Toshiba’s HD DVD format is pretty much completely dead. It’s been a long, drawn out, horrendous death, with Blu-ray stabbing it in the back repeatedly. It’s about time someone pulled the plug on the life support so that we can move on and prices will drop on Blu-ray discs and players as they begin to replace DVDs over the next few years (Don’t worry, your DVD library will not be obsolete, as Blu-ray players are backwards compatible). Another great thing about a single format is that you’ll now begin seeing Blu-ray players come standard in computers and other devices over the next year or two.
Four of the six major movie studios have yanked any and all support for HD DVD away in favor of Blu-ray, and now Netflix has made a solid blow at the format, choosing to do the same. Seems similar to the VHS vs. Beta tape struggle of the 1980s, only this time Sony is on the winning side (they developed the long-lost Beta tape and are now behind the Blu-ray technology).
Netflix chooses Blu-ray over HD DVD
Each week, we seem to see more signs that HD DVD is brain dead. Someone just has to turn off the life support. The latest sign: Los Gatos-based Netflix, the DVD rental service, said [Monday] it is phasing out HD DVD deliveries and will only support Blu-ray DVDs by the end of the year. The company will not be purchasing any more HD DVDs and will only be buying next generation discs in the Blu-ray format.
Netflix said the decision was based on the fact that four of the six major studios have publicly declared exclusive support for Blu-ray. The biggest one, of course, was Warner Bros. which made its announcement last month on the eve of the CES show in Las Vegas. “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,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix.
It’s not such a big surprise that Netflix went to Blu-ray. Competitor Blockbuster made a similar decision last year.
The question is when does Toshiba, the company behind HD DVD, finally throw in the towel? The company responded to the Warner Bros. announcement by cutting the price of the HD DVD player. But the writing seems on the wall. HD DVD can still live on as a kind of premium DVD player, with its ability to upscale current DVDs. But as far as a true next generation DVD player, it doesn’t appear like people are gonna be looking in HD DVD’s direction.