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ESCA: HD Formats Add To Supply Chain Crunch

27 Jun, 2007 By: Chris Tribbey

HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc are only adding to a crowded landscape in the supply chain and at retail, noted Dan Miron, SVP of sales and operations for Warner Home Video.

A new Warner title might arrive in widescreen, full screen, HD DVD, Blu-ray Disc and special editions, posing many problems for the supply chain, he noted.

“We appreciate the sophistication of a supply chain that can deliver all those products,” he told attendees — who laughed and clapped loudly — at the Entertainment Supply Chain Academy conference in Century City, Calif., June 27.

“There's a demand for these products or they wouldn't exist,” Miron said. He said Warner puts out product on both high-def formats because “we're giving the consumer the ability to buy our content” in every iteration.

Warner is aiming to have its Total HD hybrid disc — with Blu-ray Disc on one side and HD DVD on the other — ready for consumers in the first quarter of next year, Miron said. Warner originally had planned to release the hybrid this year.

Aodan Coburn, EVP of worldwide operations for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, suggested Warner could save time and money “if [they] just focused on Blu-ray.”

“It'll be a Blu world, but not in the mood sense,” he said, when asked what the home entertainment industry will be like five years from now.

Tom Emrey, SVP and COO of Universal Studios Home Entertainment, said whichever side of the high-def format war emerges victorious, physical product will remain king in five years.

“If I knew what it looked like five years from now, I'd be out investing in it and not working here,” joked Miron, who added that both DVD and high-def discs will coexist in the future.

Bill Segil, SVP of worldwide operations for Buena Vista Home Entertainment, added that studios need to stay on top of making sure retailers' sales associates are educated about both high-def products, regardless of which side any studio falls on.

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