Warner Bros.

Time Warner to Allow HBO-to-Computer Downloads
January 21, 2008

HBO is set to jump into online video in a big way, as the super-prestigious cable network will migrate 400 hours of movies and TV shows from HBO on Demand to a new online download service called HBO On Broadband. USA Today reported that the service will only be available to digital cable and HBO subscribers who use the same company for both cable and Internet access. HBO is owned by Time Warner, but the service will not be exclusive to The service, the company said, is geared towards both business travelers and younger viewers who use their computers to view media.

Toshiba Drops HD DVD Player Prices, Increases Ad Campaign
January 14, 2008

Despite losing the support of Warner Bros., Toshiba America Consumer Products said it will increase its marketing campaign around HD DVD. The initiatives, including joint advertising campaigns with studios and extended pricing strategies, will begin the middle of this month, the company said. Part of the pricing strategies includes dropping prices on HD DVD players in the U.S. market. Beginning January 13, the MSRP of the entry-model HD-A3 will be $149.99, the HD-A30, with 1080p output, $199.99, and the high-end HD-A35, $299.99. Non-Toshiba HD DVD players are presumably unaffected, unless they drop their prices in response. The prices for the players on

Warner Goes Blu-ray-Exclusive
January 7, 2008

Warner Bros., the last of the major Hollywood studios to maintain neutrality in the high-def DVD format war, suddenly abandoned that stance on Friday, making the surprise announcement that it will now release titles from Warner Home Video in the Blu-ray Disc format. According to MarketWatch, now that Warner has flipped to Blu-ray, the four studios that are exclusive to Sony’s format (Disney, Fox and Warner, in addition to Sony itself) comprise about 70 percent of movies released annually in the U.S. Therefore, Warner’s move may signal the beginning of the end for the format war. The HD DVD Promotional Group, meanwhile,

People On the Move At Almo, Pro Group, Real D, SOLO, ICE
January 4, 2008

Steve Bell Joins Almo Almo Corp. announced this week that Steve Bell has joined the company as vice president of product management. Most recently with DBL Distributing, Bell was manager of New York’s J&R Music World for 15 years. Bell will inititally focus on consumer electronics, and eventually will supervise all A&E purchasing, the company said. He will start Feb. 1, but will attend next week’s CES along with Almo. PRO Group Adds Temiz PRO Group has appointed Mike Temiz, president of 6th Avenue Electronics, to its board. The appointment is an additional seat to the Board and does not replace any

Warner Agrees to Drop DRM, Sell Music on Amazon
December 31, 2007

In a surprising reversal, music industry conglomerate Warner Music Group announced Friday that it will begin selling its music, DRM-free, in the mp3 format as part of Amazon.com’s music store, the AP reported. Previously, rivals EMI and Universal Music Group had agreed to sell DRM-free mp3s of their artists’ music, as had many independent labels; Sony BMG now becomes the lone major holdout. DRM-free mp3s can be played on any digital music player, including Apple’s iPod and most of its major rivals, as well as PC-based players. The Warner catalog will be slowly added to Amazon’s site throughout the next week,

People On the Move At Synnex, Warner Bros., Meridian, Best Buy, CEA
December 21, 2007

Meridian Hires Sales Specialist Meridian America, a developer of consumer audio systems, appointed Brooke Thomas to sales specialist. A native of Ohio and recent graduate of Ohio State University, Thomas played semi-professional soccer for the Columbus Stars and most recently worked as an Account Executive at an Atlanta-based telecommunications firm. Mr. Smith Goes to Service Net Service Net Solutions, a service management company, named Chris Smith to the newly created position of president of sales and marketing operations, reporting to Kevin Callahan, CEO. Prior to joining Service Net, Smith led the startup and was named CEO of ServicePower’s subsidiary ServicePower Field Service

Sony, Toshiba Wooing Warner in Format War
December 10, 2007

While Warner Bros. remains the only studio fence-sitter in the high-def DVD format war, the Blu-ray Disc side is trying “aggressively” to woo the studio to its ranks, BusinessWeek reported last week. The Blu-ray alliance, led by Sony, may be eyeing next month’s 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show for its announcement of Warner’s addition- but Toshiba, the primary backer of rival HD DVD, has similar ideas, according to the report. Were Sony to entice Warner Bros. to go exclusive along with its subsidiaries, it would find itself in control of around 70 percent of the movie market, up from the current number of

Contrary to Reports, Kmart - and Warner- Stay Format-Neutral
November 6, 2007

Kmart was widely reported last week to have chosen HD DVD in the high-def disc format war. But apparently, those reporters jumped the gun. The retail chain issued a statement late last week, attributed to company vice president Jonathan Magasanik, that Kmart will in fact remain format-neutral. “There have been numerous statements in the media today, attributed to Toshiba, indicating exclusive support for the HD DVD format in Kmart stores,” the statement said. “These statements are false. Kmart intends to support both the HD DVD and Blu-ray platforms, and has no plans to support either platform exclusively.” And speaking of executives claiming

Warner Reportedly Remaining Dual-Format
September 12, 2007

Despite a Los Angeles Times reportyesterday that Toshiba had floated a lucrative offer for Warner Bros. to release its movies exclusively on HD DVD, Warner’s Home Video division has stated that there will be no change, and the studio will continue to release its films in both HD DVD and Blu-ray, the blog DigitalBits.com reported. According to the blog, the offer reported on by the L.A. Times had in fact been made (and rejected) on the same week in August that Paramount and DreamWorks announced their move from dual-format to HD DVD-only, and nothing new has happened in the matter since. In other

Warner Reportedly Remaining Dual-Format
September 12, 2007

Despite a Los Angeles Times reportyesterday that Toshiba had floated a lucrative offer for Warner Bros. to release its movies exclusively on HD DVD, Warner’s Home Video division has stated that there will be no change, and the studio will continue to release its films in both HD DVD and Blu-ray, the blog DigitalBits.com reported. According to the blog, the offer reported on by the L.A. Times had in fact been made (and rejected) on the same week in August that Paramount and DreamWorks announced their move from dual-format to HD DVD-only, and nothing new has happened in the matter since. In other