Disney Prez Blasts HD DVD Backers
Bob Chapek, president of Disney Studios Home Entertainment, said yesterday that Blu-ray's victory in the high-def disc format war is "inevitable."
The Hollywood Reporter writes that Chapek blames supporters of Blu-ray's rival, HD DVD, for prolonging the format war. Disney is an exclusive backer of Blu-ray.
"Blu-ray's competition's attempts to sell less than the best will inevitably be trumped by what we stated from the very beginning: That the Blu-ray technology is not a half-step format that will sell consumers short, but rather it is a revolutionary technology that will change the way we view movies for the long term," Chapek said at a Blu-ray promotional event.
Chapek's remarks reflect the growing tension between the two sides as they enter what could be a critical holiday shopping season.
While Blu-ray discs have outsold HD DVD by a 2-1 margin this year, neither format has yet to generate significant sales of discs or players. Consumers have been turned off by the format war and high player prices.
However, several retailers, including Circuit City, recently began selling a sub-$200 Toshiba HD DVD player and it's likely that Blu-ray prices will come down soon as well, setting the stage for a holiday showdown.
Chapek yesterday seemed to take a "bring it on" approach.
"And we firmly believe that revolutionary technology, my friends, is indisputably, undeniably and inevitably Blu-ray.," he said.
Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter has shed more light on an earlier report that Warner Bros. may be considering endorsing one format exclusively. The studio has until now released films in both formats.
The publication writes that Warner is watching how the Toshiba sub-$200 HD DVD player performs over the next several weeks. If there's little impact on sales, Warner may endorse Blu-ray.
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