LOS ANGELES - Blockbuster Inc. will rent high-definition DVDs only in the Blu-ray format in 1,450 stores when it expands its high-def offerings next month, dealing a major blow to the rival HD DVD format. The move, being announced Monday, could be the first step in resolving a format war that has kept confused consumers from rushing to buy new DVD players until they can determine which format will dominate the market
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Wal-Mart has not weighed in with their choice. What happens if they choose HD-DVD and sell players and disks priced to move?
I just finished with the story...
Here is my take:
I was in my hometown this weekend... and drove by the Blockbuster Video that I worked at for 5 years when I was a teenager... (so almost 20 years ago).
The Location.... over the past 5 years, has gone from 5 units in the stripmall, down to 3, then down to 1... and now... it is gone (closed on June 1st).
With the other Blockbuster closings over the last two years... there is actually now only 2 location2 in my hometown area... when in years past, there used to be 7. (I had to work them all at times).
What I will find more intresting, is what Blockbuster carries on their "mail" service... and what NetFlix decides on.
Hollywood Video... at least in our area, decided on HD-DVD (they don't have many titles, but they don't carry blu-ray, at least in my two local shops).
So while it may make a dent in the field... I think it is more of a factor that BBV can't afford to support both of them.... I barely think they will be able to afford the one.
IMHO... BBV and store-front video rental, is drastically on it's way down.
The movies are too expensive to rent ($5 a rental at our local BBV), as compared to the purchase price ($15 for SD-DVD on release week)... not sure what they will charge for Blu-Ray, but almost certain it will be as expensive if not more.
The little "Red-Box" company is making strides, at $1 a day, and just a little automated system outside the grocery store (we have about 8 locations that I know about in our area).
So while on the surface... It might seem like a big-blow.
I still feel it is going to be the online-renters, and the retail of those disks... that are going to make the big difference.
Really... what is going to make the big difference, is the content... right now, the studios are the one that have all the power to shift the argument to which one will win.
And as long as they are "pissing and moaning" about it, we the consumers will get stuck in limbo....