A new survey found that more than half of 1,000 consumers polled have no plans to buy a Blu-ray player. About one in four claimed they'll probably buy one in 2009, but you know how that goes. It's not hard to spot what stops them: $300 or more for a player and more than $20 per disc for most popular movies. Manufacturers and studios that backed the cheaper HD-DVD format can say it now: We told you so.
Sony, Samsung, Motorola and Hitachi have banded together to adopt Amimon's ready-and-shipping wireless HDTV chips for next year's products. Because the products will have no cable jacks, the new gear will sport a conspicuous logo that indicates it will connect to other devices with the same logo. If you want to play pundit, predict a format war between Amimon's WHDI and SiBeam's WirelessHD, which other manufacturers are tinkering with. But if you want to know who will win, Amimon's technology is already shipping and SiBeam's isn't.
Once a year, I have trouble falling asleep, I'm just so excited. I say my prayers to the developers of OpenOffice, slide under the covers and just lay there thinking about all the documents I'll get to open in the morning. There'll be text documents, and spreadsheets — maybe even presentation slides! Only after a few hours of listening for the pitter-patter of comma-separated reindeer do I finally fall asleep. Well, that day is here again this year — Document Freedom Day! Google's Zaheda Bhorat can hardly contain her glee:
Toshiba has finally said what everyone else has known for a while: HD-DVD is dead. The company will quit making players and recorders for its high-def disc format by the end of March. This was a foregone conclusion once major video vendors Wal-Mart, Netflix and Best Buy dropped their support for HD-DVD. No word on when Toshiba will begin selling players for Blu-ray, Sony's rival disc. [Gizmodo]
The high-definition disc battle is over, and Blu-ray has won. We can now move on to more productive matters. Why am I declaring victory? Not because of Warner's switch to the format, and certainly not because of Netflix's. Retailing is not a democracy. There is one vote that matters. No, it's not the consumer's — it's Wal-Mart's. And Wal-Mart, formerly an HD-DVD advocate, is going Blu. Walmart.com currently has its sole HD-DVD player model on clearance, and by June, it will only sell Blu-ray players and discs. Next format war, please.
Toshiba is insisting that its HD-DVD disc format is doing well, despite Warner's defection to the Blu-ray side. Citing strong fourth-quarter sales of HD-DVD players, Toshiba's going ahead with the fight. Which has to give Steve Jobs a chuckle. The continuing war between Blu-ray and HD-DVD just redounds to his advantage, as he preps a laptop without any optical drive at all and a retooled Apple TV to deliver movies to the living room.
I'm as ready as anyone to declare Sony the victor in the epic high-definition disc battle. Its Blu-ray, now supported by Warner Bros., looks set to best Toshiba's HD-DVD. In Hollywood, where they still care about the industrial process of shipping plastic discs by the millions to retail stores, this matters. In the Valley, we've long since moved on. Sony executives still dream of formats, hardware, and an empire of lock-in. To them, "software" means the creative content screened in theaters, dropped into CD players, or played on a videogame console. That's why they're doomed to lose the real war.
The porn industry is taking a back seat in the high-def format wars. Unlike the VHS-Betamax battles of the early '80s, where porn fans helped VHS win, the industry has released very few X-rated HD titles. The reason? "Porn is a fantasy and the added resolution sometimes detracts from that fantasy." [Investor's Business Daily]
In an effort to prove he's as fickle as he is talented, Transformers director Michael Bay has retracted what he calls a Kool-Aid-fueled denouncement of Paramount's deal to support, exclusively, the HD-DVD format for high-definition movie discs. When Bay first heard the news, he posted, "I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" In what could only have been a fit of rage, he then decreed there would be no Transformers 2. Why the change in tune?
· Michael Bay now officially prefers Paramount's HD-DVD Kool-Aid (how exactly one drinks it "hook line and sinker" is still a mystery) to that served by Blu-Ray enthusiasts: "Last night at dinner I was having dinner with three Blu-Ray owners, they were pissed about no Transformers Blu-Ray and I drank the kool aid hook line and sinker. So at 1:30 in the morning I posted - nothing good ever comes out of early am posts mind you - I over reacted. I heard where Paramount is coming from and the future of HD and players that will be close to the $200 mark which is the magic number. I like what I heard." [via Variety]
· This is probably the most fun game in the arcade, right up that surprisingly strong French maid snaps your arm like a twig.
· Of course, no list of misleading URLs would be complete without the grandest of them all, Hollywood's own WhorePresents.com.
· Colombian Actress Swaps Heroin For Nudity.
Paramount and Dreamworks, you best think about what you've done. There's a war on in the high-definition movie world, and you just picked sides. Signing up with the HD-DVD faction for the pittance of $150 million in cash and promotions only prolongs a format skirmish that's in need of a good snuffing.
Target and Blockbuster have already said they plan only to carry Blu-ray discs, and sales of that format are outpacing HD-DVDs, according to recent reports. Now, we don't have a dog in this fight; we just want it to be over as soon as possible.