Viacom’s Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Animation SKG will release their next-generation DVD titles exclusively on HD DVD instead of Blu-Ray. Paramount had sold titles in both the new high-definition formats – HD DVD and Blu-Ray – but will settle exclusively on HD DVD after deciding that it offered better quality, lower-priced players and lower manufacturing costs, Kelley Avery, president of Paramount Home Entertainment, told Reuters.
So far, most of the major Hollywood studios are selling Blu-Ray titles, and HD DVD sales have lagged. But some HD DVD supporters hope to broaden their appeal to consumers based on cost. The lowest-priced, stand-alone HD DVD player sells for $US299, compared with $US499 for the lowest-cost Blu-Ray option.
Paramount’s first releases under the exclusive HD DVD program include Blades of Glory on August 28, and the summer blockbusters Transformers and Shrek the Third, due for release later this (northern hemisphere) autumn.
HD DVD was developed by Toshiba and backed by Microsoft and is supported by Warner Bros, Universal Studios, New Line Cinema, HBO and the Weinstein Co. Blu-Ray discs use Sony-backed technology and are supported by most of the major US movie studios.