Disney does sneak attack to bolster Blu-ray format

Pirates of the Caribbean

If you are not familiar with the HD-DVD/Blu-ray war then you most likely don't watch movies much. Those who have both formats know that HD-DVD is the technological superior. Much of the reason for the lack of features in Blu-ray is due to the fact that Sony rushed its format out the door early because HD-DVD was already coming out before them and Sony didn't want HD to have a six-month lead in movie titles.

Sony already knows about failed product launches, the Sony Beta tape format was superior to VHS back in the 70s but lost out due to price factors, less recording time, and not understanding what consumers really wanted. And yes, contrary to rumors Sony did allow porno tapes to play on their players although there was definitely a larger selection of titles in VHS format.

Sony has promised Disney that porn films will not show up in Blu-ray which is one of the reasons that Disney picked that format. In fact, Disney's Robert Iger is constantly railing against HD and likes to bruit about the notion that Blu-ray discs outsell HD. The reason they do is that most consumers have no clue of all the features that are lacking in Blu-ray compared to HD. So it looks like the consumer will get the shaft again as two companies battle out their formats in the marketplace.

It's no foregone conclusion who will win, there are so many titles in both formats that it very might well turn out that consumers will need to buy players that can play both formats.

Now here's where the sneaky part come in: Anyone who has seen the Transformers movie knows that it's one of the best films ever made, yes I said that, and the HD disc has become the top seller in recent weeks. This development is very embarrassing to Disney's Iger who couldn't face HD-DVD beating out Blu-ray and so, knowing that Nielsen will begin rating HD sales in November rolled out a sale last Sunday, lasting until 20 Oct 2007, at Amazon and other retail outlets of "buy one Disney Blu-ray disc get one free" in order to push Disney and Blu-ray titles into the top ten sellers. It seemed to have worked but how low-rent can you get?

I hope Blu-ray fails, not only because they shafted consumers with its horrible early release of the format before it was ready for prime time, but I despise the notion that Disney or anyone else forbids certain content from appearing on their format. It's so Chinese government-like.


: I respond to some of the comments left here at Why Blu-ray Users are like Muslim Slaves

UPDATE Feb 2008

Toshiba Quits; Sony's Blu-ray Wins DVD War

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