Paramount fails to put HD-DVD out of our misery

Paramount and Dreamworks, you best think about what you've done. There's a war on in the high-definition movie world, and you just picked sides. Signing up with the HD-DVD faction for the pittance of $150 million in cash and promotions only prolongs a format skirmish that's in need of a good snuffing. Target and Blockbuster have already said they plan only to carry Blu-ray discs, and sales of that format are outpacing HD-DVDs, according to recent reports. Now, we don't have a dog in this fight; we just want it to be over as soon as possible.

Paramount studio exec Rob Moore's argument that HD-DVDs are cheaper and therefore more appealing to consumers is moot. Consumers willing to drop $400 on a standalone Blu-ray player aren't going to be swayed by a few dollars. What is going to influence them is the number of movies offered in each format. The dueling HD disc types are already both hindered by a "why upgrade?" mentality. Consumers, by and large, are waiting to see which format will die before committing. Prolonging the battle may temporarily line Paramount's pockets, but ultimately, the stalemate just gives digital distribution of movies more time to catch up.