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Netflix to Support Blu-ray Exclusively

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Netflix has been offering movies to rent on both high definition media formats, HD DVD and Blu-ray, will now be exclusively supporting just one technology: Blu-ray.

Citing the decision by four of the six major movie studios to publish high-def DVD titles only in the Sony-developed Blu-ray format, Netflix said that as of now it will purchase only Blu-ray discs and will phase out by roughly year’s end the alternative high-def format, HD DVD, developed by Toshiba.

Paramount and Universal are left as the only major film studios supporting HD DVD.

While I think Blu-ray is the superior medium in terms of capacity and encoding, its hardware isn’t priced competitively with HD DVD and the player technology is about a year behind HD DVD’s advancements. The film industry, rather than the consumers, has made the decision to support Blu-ray.

Netflix, Citing a Clear Signal From the Industry, Will Carry High-Def DVDs Only in Blu-ray Format [Netflix Press Release]

Published or updated February 11, 2008. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar RS

This is terrible news. I agree with you when you say that consumers did not make this choice…the studios did. I do not think that we as consumers are being left with the best choice in this situation.

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avatar KC

So what does this mean for Netflix subscribers? I know nothing about DVD technology, except that I bought a cheap one at Wal-Mart in 2002. Is it still going to work with these discs or should I consider canceling my Netflix subscription? Thanks.

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avatar Luke Landes

Netflix will continue to offer standard DVDs, but their inventory of HD DVDs will be eliminated when the discs end their natural life cycle (a couple of months on average). Future HD DVDs will not be stocked. If you have a standard DVD player or Blu-ray player, there’s no need to cancel the Netflix subscription.

Now if you don’t watch your Netflix discs often enough to make the monthly fee worthwhile, then you should consider cancelling no matter what format of disc you’re (not) watching.

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avatar KC

Thanks Flexo for the info. I have the 3/month subscription and its pretty cheap (and the price has actually dropped since I joined a few years ago). I usually watch TV series on dvd and those take longer to view – I probably should scale down to 2/month. But it is a subscription I use and enjoy, unlike some other things I’ve tried.

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avatar Jeremy

The consumers were NEVER going to make this decision. They proved that. I, like most people, have simply waited the whole thing out and chose not to care about Hi-Def DVDs at all until there was a chosen format. I’m glad there now seems to be one.

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avatar Adfecto

Best Buy has entered into the fray with news that they will officially be recommending Blu-Ray to consumers. Here is the link:

I’m glad this war is finally getting decided. I was not going to buy anything that might have gone the way of the dodo bird and Betamax. Maybe I’ll be a good American and spend my stimulus package rebate on a PS3… oh wait that’s imported from Japan. I guess I’ll pay off debt and wait awhile longer (like a good wealth builder!).

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avatar Adfecto
avatar Jo

I actually work for Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Jeremy is right.

It was expensive for everyone involved (including the consumer – of ALL formats) to support both formats. Since the consumer couldn’t decide, we HAD to.

So, no, Flexo and RS, this is not bad news. It’s great news for everyone.

Unless of course you were an early HD adaptor. Then it sucks for you. Use this as a lesson not to jump in too quickly.

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avatar RacerX

The big question is why? Why two formats in the first place. Sorry to break it to those HD lovers but BlueRay is just better tech. It holds more, better audio, etc..

So why not have everyone buy a big Baskin Robbins Ice Cream cake and sit happily together?

IP – Intellectual Property. Sony and Philips get paid for every CD and DVD made, including blanks! Sure it is micro cents on CDs now and pennies for DVDs, but when the next gen time was due for DVDs, which revolutionized Home Video, no one wanted to keep paying Sony. BlueRay is new Sony/Philips IP.

I understand the sentiment, but it was the consumer who gets hit…

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avatar thomas

I wrote about the hddvd/bluray war last month. It really sucks that Sony is going to have such a tight control over our multimedia. Of course, that’s until online content becomes the standard.

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