Oz video rental giants go Blu-ray only

Major Australian rental chains Video Ezy and Blockbuster - both of which are owned by the same company, Franchise Entertainment Group - have gone all-out for Blu-ray Disc, they said today. Neither chain - comprising 870 stores in total - will now offer HD DVD rentals.

According to FEG Managing Director Paul Uniacke, quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald, that the decision had been made because of what he claimed was the HD DVD camp's slow roll out of the next-gen optical disc format Down Under.

View: The full story @ The Reg

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19 Comments

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I haven't walked into a video rental shop in years but I know (in New Zealand) it's hard to find a shop that sells even sells HD-DVDs, so I assume BluRay is winning here too.

virtorio said,
I haven't walked into a video rental shop in years but I know (in New Zealand) it's hard to find a shop that sells even sells HD-DVDs, so I assume BluRay is winning here too.

Yes, Brilliant Logic. You cant find a shop that sells HD-DVD therefore Blu-Ray is "winning".

My collection of HD-DVD titles might disagree with you on that one. Ive never seen a BD at the Warehouse, but ive certainly seen HD-DVD on the shelves.

Not just in Australia; I'd say it's happening here in Scandinavia too. I also saw some early christmas HD movie sales numbers speaking of a 74/26 ratio in favor of Blu-ray. All in all, christmas 2007 looks to shape up to be quite a victory for Blu-ray.

This is no surprise, Australia is very pro Blu-Ray (it ran unchallenged for quite some time before HD-DVD eventually showed up...might of been different if HD-DVD released around the same time as Blu-Ray though) while JB Hi-Fi have droped the Blu-Ray exclusivity deal and now sell HD-DVD as well, there seems tobe little interest (as most people who want HD have Blu-Ray) I'm very happy with my HD-DVD (the 360 addon one) but to be honist, I think Blu-Ray has killed it here (and the trend seems tobe showing overseas as well) well that is what I think anyway.


This is no surprise video ezy have a huge range of Blu Ray in my local store......

They had HD DVD a while ago but they just dont get hired or bought from what i was told.

All I need is one format to die off...I wan't to get a next gen player, however not before the format war is decided.

KeR said,
All I need is one format to die off...I wan't to get a next gen player, however not before the format war is decided.

+1

Although I have a PS3 so of course favour BD.

Im fed up with this pathetic "format war". Both formats can die in my eyes and something better and more customer focused can take both their places.

Blu-Ray has a much better selection.. they are about to hit 400 titles.. HD-DVD has just been crawling on releases lately.

JB Hifi originally stated they would only support Blu-ray but has now felt some market pressure.
The fact is the HD-DVD basically doesnt exist here so there has never been a race, more a monopoly. The HD-DVD camp dont seem to care about smaller markets so screw them I'll stand by the product with better customer support IMHO.

you know we don't have wal-mart in australia...

i think this is a dumb decision, especially weeks after JB-HIFI started selling HD-DVDs because of the lack of blu-ray sales

Another blow for HD-DVD....

I wonder if the $199 Venturier HD-DVD player from Walmart will change anything...

Funny thing is, at my local Walmart, they have more Blu-Ray movies on sale than HD-DVD....

It's probably because most movies on HD DVD are pretty crap and wouldn't sell anyway, so there's no point stocking them. But Toshiba (or whoever) is selling them cheaper HD DVD players so they're transferring the saving to customers. Unfortunately, there's nothing Walmart can do - Blu-ray just has the better movies.

Bhav said,
It's probably because most movies on HD DVD are pretty crap and wouldn't sell anyway, so there's no point stocking them. But Toshiba (or whoever) is selling them cheaper HD DVD players so they're transferring the saving to customers. Unfortunately, there's nothing Walmart can do - Blu-ray just has the better movies.

that's a huge matter of opinion. there are plenty of movies on both formats that i love

You've got to be kidding Bhav.. Blu-Ray has a much crappier selection of movies than HD DVD.
I would agree with "jadawg" and say that it's personal taste.. but it's just true. There is barely 5 Blu-Ray discs in total that I would want to own. There are 5 HD DVD's out THIS MONTH that I would gladly own.

Battlestar Galatica
Bourne Ultimatum
Stardust
Eastern Promises
The Kingdom

Diehard 4 and Spider-man 3 were major disappointments this year. Pirates of the Crappybean is an utterly disgusting franchise so that's out. The only films are really Superbad and Simpsons... not enough to spend hundreds on a "gameless" PS3.

joeydoo said,
You've got to be kidding Bhav.. Blu-Ray has a much crappier selection of movies than HD DVD.
I would agree with "jadawg" and say that it's personal taste.. but it's just true. There is barely 5 Blu-Ray discs in total that I would want to own. There are 5 HD DVD's out THIS MONTH that I would gladly own.

Battlestar Galatica
Bourne Ultimatum
Stardust
Eastern Promises
The Kingdom

Diehard 4 and Spider-man 3 were major disappointments this year. Pirates of the Crappybean is an utterly disgusting franchise so that's out. The only films are really Superbad and Simpsons... not enough to spend hundreds on a "gameless" PS3.


You're right it is personal taste. The Simpsons and Superbad aren't movies I'd rush out to buy on DVD, let alone HD DVD. Pirates of the Carribean though, yes. Die Hard 4 and Spider-man 3 (even though they weren't excellent, but they were good), yes.