Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about technology, multimedia, and digital entertainment:
Paramount's recent announcement that it would (again) release future titles only in HD-DVD shifted that format's position in the high-definition disc war. HD-DVD had been resting on Universal's shoulders in terms of exclusive studio support. Paramount made sure to point out that Dreamworks' animated features would be exclusively on HD-DVD because it knows that parents don't want to have to tell their kids that they can't watch Shrek on that device, at least not in the full resolution of his flatulence jokes.
The Blu-ray Disc Association fired back to this blow after a few mixed retailer wins with Blockbuster, Target and BJ's by noting the strong supply of Blu-ray titles in the queue and the planned Blu-ray release of Disney's "platinum" titles, the crown jewels of the Magic Kingdom. Transformers Director Michael Bay then became one of the Bad Boys by dropping a Pearl Harbor-sized bomb on Paramount regarding its decision in a blog post since deleted and retracted, leading to speculation it was really the Decepticon version of Michael Bay that made the original posting.
The resulting world order has Disney, Lionsgate, Fox and of course Sony Pictures all exclusively on Blu-ray, Universal and now Paramount/Dreamworks exclusively HD-DVD, and Warner backing both putting its "Total HD" two-sided wonder on the back disc burner as it ponders exclusivity. As one PC vendor recently told me, "There are a lot of big checks being written."