Re: Warner to go Blu-ray exclusive May 2008!
I've said this once and I'll say it again: It doesn't matter which format "wins". I have a PS3, five free BR movies, and a 32 inch 1080p TV which I sit a few feet away from. None of the five movies I have (not that they are any epics or anything) look "incredible". I know that I am far from having all the right pieces for the optimal HD experience, but I think I'm closer to what the "average consumer" will own for HD playback in the near future than a home theater enthusiast who really appreciates the subtleties of HD.
The price premium for players and movies is WAY too high for all but the enthusiast consumer. The quality difference between an SD DVD and either of the HD formats is marginal at best to the average consumer (aka where the money is to be made). Evilchris already hit on this point from a different perspective noting that HD sales are only 1% of optical media and dubbed it "Laserdisk 2.0".
This is going to be a much harder sell to consumers than VHS to DVD. DVD offered a big image quality increase, but an even bigger increase in convenience. You don't have to rewind DVDs, if taken care they last much longer than tapes without quality degradation, you can instantly skip to any point in a movie, and you can pack the disk with special features. The only thing HD has going for it is the image quality increase and the possibly better special features.
I'm all for the progression of quality, but unless titles start becoming HD exclusives and the prices of players and media comes down to DVD equivalents, I just don't see the HD/BR DVD market going anywhere in the near future. The quality difference to the average consumer just isn't extraordinary enough to justify the current premiums. In two to three years we'll either starting seeing HD exclusive films or the primings for the introduction of a superior format (or two or three), IMO.