So I saw on Ars Technica that Blockbuster has decided to back Blu-Ray by opting to only stock Blu-Ray discs in stores now. They are, apparently, still allowing their online customers to choose between DVD, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, though. Which confuses me somewhat… my Boss, for example, uses their Total Access to rent. He gets HD-DVD titles, currently, from their website and at the store when he returns his online rentals and swaps out for a new title. He also does NOT own a Blu-Ray player.
Kinda sounds like their not really wanting to keep all of his business with this new announcement. Sure, you can rent HD-DVD from the web, but if you want Hi Def content at the store, go get a PS3. BUZZZZ!
I just don’t see why enterprises such as Blockbuster – or even the movie studios for that matter (excepting Sony, of course) – want to say, “We choose THIS one!” You immediately alienate a portion of your clientele, forcing them to seek other venues where they can spend their money. Why not keep both formats, if you’re a store? Sure it might cost a little more to stock both (and I’m sure this is BB’s primary motivator), but just purchase a few less copies of each. No one needs to stock 50+ copies of Norbit – in ANY format!
The same goes for those studios who’ve decided to only put out their titles on either Blu-Ray or HD-DVD exclusively. How many households out there in suburbia have both HD players available to them? Scant few, I’m sure. Opting to only release Ghost Rider on Blu-Ray discs eliminates those houses with HD-DVD only. Likewise, putting the Matrix Trilogy out on HD-DVD only robs several hundred (thousand?) movie enthusiasts of the option to own these films in high definition.
Personally, I’m favoring HD-DVD, mostly because I own an HD-DVD player and don’t have a Blu-Ray machine. I’ve talked with a few friends who do and they complain about the quality of the video on their Blu-Ray titles – that even new films like Apocalypto look “grainy.” Regardless of my personal bias and considering the fact that the median price for HD discs is $25 versus the $15 standard DVD bring in, wouldn’t you, as the rental business and/or movie studio want as many opportunities as possible to rake in the lucrative cash that our “Entertain me!” society is so ready to spend?