309w ago - Paramount is poised to drop its support of HD-DVD following Warner Brothers' recent backing of Sony's Blu-ray technology, in a move that could sound the death knell of HD-DVD and bring the home entertainment format war to a definitive end.
Paramount and DreamWorks Animation, which makes the Shrek films, came out in support of HD-DVD last summer, joining General Electric's Universal Studios as the main backers of the Toshiba format.
However, Paramount, which is owned by Viacom, is understood to have a clause in its contract with the HD-DVD camp that would allow it to switch sides in the event of Warner backing Blu-ray, according to people familiar with the situation.
Paramount is set to have a bumper 2008 with several likely blockbusters, including the latest instalment in the Indiana Jones franchise, slated for release.
Paramount joining the Blu-ray camp would leave HD-DVD likely to suffer the same fate as Sony's now obsolete Betamax video technology, which lost out to VHS in a similar format war in the 1980s.
Warner's decision last week to throw its weight behind Blu-ray saw it join Walt Disney, 20th Century Fox and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer as backers of the Sony format.
The Warner move gives Blu-ray about 70 per cent of Hollywood's output, although the format's...
309w ago - Buffalo Technology announced today the market's first external Blu-ray and HD DVD player, that allows users to both read and write Blu-ray content. The USB device can also read HD DVD discs.
It is expected to be hitting the US during Q1 2008 with an estimated street price of $649. To quote:
-- Buffalo Technology, a global leader in the design, development and manufacturing of wired and wireless networking, storage and memory solutions today announced the MediaStation Blu-ray HD DVD (BRHC-6316U2), the market's first external Blu-ray and HD DVD player. It is the first device of its kind on the market that allows users to both read and write Blu-ray content.
It provides the ability to save high-definition content, giving users an all-in-one solution to meet their entertainment needs. Users can also connect the player to a notebook or other mobile device via USB and view their favorite video content while on-the-go. In addition the player allows for playback of HD DVD content.
"Consumers are increasingly implementing either High-Definition or Blu-ray content into their digital lives -- from TV sets, to camcorders to audio content," said Takayuki Nishioka, CEO of Buffalo Technology, USA. "The
MediaStation Blu-ray HD DVD offers users the best of both...
309w ago - More than 140,000 people are expected in Las Vegas for the start of the Consumer Electronics Show on Monday.
The latest in gadgets and home electronics will be on display, as technology firms hope to ride out a global economic slowdown.
"The industry has to brace itself," admitted Gary Shapiro, president of the US Consumer Electronics Association.
Microsoft boss Bill Gates opens the show with a speech on Sunday, which will focus on social technologies.
"My feeling is that the US is in for tough times," said Mr Shapiro.
But he said that economic slowdown and the widespread credit crunch could see people investing more in their homes, rather than buying new property.
"If we were [an] industry selling boats or travel, I'd be concerned. In terms of consumer electronics the industry is fairly well positioned."
He said the weak dollar had helped the US market, with many "technology tourists" visiting the country to buy electronics.
"People are coming to the US because it is such a bargain."
CES is the focus point for many technologies due to hit shops in the coming 12 months, such as OLED TVs, offering brighter, thinner displays, and a plethora of digital living room technologies, such...
309w ago - The news just continues to sour for the HD DVD camp. Earlier today, Warner Bros. decided to go Blu-ray exclusive by the end of May 2008. Warner Bros. executives backed their decision by saying that the move was beneficial for consumers.
"A two-format landscape has led to consumer confusion and indifference toward high definition, which has kept the technology from reaching mass adoption and becoming the important revenue stream that it can be for the industry," stated Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group President Kevin Tsujihara.
Toshiba, clearly stunned by the announcement, issued a press release of its own stating its disappointment with the decisions by Warner Bros.
"We will assess the potential impact of this announcement with the other HD DVD partner companies and valuate potential next steps," said Toshiba in a statement. "We remain firm in our belief that HD DVD is the format best suited to the wants and needs of the consumer."
It looks as though the fallout from the Warner Bros. move is coming fast and furiously. The DailyTech inbox was just moments ago greeted with the following message from a Toshiba representative regarding CES press meetings and the scheduled HD DVD press conference:
309w ago - Toshiba has released a statement which indicates that it is surprised by WB's decision to abandon the HD DVD format and go exclusively Blu-ray.
There seems to be 'sour grapes' involved as Toshiba draw on the fact there are various contracts in place regarding the support of HD DVD And the two companies worked closely to standardize the DVD format and shape HD DVD as its successor.
Toshiba is quite surprised by Warner Bros.' decision to abandon HD DVD in favor of Blu-ray, despite the fact that there are various contracts in place between our companies concerning the support of HD DVD. As central members of the DVD Forum, we have long maintained a close partnership with Warner Bros. We worked closely together to help standardize the first-generation DVD format as well as to define and shape HD DVD as its next-generation successor.
We were particularly disappointed that this decision was Made in spite of the significant momentum HD DVD has gained in the US market as well as other regions in 2007. HD DVD players and PCs have outsold Blu-ray in the US market in 2007.
We will assess the potential impact of this announcement with the other HD DVD partner companies and evaluate potential next steps. We remain firm in our belief that HD DVD is the format...