Season One of Star Trek The Original Series was released on HD DVD/DVD Combo six weeks ago and it appears that CBS is happy with the returns and are hoping to follow it up by releasing the rest of the series in HD later this year. However, the HD DVD format took a big hit this week as another studio dropped it entirely.
Video Business ran an article about CBS plans for DVD and HD DVD for the year. The article noted that CBS plans to increase their release schedule for both DVDs and HD DVDs and that they were pleased with the results of their first HD DVD title (which was Trek). From Video Business:
[CBS] predicts that its first high-definition release, the Nov. 20 HD DVD release of Star Trek: Season One, will reach 100,000 units sold. That momentum has led the company to commit to releasing all subsequent Star Trek seasons on high-def, amounting to two more HD DVD titles. That is ambitious, as most major studios are not yet heavily mining TV DVD libraries for catalog titles to release in next-gen formats.
“I think that when we are looking at catalog and some sitcoms, we don’t see [high-def] moving the dial that much, but with some of our sci-fi and action-adventure, it can be a very positive format change for us,” said [CBS DVD Executive VP Ken] Ross.
Warner goes Blu Ray only
However it isn’t all roses for HD DVD. Yesterday Warner Brothers announced that they will cease producing both Blu Ray and HD DVD and go Blu Ray exclusively starting this May. A few months ago Paramount (and CBS) were also format neutral, but then made the decision to go HD DVD exclusively through 2008. This move by Warner leaves Universal and Paramount/CBS (+ Dreamworks Animation) as the only major studios who are HD DVD exclusive. The Video Business story about CBS’ plans was written before the Warner announcement, and TV Shows On DVD wonders if CBS may change their mind. However, it is not known if Paramount and CBS have any ‘outs’ in their deal with Toshiba for HD DVD exclusivity. For now it still appears that Star Trek is still in the HD DVD camp, but in this format war things can change.
TrekMovie.com will keep track of developments on the ongoing format war and what it means for the future of Star Trek in HD.
HD Trek movies headed to VUDU on demand
VUDU have announced that Star Trek movies will become available for viewing in HD for those with a VUDU receiver. The price is $3.99 per film. This would be the first time the Trek films were made in any format in HD. Although it has been rumored for a couple years, Paramount have yet to announce their plans to distribute the Trek film library on any HD format. More information on VUDU boxes at VUDU.com