Warner Brothers will unveil a new disc next week at CES 2007 in Las Vegas. The new Total HD is a disc that can be played in both HD DVD and Blu-ray players.
Jeffrey L. Bewkes, the president of Time Warner, said the Total HD disc has a better chance of catching on than dual players. Research commissioned by Warner indicates that consumers are willing to pay several dollars more than current high-definition DVDs for a disc that works on both players. At the Web site for Best Buy, Warner’s “Superman Returns” DVD was selling yesterday for $19.99 in its standard format, $29.99 for Blu-ray and $34.99 for HD-DVD.
Still, it is not clear whether news of Warner’s Total HD disc would convince the studio heads who are backing one format or the other to release their wares in both. Sony, of course, has placed a big bet on Blu-ray’s success and does not want to relive the sting of Betamax’s defeat. The number of studios committed solely to Blu-ray has been seen as a competitive edge, particularly because HD-DVD came to market several months ahead of Blu-ray.