Skip to main content

HD DVD Campaign Scaled Back for Holiday Rollout

While Hollywood, manufacturers, and (to a far less degree) consumers await the opening battle in the DVD wars for HD dominance at the retail level, there's a published report that the planned major marketing campaign for the HD DVD format this coming holiday season will be scaled back.

Viacom has backed away from supplying at least 20 motion picture titles in the HD DVD mode, as previously announced, according to The Wall Street Journal. NBC Universal had originally set 16 of its movie properties for release via HD DVD, but it's scaling that back to a dozen, and perhaps fewer. But the format's biggest Hollywood backer, Warner Home Video, also is shying away from a big commitment at this stage, urging in public statements that there first be some form of compatibility agreement.

HD DVD proponents had been openly praising the 4Q 2005 start-up of the first of two incompatible formats as gaining a huge step-up on the Blu-ray group in time for the potentially lucrative holiday selling season starting in November.

If content owners continue to hesitate--and consumers do not snap up the relatively few HD DVD players that may be on the market in late fall--both sides in the battle for the hearts, minds and wallets of the DVD public may find new incentives to again attempt to come up with some sort of workable compromise prior to either side's initial marketing campaign.