Burbank (CA) – During an investment meeting, Disney’s Robert Iger declared the HD format war was essentially over, causing a mixed reaction from the other attending studio execs.
The most vocal advocate of Blu-ray was Disney, according to a report from the Associated Press. Iger was quoted as saying the format’s success was a “foregone conclusion”. Above that, he criticized other studios for not following in its same footsteps. “It’s disappointing that the industry hasn’t managed to be cohesive,” he said.
Viacom’s CEO Philippe Dauman struck back, saying that HD DVD players are more affordable and thus it is a more appealing format. Viacom owns Paramount, which recently stopped supporting both formats to move exclusively to HD DVD.
Dauman also commented on this move, saying it was a more economically viable solution to focus on one format. However, Paramount’s former head of high definition home video was a very spirited spokesperson for the advantages of supporting both.
Meanwhile, News Corp CEO sided with Iger and claimed it was obvious that Blu-ray was a better format. “The public can tell the difference,” he said. News Corp owns 20th Century Fox, which is also a Blu-ray-exclusive studio.
The scale seems to be weighing more favorably for Blu-ray, but HD DVD manufacturers have pledged very low-cost players for the holiday season, with some likely to retail for less than $200. Blu-ray players over the same period are expected to sell for no less than $400.