Warner Studios made a big splash this past week when they announced they were going to ditch HD-DVD in favor of Blu-Ray. The ripple effect of this hasn’t fully played out, but one consequence appears to be that the Lord of the Rings (and The Hobbit, one assumes) will only be on Blu-Ray:
According to Variety, New Line and HBO will follow Warnerâ€™s lead to side only with Blu-ray Disc. BBC Video, the company behind the popular high-definition nature documentary Planet Earth, has not yet publicly expressed its intentions with format exclusivity.
New Line already positions its Blu-ray Disc products with greater priority than the equivalent HD DVD. New Lineâ€™s first high-definition film, Hairspray, hit Blu-ray Disc in late November 2007, while an HD DVD version was only promised sometime in early 2008.
Perhaps the most important outcome of New Line’s upcoming decision is that the studio owns the rights to The Lord of The Rings trilogy. Should the (second) most compelling motion picture trilogy hit high-definition home video, itâ€™ll be on Blu-ray Disc.
If anything, this means that it’s better to just stick with legacy DVD and get my HD content via the internet. At least until the price of Blu Ray drives falls to the $100 mark or below (territory already occupied by HD-DVD). It also should be noted from the article that part of the reason for the preference of Blu-Ray is again the region-coding issue.