The End of HD-DVD ….. Blu-Ray won ?

Warner has decided that this coming May, 2008, will be the last month they will ship any movies in the HD-DVD format. After May, Warner will support Blu-Ray exclusively for their HD content. This news has caught everyone by surprise and I believe puts the nails further into the coffin of HD-DVD. Now only two major studios support HD-DVD, with the remaining studios all behind the Blu-Ray format.

Blu-Ray just may win this HD disk format battle, but I believe the war is much more widespread than ever imagined. Blu-Ray will probably be the last physical media format, but the distribution of HD content is no longer slave to a physical media type. The Internet, Cable TV, and OTA broadcasts are right now transmitting HD content to many more locations than all the HD-DVD and Blu-Ray players combined. The HD landscape has changed drastically since the physical disk format war began.

From a company perspective, we are non-committal to either format because they both use the same compression codec options: VC-1, AVC (h.264), and MPEG-2. The authoring market has remained very neutral in their support of disk formats since no clear winner as surfaced, until now. Since the compression codecs are the same on either disk format, the compression companies have had an easier job producing products.

We here at Wired are still evaluating the needs for HD compression products. Our SD compressor, MediaPress, is still popular in the SD realm. The HD authoring workflow is different than the SD workflow has been. That is why we have not yet introduced an HD encoder. The product definition has not been safely defined enough to create a successful product.

So if you are interested in HD encoding, please drop me an email and tell me what you would like to see in an HD encoder product. I have been collecting data on this for a long time now and no clear picture as arisen yet. But i have hopes that the first half of 2008 will get us enough information to create a successful HD encoder product.

Thanks for stopping by and do send me an email with your comments.

-Mark Bain

mark (at) wiredinc . com

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