We scored a sitdown with DongSoo Jun, Executive VP and General Manager of Samsung's Digital AV Division. Translation: He's Samsung's main man on Blu-ray and HD DVD. We asked him the big question: "Is HD DVD dead ?" His answer might surprise you.
On the Hollywood front, he believes that the Warner announcement was a tipping point. In short, Blu-ray will win. But! HD DVD doesn't have to slink into a grave next to Betamax yet. It will become the chosen format for "private" (that is, personal) content because the format—ahem, Toshiba and Microsoft—has a stronghold in the PC drive market. He expects Toshiba to really concentrate on the PC HD DVD market since it's deader than disco if it loses there.
The format war ends. The "divide" begins. And it'll be even bigger, in a sense.
Upswing: Samsung's going to be keep pumping out dual-format players, so that people can easily watch the personal stuff and the Hollywood stuff on the same deck. "Most people...don't care about what format is most popular," says Jun.
He also thinks:
&bull: $US299 is the magic price for Blu-ray players—watch around June/July
• 1,000 titles is the magic content number (Blu-ray is around 500 now)
• Digital distribution will kill standard-def physical media, not HD—people delete recorded SD content; they want to keep "high quality" content through Blu-ray