Blu-ray blues

The studios’ big plans to re-invigorate the slumping homevideo business with high-definition DVDs aren’t quite taking off. today caught an odd pair of conflicting stories. Reuters reports that Sony will launch its first seven titles in the Blu-ray format next Tuesday. (There are two formats: Blu-ray, backed by Sony with movies from every major movie studio except Universal; and Toshiba’s HD DVD which already launched with movies from Universal, Paramount, and Warner Bros.)

The movies are supposedly coming out so there will be content for the first Blu-ray player to hit the market. But according to this story, that play from Samsung has been delayed to September. Sony and Pioneer have already pushed back the release of their Blu-ray players.

Either way, with players costing $1,000, high def discs offering only an evolutionary and not revolutionary shift from current technology, and most people having only build up their DVD librayr in the past few years, it’s hard to imagine who is going to care about this technology, at least for a while. Anybody know a single person who has so far abought an HD DVD player or disc? I didn’t think so.

According to Variety, News Corp. president Peter Chernin said at an investor conference yesterday that he expects people to start replacing “three to five of their favorite library movies a year” with high-def discs. Any of you out there planning to spend $30 to get a higher quality version of a movie you just bought on DVD two or three (five max) years ago? I didn’t think so.