Warner Home Video boss: commitment, Blu-ray and those bribe rumours
Following new hardware launches and strategy revelations at IFA 2007 and the recent CEDIA Expo, the high-def video format battle is raging harder than ever.
And, with the crucial Christmas period looming large, it's only going to get more heated with Toshiba's price cuts and rumours of an "affordable" 40GB PS3 to really throw a spanner in the works.
An interesting time then to grab some alone-time with the president of Warner Home Video - the major studio that backs both HD formats.
Making this chat more significant to the current state of the big-budget battle is the recent news from the LA Times that the HD DVD Promotional Group has offered Warner a large amount of money to go HD DVD only, just as they allegedly did with Paramount and DreamWorks, prompting their surprise announcement to shun Blu-ray.
TWICE caught up with Ron Sanders, Warner's pres, and jumped straight in with: Have you received offers from HD DVD or Blu-ray to be exclusive with either format, as Paramount recently did with HD DVD?
Sanders replied: "We’re talking to both sides and it's crazy right now. We remain committed to both for the time being. We'll see how the fourth quarter plays out. The consumer is still kind of divided, and we still believe that we should offer the content in both formats. Now, we will watch the marketplace very closely, and see how it plays out, but for now we are supporting both".
Sanders went on to reveal that they had seen strong sales on both Blu-ray and HD DVD for differing titles, and that Warner's plans for the TotalHD format - a single disc with both Blu-ray and HD DVD movies on is still on indefinite hold:
"We’re concerned that as the only one publishing on it, it would be hard to make it go. We’re still looking at, though. We’re still talking to retail, but it’s kind of on hold right now."