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The real reason why Warner went Blu?

Ben Drawbaugh
January 4, 2008
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We knew this wouldn't take long -- just like when Paramount made the switch to HD DVD, rumors are swirling that a sum of $500 Million was involved in the decision to make the switch. The rumor goes on to say that Fox's allegiance to Blu-ray was a factor as well, but when it refused to defect from the Blu camp and accepted an undisclosed amount, Warner (owned by Time Warner, which also owns Engadget's parent companies) had no choice; because at this point, without another studio going red it would've only put the war into more of a stalemate than it already was. Of course, Warner tells the story a little differently, and on a recent conference call when asked about any "compensation" Kevin Tsujihara, president, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group said that it "was not a bidding war" and that it really came down to Q4 sales, specifically in the International markets -- then he wanted to know if we had any idea where they could collect the $500 Million. Ultimately, Warner wanted to try and give consumers a reason to get off the fence.

As for the remaining five months, although there will be a delay in the release of Warner HD DVD titles in comparison to the Blu-ray releases, the specifics haven't been worked out just yet, and the decision has also not been made to stop production of current HD DVD titles -- but the retailers will have a say in that one. We closed the call with the most pertinent question of all, "Where's the Matrix on Blu-ray?" to which the answer was, as soon as they work out the details of BD Java and PIP.



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