Next-Gen Disc Marketing Differs Overseas

While lots of movie titles are available exclusively in either Blu-ray Disc or HD DVD for a certain period of time in North America, and then later issued in both formats after an initial run (much to the consternation of users of one format’s players or the other’s), overseas some titles are already available legally in both incompatible formats.
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While lots of movie titles are available exclusively in either Blu-ray Disc or HD DVD for a certain period of time in North America, and then later issued in both formats after an initial run (much to the consternation of users of one format’s players or the other’s), overseas some titled are already available legally in both incompatible formats.

In America, such studios as Twentieth Century Fox, Sony and Walt Disney Co. are known in the industry for their staunch and exclusive support of Blu-ray, but in parts of Western Europe, Australia, Central and South America and Asia, such package content as “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” from Fox and “The Prestige” from Disney are now also (or in some cases, exclusively) available on HD DVD, according to The Wall Street Journal.

(There are also examples of some HD DVD titles now available in Blu-ray.)

And in the age of the Internet, having a friend in Copenhagen, San Paulo or Tokyo—or an unlimited travel budget—are hardly necessary to take advantage of the cross-format options. Such Web sites as www.amazon.co.uk carry next-gen formats on titles not yet available in North America, although at higher price points than Blu-ray and HD DVD titles in the United States and Canada (especially when overseas shipping and other fees may be tacked on).