Paramount and DreamWorks: HD-DVD Exclusive

In a surprising twist in the nex-gen format war between Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, Paramount Studios and Dreamworks Animation have announced today that they will exclusively support the HD-DVD format on a worldwide basis. This exclusive commitment will include all movies distributed by Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Nickelodeon Movies and MTV Films, as well as movies from DreamWorks Animation, which are distributed exclusively by Paramount Home Entertainment. That's right, this means that "Transformers" and "Shrek 3" will be available only through HD-DVD. Notable exceptions to this announcement, however, are Steven Spielberg films, which will continue to be distributed in either hi-def format. Despite NPD data indicating that Blu-Ray discs are outselling HD-DVD discs as much as 2:1, both movie companies still felt it would be a wiser move to choose HD-DVD.

"The combination of Paramount and DreamWorks Animation brings a critical mass of current box office hits to consumers with a line-up of live action and animated films that are perfect for HD DVD," stated Brad Grey, Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures. "Part of our vision is to aggressively extend our movies beyond the theater, and deliver the quality and features that appeal to our audience. I believe HD DVD is not only the affordable high quality choice for consumers, but also the smart choice for Paramount."

View: Press Release on Viacom
View: Neowin Forum Discussion (Thanks Boz)

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Personally the ONLY thing that I see as swaying the battle one way or another is the personal ability to utilize a format. Blu-ray burners for PC's have been available, on the market, and rapidly dropping price for the past 8 months. HDDVD burners are still nowhere to be found. Toshiba "made" one..... but ummm where the hell is it?

Blu-ray drives are currently available for PC's starting at around $300 to read a blu-ray and burn a DVD, $435 to burn single layer (25 GB) blu-rays and $670 to burn dual layer (50 GB). I've had the Sony BWU-100A for about 4 months now and absolutely LOVE it in my media center. Not only can I watch Blu-ray / DVDs with it, but I can also use them for data backup or Blu-ray movie archival so my origonals don't get messed up. Beyond that, I set the drive up in an external USB / Firewire enclosure so I can move it to other machines to do data backups or whatever, and the data rate is plenty to be able to play a blu-ray movie through either usb or firewire.

Current Blu-ray IDE / SATA PC Drive Pricing on Pricegrabber

HD-DVD doesn't have enough space for games that are coming out already, whats going to happen in a year or two? Anyone hoping to record their own movies on a HD-DVD has no way of doing so ATM, and when it does come out it definitely WON'T be cheap.

Either way, it doesn't look like this format war is going to end any time soon, and its only hurting consumers. It also seems like the movie industry is using the multiformat war almost as a copy protection control system similar to what Apple does with the iPod / iTunes.

- Kelxin

At first, I didn't care which format won. The differences between the two aren't that big. Blurays have more storage capacity, the codecs they use and the picture quality expected is the same, so it was pretty pointless making two formats. I think that the reason blu-rays are different is because the layer is located differently to offer additional protection against scratches and things like that. I'm not really sure about it.

Anyway, right now it seemed that Blu-ray was winning, which was great. I bought a PS3, thinking that if Blu-ray didn't win, I still had a great console. By that time (april) there weren't that many titles in Bluray, but now there are A LOT of them, it's great. The price of the discs are decreasing, and by the year's end there'll be enough good titles for me.
I thought: "Great, with Universal being the only studio that exclusively supports HD-DVD, this war is not gonna last for long".

Now this is an interesting twist. With the release of 300, we learned that the Blu-ray version of the movie sold more. And now with both camps releasing "hot" titles (both exclusively and non-exclusively), I think it will be interesting to see what happens this Christmas.

It's fun as a "war", but it's not that fun being a customer ! Anyway I'm happy with the currently available titles on Bluray

At the end of the day all this does is hurt the consumer. We are goign to be forced to buy both a Blu-ray and HD-DVD player to watch our newer films. It's ridiculous.

Well... I have neither seen HD-DVD or Blueray in action, but I think it is pretty logical to go with blueray...

Its just a monoply...

Ha, the only reason people need these high def players is because they bought those piles of crap called LCD TV's so they need something to improve the garbage picture they produce. It's funny how I can get a progressive scan dvd player on a 36'' Flatscreen CRT to blow away any picture an LCD or plasma can produce WITH crapRay or HD-DVD.

Actually, it's not LCD TV's fault. Most of the broadcasts and dvds out there are extremely compressed, and you need a LCD TV to realize it's all crap. Germany has amazing digital broadcasts in standard definition that look amazing on LCD TVs.

eh. i guess i'll have to ride this one out and see who's gonna win the format. i prefer HD-DVD because i simply hate sony. sony makes nothing but overpriced stuff because the name SONY is on it. yey boo-hoo. who cares.

however i am not about to spend some good dough on a player that its format "may" be outdated soon. best to wait and see which one will win.

I just wonder why was sony's player ever released. the public doesn;t like to choose. there were always tapes in the beginning. one format (8 track) then got updated to regular audio tapes, then CDs came and are still being used a lot. then vhs came, then DVD. but now. we have to worry about 2 formats.

not good.

any suggestions? (a dual format player from what i hear, sucks, because none of the formats on it have a strong point)

lnxpro said,
eh. i guess i'll have to ride this one out and see who's gonna win the format. i prefer HD-DVD because i simply hate sony. sony makes nothing but overpriced stuff because the name SONY is on it. yey boo-hoo. who cares.

however i am not about to spend some good dough on a player that its format "may" be outdated soon. best to wait and see which one will win.

I just wonder why was sony's player ever released. the public doesn;t like to choose. there were always tapes in the beginning. one format (8 track) then got updated to regular audio tapes, then CDs came and are still being used a lot. then vhs came, then DVD. but now. we have to worry about 2 formats.

not good.

any suggestions? (a dual format player from what i hear, sucks, because none of the formats on it have a strong point)

I hate sony and their anti-trust dealing ways too. I don't think dual format players will be the answer though because that would have the studios competing on even more levels and with one format cheaper to manufacture I dont see 2 formats being the way. One format to rule them all me thinks

The urban myth that will not die. Why Beta really failed:

When Betamax originally debuted the tapes held one hour, you couldn't even get a single movie on them. Beta was also more expensive and Sony was extremely restrictive with licensing it where practically any company could make a VHS player. So it was between the cheaper and widely available VHS with it's 2 hour tapes, or a much more expensive format only available from a few manufacturers that used 1 hour tapes. It isn't hard to see why Beta failed right out of the gate. It should also be mentioned that Beta did have porn.

Blaxima said,
I hate sony and their anti-trust dealing ways too. I don't think dual format players will be the answer though because that would have the studios competing on even more levels and with one format cheaper to manufacture I dont see 2 formats being the way. One format to rule them all me thinks

It won't matter which format wins if you have a dual-format player. It's going to be a few more years before this shakes out completely. Hopefully, by then, the manufacturing process will be cheaper and costs for players drops even further.

i thought MPAA and RIAA = SONY ? Why would those guys favor HD over sony's own blu-ray? Their monies run deep down in movie industry.

zeta_immersion said,
stupidity at its best ... go blue ray ... more space, more pron ... tha right baby ... come transformers and shrek on blue ray to daddy

More porn? Most of the major porn publishers have gone HD-DVD only.. sorry, no wankin for you.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/22/business...and&emc=RSS

"The pornographers’ progress with HD may also be somewhat slowed by Sony, one of the main backers of the Blu-ray high-definition disc format. Sony said last week that, in keeping with a longstanding policy, it would not mass-produce pornographic videos on behalf of the movie makers.

The decision has forced pornographers to use the competing HD-DVD format or, in some cases, to find companies other than Sony that can manufacture copies of Blu-ray movies. "

phiberoptik said,

More porn? Most of the major porn publishers have gone HD-DVD only.. sorry, no wankin for you.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/22/business...and&emc=RSS

"The pornographers’ progress with HD may also be somewhat slowed by Sony, one of the main backers of the Blu-ray high-definition disc format. Sony said last week that, in keeping with a longstanding policy, it would not mass-produce pornographic videos on behalf of the movie makers.

The decision has forced pornographers to use the competing HD-DVD format or, in some cases, to find companies other than Sony that can manufacture copies of Blu-ray movies. "

Actually, your point fails pretty hard. With the invention of the internet, buying porn has really become old fashioned. There is so much free smut lying around, I'm sure someone could live without buying it on disc or in a magazine. That said, if you can get it for free, and for some reason want to watch it on your hi-definition system (God knows why), then Bluray would provide more space for more content (as well as real movies).

Either way, pornography's a sorry reason for HD. As if you need to see further detail on genitals (possibly the lonesome internet geek). Blu-ray only provides more space. No real reason for the "HD quality" at all. If you want to comment with an actual "reason" for it, keep it to yourself.

phiberoptik said,
More porn? Most of the major porn publishers have gone HD-DVD only.. sorry, no wankin for you.

Although Sony won't produce any discs related to the adult industry there is another Blu-Ray factory in Asia that does. In fact I read an article that stated there was more porn on Blu-Ray than on HD-DVD, so I wish people would stop spreading misinformation to discredit the format.

More porn? Most of the major porn publishers have gone HD-DVD only.. sorry, no wankin for you.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/22/business...and&emc=RSS

"The pornographers’ progress with HD may also be somewhat slowed by Sony, one of the main backers of the Blu-ray high-definition disc format. Sony said last week that, in keeping with a longstanding policy, it would not mass-produce pornographic videos on behalf of the movie makers.

The decision has forced pornographers to use the competing HD-DVD format or, in some cases, to find companies other than Sony that can manufacture copies of Blu-ray movies. "


Nah, that news ended up being pretty misunderstood. Sony has later said they don't have anything against it, and there are Blu-ray porn out now. This was old news. January news.

http://adult.dvdempire.com/v2_index2.asp?p...CFQ0eEgodmhV7EQ

http://www.infomaticsonline.co.uk/vnunet/n...ns-blu-ray-porn

http://www.gamespot.com/news/6142519.html

He was the producer, I believe the deal is that he has to be the director of a movie to choose which format he wants it on or something like that. I'm not positive how it works out, but the Viacom announcement does say that Transformers is an HD DVD exclusive.

What movie isn't spielberg producing lately, they just use Spielberg as one of the producers as a way to say "look spielberge is endorsing this movie/Script and will be producing, you can safely throw your money our way"

In other news Fox has just announced their upcoming titles for Blu-Ray. I think they rushed the announcement out because of the Paramount news. Source

TRC said,
<snip>

Whether or not games will fit on HD-DVD is totally, completely irrelevant. Especially since they will.

anyway hd-dvd support more than 2 layer so people are always shooting themselves in the foot with the max capacity is better thing. Completely ignorant.

2xSilverKnight said,

anyway hd-dvd support more than 2 layer so people are always shooting themselves in the foot with the max capacity is better thing. Completely ignorant.


So does Blu-ray (supports more than 2 layers). So the argument is moot.

Meh, you people are not gonna die if HD-DVD or Bluray dies. Sure, you'll probably have wasted money, but the way I see it, it's you're own fault for not having patience. Besides, if you can afford a $500 player, you obviously aren't on the brink of bankruptcy, unless you fail at money management.

Don't buy into things fresh out the oven. You could get burned. Have a little patience and you'll be fine. :)

(it's what I'm doing with the PS3, and OH MY! It dropped in price! New stuff for it coming too! And games I actually want!! )

Dakkaroth said,
Meh, you people are not gonna die if HD-DVD or Bluray dies. Sure, you'll probably have wasted money, but the way I see it, it's you're own fault for not having patience. Besides, if you can afford a $500 player, you obviously aren't on the brink of bankruptcy, unless you fail at money management.

Don't buy into things fresh out the oven. You could get burned. Have a little patience and you'll be fine. :)

(it's what I'm doing with the PS3, and OH MY! It dropped in price! New stuff for it coming too! And games I actually want!! )

I've got an HD-DVD player that cost me £100, not $500.

TCLN Ryster said,
I've got an HD-DVD player that cost me £100, not $500.

I'm talking about people who did buy it at a high price.

What a poor choice by Viacom...

It ranks up there with when Microsoft was critcizing Sony for putting games on Bluray.

Sucks for 360 owners who can't play Lair because not only would it not fit on a DVD, it won't fit on an HD-DVD Either.

Why would you want to go with a format that is already outdated? Pretty soon they're going to have to have two disc sets because the content won't fit on one disc.

Funny stuff though... I'll stick with my Bluray.. Better selection of movies and they're outselling HD-DVD 2:1 anyway.

This has nothing to do with games. Nice try though. Then again I'm sure that you know better than a major motion picture studio...

Don't eat too many of those sour grapes.

Blu-ray is only outselling (or is that outgiving) HD-DVD because of the numbers that are being given away with every PS3 sold. Now HD-DVD has only recently reactivated it's "5 free movies" offer from what I understand. Not to mention the fact that HD-DVD players cost less than Blu-Ray players on average, and HD-DVD disc cost less to produce... it's no an "outdated" format at all and makes good economical sense to movie studios.

Also correct me if I'm wrong, but the whole "Blu-Ray" is bigger argument is just a myth from what I have read. While the Blu-Ray format is technically capable of 50gb, current gen discs are not reaching this capacity, and actually HD-DVD discs are currently capable of storing more. I can't remember where I read that, I will try and find the article.

considering they need they put all the data on the BD disk abotu 4 times or so to redue read speeds to "ok, I can wait.. barely I think it would fit on both DVD and HD-DVD just fine, but yeah, it has nothgin to do with this discussion.

Movie formats and encodign have a set standard for HD, wich is the same for both formats, andboth formats can fit movies just fine with room to spare.

In fact you can fit a HD movie on a regular DVD. as MS proved with T2 untill Hollywood forced them to ut an end to this expreiment as it would endanger the future HD formats.

Blu-ray is only outselling (or is that outgiving) HD-DVD because of the numbers that are being given away with every PS3 sold.

Well, they've lately reported on disc sales, individual disc sales by store chain data, and got their statistics that way. Not asked Sony or anything on how many they've sold with their PS3's. I don't think this holds much truth to it anymore. It may have at some point, but don't go assume it.
Also correct me if I'm wrong, but the whole "Blu-Ray" is bigger argument is just a myth from what I have read. While the Blu-Ray format is technically capable of 50gb, current gen discs are not reaching this capacity, and actually HD-DVD discs are currently capable of storing more.

That must be wrong. Well, not the part of not reaching 50 GB (that's correct), but that HD-DVD's can store more.

Currently, BD-R's are sold single layer @ 25 GB, and HD-DVD-R's also single layer @ 15 GB. A Blu-ray therefore stores 67% more, which is significant for data archival uses.

As for what the future holds for the formats, that seems like mostly speculation. Both camps have boasted a lot in that area with triple layers and more.

In fact you can fit a HD movie on a regular DVD. as MS proved with T2 untill Hollywood forced them to ut an end to this expreiment as it would endanger the future HD formats.

Heh, yeah, the Windows Media encoded HD stuff on illegal torrents to fit on 4.7 GB DVD's isn't really that bad.

TCLN Ryster said,
Also correct me if I'm wrong, but the whole "Blu-Ray" is bigger argument is just a myth from what I have read. While the Blu-Ray format is technically capable of 50gb, current gen discs are not reaching this capacity, and actually HD-DVD discs are currently capable of storing more. I can't remember where I read that, I will try and find the article.

Sorry that is wrong. Many movies are now shipping of dual-layer BD discs, which are 50Gb.

When it comes to PLAYERS, some count the PS3 and some others don't. But it's in the discs where Blu-ray is selling more than HD-DVD. 2:1 they say. And practically all new releases are BD-50, which ARE 50gb.

The graphics were [mostly] excellent but the plot was pretty poor and they added unnecessarily cliched characters for no particular reason - I certainly won't be getting it on DVD/HD-DVD/Blu-Ray. Also, whilst it was great to see it in the cinema the audio got quite tedious because all the robot movements were very high pitched and were quite piercing.

transformers on HDDVD... guess i know what i will be getting now

Yeah, heh, that's the optimist way of looking at things... Not minding the fact you can only purchase some movies for your player. :-s

Jugalator said,

Yeah, heh, that's the optimist way of looking at things... Not minding the fact you can only purchase some movies for your player. :-s

Better than no HD movies on no player. I've got a HD DVD player and there are some Blu-Ray films I want... I'll get them when I can get a dual format player for a reasonable price (and the price for them will have dropped anyway). In the mean time... buying HD DVD's isn't effected either way; I can't get a Blu-Ray movie with or without a HD DVD player. Unless of course for the films out on both formats ;)

I don't see where I lose out...

GAHHHWWWD... will this ****ing war ever end! It sucks :(
I want to buy HD, i'm ready NOW! but I just can't with this whole... ordeal

damn it

*EDIT*
I'm beginning to think that this will not turn like the BETA and VHS war, but that it's gonna be more like DVD-R and DVD+R. I hope not, I just don't want to have movies in two different format... that's such a turn off

Yeah, it's a bit like DVD+/-R. But even worse, because that was just about recordables and the format didn't really matter as long as your DVD player and recorder you used supported the same format. And they also quickly started supporting both, because they were physically so similar. Now it's those movie studios involved in the whole thing instead. Those are picking which formats to use, not you in a DVD-R store. That is, one can't just choose "I want to buy Transformers as Blu-ray for my player", like one can pick and choose for recordables.

Screw this... I'm sticking to DVD until they sort this out. I'm not playing a guessing game and I'm not going to bother with a dual-format player either. This isn't about what's best for the consumer, otherwise they'd support both and let the consumer decide.

I was hoping Paramount would go Blu-Ray because it would mean less disc changes when they release all the Star Trek series in hi-def. Argh.

get the hd dvd addon for the 360, its under £100 and if you only get 10-20 movies for it, its worth it who ever 'wins' the format war

I agree, as I just recently bought one on August 2nd. It works great on my htpc and my 42" 1080p lcd. Cost me $170 US which came with King Kong and a mail in for 5 more movies free. Lets say the average price of each movie is $25 then 6 movies @ $25 is $150. So $170 less $150 (for the 6 movies) is only $20 for the player. Can't beat it.

*sigh* will this war just end, I'd love to buy a High Definition video player, but I am not willing to spend that much money just to potentially lose it if one is obsolete in the future...

I predict Warner will go HD DVD exclusive next, and Disney will go neutral. Blockbuster really has no choice but to go neutral with their rentals now; if they don't they are idiots. The next few months are going to be very interesting.

well soon everyone will be moving over HD-DVD to win soon While Blu-Ray has more storage space it doesn't make much sense to spend lots on manufacturing only to loose most of the profits because of the price drops in Blu-Ray discs lately.

I really, really dislike this whole Blueray vs. HD-DVD thing. I just want to buy a damn hi-def player, not worry its going to be worth jack-diddly in 3 years, and not fork out extra for a rig that costs substantially more (to play both) just because these jerks all want total control of the market...It's not going to happen either, these guys have way to much money and no one is going to buckle or cave for quite sometime, especially with some of these huge studios going exclusive.

*cry*

Has everyone at Paramount and Dreamworks lost their mind? :confused:

I guess $150 million will buy pretty much anyone off.

Yes, it's a bit weird. Just when Blu ray started to actually gain some traction, with some chains planning to carry mostly those.

Gah. This will just prolong the whole thing. :(

Personally I prefer the storage space of Blu-ray and believe the prices won't be an issue once production volumes start going up. BUT, the whole problem is this format war that makes production volumes of both formats get crippled due to uncertain customers, and the adoption of both formats slowing down... This sort of thing doesn't really help anyone. They aren't even moving from one format to another, they're going from supporting both to just supporting one. Making choices even harder than before, because on the other side you have big studios and chains supporting mostly Blu-ray.