Is HD-DVD Dead?

With Warner Bros. throwing its support to Blu-ray, the death knell sounds.

ByABC News
February 9, 2009, 11:30 AM

Jan. 7, 2008 — -- When Warner Bros. Entertainment announced Friday it will release high-definition DVDs exclusively in the new Blu-ray format, the studio may have struck a deadly blow against its struggling high-definition rival, HD-DVD, analysts resoundingly told

The rivalry between the two platforms of high-definition DVDs Blu-ray is supported by Sony, while HD-DVD is supported by both Toshiba and Microsoft has been raging since the discs' development. While other Hollywood studios have gradually chosen one format over the other, Warner Bros. had been the lone exception, publishing movies in both formats.

"Warner Bros.' move to exclusively release in the Blu-ray disc format is a strategic decision focused on the long term and the most direct way to give consumers what they want," chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Barry Meyer said in a statement on Friday. "The window of opportunity for high-definition DVD could be missed if format confusion continues to linger."

Only two major U.S. studios now support HD-DVD, while five will support Sony's Blu-ray disc exclusively.

After the studio's announcement, a long-planned press event to promote HD-DVD at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was abruptly canceled.

"This is definitely a bad blow to the HD-DVD folks at a time when both sides were trying to gain momentum," Michael Gartenberg, vice president and research director of Jupiter Research, told "And clearly you can see the effects of this. They canceled their press conference at CES. That doesn't happen every day."

At the Consumer Electronics Show, Sunday, representatives from Sony were practically giddy over the development.

"All of us at Sony are feeling a bit blue today, but that's a good feeling," CEO Sir Howard Stringer said at a news conference, chuckling. "Along with Warner Bros.' decision to support Blu-ray I want to thank Bob Iger at Disney and Rupert Murdoch at Fox for being 'true blue' from the start."

Disney, the parent company of ABC News, was one of the first to commit to the Blu-ray format.

Rick Clancy, Sony's senior vice president of electronics, echoed those sentiments.