'Terminator' Trilogy Released by Three Studios in Two Formats

The inherent pitfalls of having a two-format war for next-gen DVD consumers were underscored this week with the Sept. 26 release of the Terminator movies. Although all three titles starring Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California reportedly were released on Sept. 26 on HD disc, you'll need both Blu-ray and HD DVD players to see all three.

Since the films are distributed by different studios in the U.S., as luck would have it neither HD DVD nor Blu-ray was the preferred choice of all of them.

According to High-Def Digest, "The Terminator" is from MGM/Sony, and therefore it's on Blu-ray; "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" is from Lionsgate, and is also only available on Blu-ray; and "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" is from Warner Brothers and currently only viewable via HD DVD. (All three discs in both formats retail for $27-$30 apiece, according to published reports).

Some reviewers point out that because one of the studios, Warner, has indicated it will remain format-agnostic, it likely will issue titles in both formats. So it's expected that the third movie will also be available on Blu-ray disc, as well. Good news for Blu-ray early adopters who are Arnold fans, maybe, but not so good for the early HD DVD crowd.