Blu-ray news round-up

Circuit City was listing the LG BH200 dual-format Blu-ray/HD DVD deck for $799.99 earlier today, $200 off MSRP, according to EngadgetHD. But it is back to $999.99 now. Typo or a leak of what the pricing will be once it becomes available?

Video Business reports that the Fox Home Entertainment Blu-ray release of the film Sunshine will be the first Blu-ray Disc title with Final Standard Profile support for PIP when it streets in January. The article again mentions that Sony is expected to update the PS3 to Final Standard Profile (aka Profile 1.1) in a firmware update soon. The PS3 should have all of the hardware necessary to support Profile 1.1, even Profile 2.0 (BD Live). (Via EngadgetHD)

In an article on a Blu-ray promotional press event, Home Media Magazine started speculation that Warner Home Video may be considering a switch to Blu-ray exclusivity.

Also there was Dan Silverberg, VP of high-definition media for Warner Home Video, which since Paramount’s move to the HD DVD camp is the only studio to support both next-generation formats.

That may not be for long, Silverberg said. “One thing that may be changing is our strategy,” he said. “When both formats launched and hardware prices were high, we made a decision to support both formats and let the consumer decide. But now that hardware pricing is affordable for both Blu-ray and HD DVD, it appears consumers no longer want to decide — so the notion of staying in two formats for the duration is something we are re-evaluating now that we are in the fourth quarter.”

Silverberg noted that Warner has the top-selling Blu-ray title of all time with 300 and is consistently No. 1 or No. 2 in both Blu-ray sales market share and in number of Blu-ray titles in the market.

“We can definitely talk Blu-ray,” he said. “We are committed to the format.”

So, if they’re committed to the Blu-ray format, but they’re re-evaluating the strategy of supporting both formats, it seems the only think that can logically mean is that they may drop HD DVD support. Warner is a major factor in both BD and HD DVD – 24.71% of Blu-ray (#2 to Sony’s 25%) and 33.96% of HD DVD (#2 to Universal’s 39.88%). If Warner were to drop HD DVD it would be a major blow to the format, much more so that Paramount and DreamWorks going to HD DVD. It sounds like the Blu-ray camp is going to be turning up the heat on HD DVD. (Via EngadgetHD)

User infopex in the HighDefDigest forums reported claims by Slysoft that the company has cracked the BD+ DRM protection available for Blu-ray discs, and that the next version of their AnyDVD software will be able to copy any titles. The thread links to this page at the German version of Tom’s Hardware and this page at (Via EngadgetHD)

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  • Chris

    You FORGOT to mention 99 dollar HD-DVD players this weekend at Wal-Mart. . .or some weekend soon.

    If that becomes the norm, we will have this format war settled in no time.

  • megazone

    No, I didn’t forget anything – the sub-$100 news hadn’t broken yet when I made this post, at 3AM on Wednesday. And capitalizing the word ‘FORGOT’ certainly makes it come across as a sarcarstic accusation that I deliberately left it out.

    I made a post with the news, which a co-worker pointed me at earlier today. And it won’t become the norm, it is a loss-lead sale to get people in the store, on top of Toshiba dumping unsold stock of the HD-A2 since the HD-A3 is out. So they have to clear the old units out of their warehouses while they still have some value. Remember, earlier this year Toshiba had to make a major downward revision in their sales forecasts for HD DVD because sales have been far lower than they projected. So they have a surplus of units that never sold. So now they’re dumping them on the market, cheap, to help boost HD DVD’s market share – which is a smart move on their part. Certainly better than just taking a pure write down and trashing the units.