Internet DVD rental service Netflix has jumped ship in the format wars. After considering all of the factors on the HD battlefield they have come to an official decision that will have a deep impact. Netflix has announced that they will be removing all of the Toshiba HD-DVDs from their inventory to promote Sony’s Blu-ray format.
Ted Sarandos, the chief content officer of Netflix, recently reported that their entire stock of HD-DVDs will be going away. The hole will be filled with, what he feels, is the inevitable dominance of Blu-ray when “all of the studios will publish in the Blu-ray format”. Transition won’t be difficult for the company as they already boast a hefty 400 Blu-ray format DVDs.
The decision came in not only a response to the amount of studios that have chosen to back Sony’s product, but also from concern for the consumer. "We're now at the point where the industry can pursue the migration to a single format, bring clarity to the consumer and accelerate the adoption of high-def,” says Sarandos. He also cited that the entire format war has been unfair to consumers saying that the competition has muddled what high def entertainment is actually about and what the benefits of this media advancement are.
To prove his point we’ll make the studio facts a little clearer. Here’s a breakdown of HD loyalties in this war.
Paramount Home Entertainment
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Warner Bros Home Entertainment
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (naturally)
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
So the count of major studios behind the Blu-ray format is four to two. Toshiba’s format can’t seem to compete these days, especially with half of the heavy hitters backing the competition. Microsoft is doing their best to keep it afloat, but with the numerous, and necessary, price drops for the Xbox 360’s external HD-DVD drive it’s getting difficult for morale to keep up.
Sarandos’s sentiment on the future of the HD format is that the dominance of Blu-ray “could well lead to another decade of disc-based movie watching as the consumer's preferred means.” With that much at stake Netflix has come to the conclusion that "focusing on one format will enable us to create the best experience for subscribers who want high-definition to be an important part of how they enjoy our service."