Rumor Confirmed: Sonic Dropping HD DVD In Professional Tools

Just last night I posted about reporting that, based on ‘inside sources’, Sonic would be dropping HD DVD from their Scenarist professional authoring tools to focus on Blu-ray. Well, this morning Sonic dropped a press release which makes it official. They will “conclude sales of its Scenarist® HD DVD authoring product line” to focus on Blu-ray authoring, including BD-Live content, as well as authoring content for digital distribution (read: downloads). Sonic will offer Scenarist HD DVD customers a special promotion to exchange them for the Scenarist BD version of the tools. For now there is no impact on their consumer authoring tools, such as Roxio.

A market leading company like Sonic walking away from the format certainly isn’t good news for HD DVD, especially on top of all the other hits they’ve been taking. This basically means Sonic doesn’t feel they’d be able to achieve a high enough return on investment to continue developing their HD DVD tools and they see more return from Blu-ray, so they’re shifting their resources appropriately.

The full press release is below:

Jan 30, 2008 06:30 ET

Sonic’s Professional Products Group to Fuel Growth of Blu-ray Disc and Digital Distribution

New Product Releases to Streamline BD-Live and DVD-on-Demand Content Production

NOVATO, Calif., Jan. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Sonic Solutions(R) (NASDAQ:SNIC) , the leader in digital media software, today announced that its Professional Products Group will focus its research and development resources on the creation of new applications for cutting-edge authoring of Blu-ray Disc titles that encompass the interactive and connected-content capabilities of BD-Live. The group will also increase resource allocation on developing its encoding and title creation applications that streamline the process of preparing video entertainment for digital distribution. In order to address these emerging market opportunities and optimize investment return, the Professional Products Group will conclude sales of its Scenarist(R) HD DVD authoring product line.

“Extending Sonic’s long history of commitment and support for the professional sector, we are aligning our professional product portfolio to address the evolving needs of our high-end customers,” said Dave Habiger, president and CEO, Sonic Solutions. “Our Professional Products Group plays a significant role in supporting the development of high-definition formats, including the contribution of core IP to HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc joint portfolio licenses. Going forward, the group will direct its considerable format expertise on helping our professional customers fulfill the richly interactive promise of Blu-ray Disc including BD-Live, and aligning with a broader company strategy to enable the secure and efficient digital-distribution of video entertainment.”

Part of Sonic’s industry-leading professional authoring solutions, Scenarist provides the specification-level control required to author BD titles of uncompromising interactivity and compatibility. In 2008, an expanded feature set will simplify the creation of highly interactive BD components, such as enabling BD-Live, which enhances on-disc content in broadband-connected players. To streamline the creation of BD-Live, Sonic will build upon its pioneering InterActual(R) technologies, which today enable millions of movie enthusiasts to benefit from a similar ‘connected content’ experience when viewing DVDs on a PC.

“Our professional authoring customers are actively engaged with expanding their services in advanced interactive and online content creation. With a focus on Blu-ray Disc, we’re able to meet this demand with new technologies and applications that leverage the growing-capabilities of the robust BD format to deliver dynamic entertainment experiences that consumers not only want, but have also come to expect from today’s connected-content platforms,” said Rolf Hartley, senior vice president and general manager of Sonic’s Professional Products Group. “Commensurate with this focus, we’re building our solutions in support of video delivery beyond professional packaged media and assisting in the enhancement of emerging platforms that provide consumers convenient, flexible access to high-quality entertainment.”

To further enable the authoring community, Sonic will offer its Scenarist HD DVD customers a special promotion to exchange their authoring system(s) for a Scenarist BD system. Sonic’s Professional Products Group will maintain its high-end support services as part of its SonicCare(TM) program for HD DVD customers who elect not to participate in the special promotion program and will provide software update releases where appropriate in keeping with its standard practice.

About Sonic’s Professional Products Group

Sonic’s Professional Products Group (PPG) develops authoring and encoding systems used in the release of a wide variety of video entertainment including major motion pictures on standard-definition and high-definition discs. Sonic’s world-renowned Scenarist(R) authoring and CineVision(TM) video and audio encoding systems are designed for highly skilled professional content creation facilities including high-end authoring and design houses, major motion picture studios, and disc replicators. Sonic’s Professional Products Group is actively involved in the development and implementation of new entertainment standards and formats.

About Sonic Solutions

Sonic Solutions (NASDAQ: SNIC; enables the creation, management, and enjoyment of digital media content through its Hollywood to Home(TM) products, services, and technologies. Sonic’s products range from the advanced authoring systems used to produce Hollywood DVD, and Blu-ray Disc film releases to the award-winning Roxio(R)-branded photo, video, music, and digital-media management applications. Sonic’s patented technologies and AuthorScript(R) media engine are relied upon by leading technology firms to define rich media experiences on a wide array of consumer electronics, mobile devices, set-top players, retail kiosks, and PCs. Always an innovator, Sonic has taken a leading role in helping professional and consumer markets make the successful transition to the new high-definition media formats and, through the DVD On Demand(TM) and Qflix(TM) platforms, Sonic is defining new models for the digital distribution of premium Hollywood entertainment. Sonic Solutions is headquartered in Marin County, California.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements that are based upon current expectations, including the distribution and market acceptance of Sonic’s professional products. Actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of various risks and uncertainties, including those discussed in the Company’s annual and quarterly reports on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This press release should be read in conjunction with the Company’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K, Form 10-Q and other reports on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which contain a more detailed discussion of the Company’s business including risks and uncertainties that may affect future results. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements.

Sonic, the Sonic logo, Sonic Solutions, Scenarist, AuthorScript, Hollywood to Home, Sonic DVD On Demand, Qflix, and Roxio are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sonic Solutions in the United States and/or other countries. All other company or product names are trademarks of their respective owners and, in some cases, are used by Sonic Solutions under license.

Source: Sonic Solutions

CONTACT: Chris Taylor of Sonic Solutions, +1-408-367-5231,

Web site:

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