Fox Blu-ray Delays: Why the Wait?
It seems that ever since the clock struck midnight on the morning of January 1, 2007, the momentum in the high definition movie disc war has swung decidedly in favor of Blu-ray. The format has received a plethora of titles since the year began, with former leader HD-DVD lagging behind significantly. However, one of the pro-Blu-ray studios, Fox, has recently delayed many of its exclusive releases for the format. So, what's up?
Among the delayed releases are:
Silence of the Lambs
Dances With Wolves
Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
Fox has refused to offer comment on the major delays, which include far more flicks than the (more significant) titles listed above.
So, what might be the problem?
The issue may actually stem from reports that surfaced over a year ago. Back in January, 2006, a number of sources reported that Blu-ray was struggling to lay the groundwork for its release due to Fox's demand that the format use an extra layer of copy protection that became BD+, a measure to re-encrypt in the event of BD being hacked. Fox wanted something more difficult to crack than the AACS mandated, a request that drove away competitor HD-DVD.
The same January '06 reports also blamed Fox for the delay of the PlayStation 3, which would have to come to terms with proprietary demands in the same way as any stand-alone player from Samsung.
Thus, speculation points to BD+ and Fox's demand for copy-protection that can be repeatedly updated via firmware. Since BD+ has yet to be successfully implemented (and reports of standard Blu-ray discs being hacked are now surfacing), it's entirely possible the studio has become scared of the fledgling format's current state, and will wait it out until the protection of its movies can be ensured.
Fox's stinginess most likely contributed to Blu-ray being lapped by HD-DVD during the first leg of the high definition disc derby. With the former now taking the lead, it should be interesting to see if Fox can (or will) finally contribute.