercut by even cheaper hd-dvd players. If they manage to cut costs significantly and lower the prices of blu-ray players, they will have no problem stoming hd-dvd out.

    It seems like all it would take is an aggressive film roll out from the blu-ray camp to make the war end sooner. Fox for instance owns StarWars, why not make a blu-ray “complete collection” set? Star Wars fans will wet themselves at the though of high-def glory. Or what if sony or some other major proponent of the blu-ray camp convinced Apple (another blu-ray supporter) to start shipping systems that have optional blu-ray drives? I mean, those who drink the apple Kool-aid will automatically feel “OMG BLU-RAY IS TEH BESTEST!!!!!!1” just because steve jobs says so, and tadah you have several million new blu-ray users.