It’s hasn’t officially happened yet, but the Financial Times is reporting that Paramount is poised to jump ship from HD-DVD exclusivity to Blu-ray:
Paramount and DreamWorks Animation, which makes the Shrek films, came out in support of HD DVD last summer, joining General Electric&#xu2;019s Universal Studios as the main backers of the Toshiba format.
However, Paramount, which is owned by Viacom, is understood to have a clause in its contract with the HD DVD camp that would allow it to switch sides in the event of Warner Bros backing Blu-ray, according to people familiar with the situation.
Paramount is set to have a bumper 2008 with several likely blockbusters, including the latest instalment in the Indiana Jones franchise.
If Paramount and Dreamworks do jump ship then you may as well stick a fork in HD-DVD ‘cause it’s done. That said the folks at Samsung think that HD-DVD could live on in the PC storage market:
On the Hollywood front, he believes that the Warner announcement was a tipping point. In short, Blu-ray will win. But! HD DVD doesn’t have to slink into a grave next to Betamax yet. It will become the chosen format for “private” (that is, personal) content because the format—ahem, Toshiba and Microsoft—has a stronghold in the PC drive market. He expects Toshiba to really concentrate on the PC HD DVD market since it’s deader than disco if it loses there.
The format war ends. The “divide” begins. And it’ll be even bigger, in a sense.
Upswing: Samsung’s going to be keep pumping out dual-format players, so that people can easily watch the personal stuff and the Hollywood stuff on the same deck. “Most people…don’t care about what format is most popular,” says Jun.
It’s not like that’s unheard of. Despite losing the home video tape market to VHS, Betamax went on to be the standard of choice for commercial video production such as your local news crew. Don’t know how many people are going to prefer burning HD-DVDs of their home videos over Blu-ray, but there’s applications it could be used for.