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Thursday, June 28, 2007
Blu-Ray, HD DVD Dual Disc Plans Delayed Until 2008


Warner Home Video is reportedly pushing the launch of its dual-format high-definition disc, Total HD, into 2008, from the second half of this year, as was originally planned.

Studio VP of Sales and Planning and Operations, Dan Miron, said at a session during the Entertainment Supply Chain Academy conference in Los Angeles on Thusday, that Warner will release its first Total HD titles in early 2008, Video Business web-site reports.

Separately, Warner Senior VP of Marketing Management, Steve Nickerson said the studio hasn't yet set a launch date but acknowledged it's unlikely it will be in the fourth quarter.

Warner's Total HD disc is a dual-sided disc that can play films and television programs in both Blu-ray and HD-DVD. The company formally announced the new disc at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last January. Warner had said the dual-format discs could be available by late third quarter or early fourth quarter this year.

Warner Home Video is currently supporting both the HD DVD and Blu-Ray disc formats. Total HD Disc could be an elegant way for studios to make their content available more widely in a way that is not conceding defeat for the format they have been backing.

However, the manufacturing costs of such a disc would be high compared to single Blu-Ray and HD DVD titles, possibly making its market adoption more difficult. On the other hand, as long as the "format war" continues, Total HD disc could have a better chance of catching on than dual players that support both formats.

In any case, Warner's announcement has already sparked speculation that the company is less sure that the format war between Blu-ray and HD DVD will continue beyond this year.


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