Blu-ray Wes Novack on 29 Jun 2007

Warners TotalHD format postponed until 2008

Warners TotalHD format postponed until 2008
Warner Brothers, one of two major Hollywood movie studios that supports both Blu-ray and HD DVD, previously announced a Total HD format disc. Total HD is a two-sided disc that contains a Blu-ray Disc on one side and an HD DVD on the flip-side.

This hybrid format would allow Warner to stock one high definition disc product at retailers, reducing shelf space requirements and eliminating consumer confusion regarding what high definition format to buy. The format was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show at the beginning of 2007, with a market release expected as early as this summer. VideoBusiness has the details on the delay and received the following statements from Warner VP Steve Knickerson.

totalhdlogoNickerson said the studio wants to launch the discs with 10 to 20 titles so retailers can merchandise them together in one section and they don’t get lost at retail.

“There is no expiration date on the viability of this concept, so we’re not in a rush to do it,” Nickerson said. “We’ll do it when it makes sense and when it’s right.”

The real reason for Total HD’s delay

Warner has previously stated that their Total HD discs will not be priced “significantly more” than a standard HD DVD or Blu-ray Disc, but any added cost to an already expensive high definition product can’t be good in my opinion. So what is the real cause of this delay? There are many different possibilities. Warner could be holding out until next year in order to see how each format performs this holiday season before making the jump into manufacturing the more expensive Total HD discs.

If both formats hold their ground and both obtain significant marketshare, Warner will most likely go ahead with their Total HD releases in early 2008. If one format becomes significantly more dominant than the other, Warner may scrap the entire Total HD format completely. Either way, we’ll have to wait until 2008 to find out. News found via HDD.

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