Back to IndieWire

Is Porn the DVD War Answer?

Is Porn the DVD War Answer?

Following up on an earlier blog post about the ongoing DVD battle between the HD DVD and Blu-ray formats, it’s worth mentioning that four major film companies have announced support for the HD DVD camp. The four are Warner Bros., New Line Cinema, Paramount, and Universal.

So industry analysts are saying this will be a blow against the Blu-ray camp (primarily Sony Pictures, its recent acquisition MGM, and Fox), because these three companies make up a sizable portion of the home video market. Nevertheless, it should also be mentioned that Dreamworks, Disney, and Lions Gate are among the major film units that have not announced a technology preference. Disney and even Lions Gate have impressively large home video libraries that are still up for grabs. For a more complete update, click here.

Here’s my question, though: Since everyone is comparing this format battle to VHS vs. Betamax, what about the porn factor? Some cite VHS tape’s compatability (cheaper, longer) in the adult video market as a decisive factor in why Betamax lost. So, with that in mind, would the adult video world’s choice in hi-def DVD format help declare a winner? Are Blu-ray and HD DVD actively lobbying these companies?

With some research, it appears that the first official HD-released adult video DVD (Island Fever 3) was out in early October. According to a recent Variety article:

“…HD DVD is changing everything about the business of porn: HD costs roughly 20% more in post-production, and the bulky HD cameras mean shoots last longer, even if the actors can’t. Overnight, skilled makeup artists have become a must; frequent applications are required for performers who, uh, sweat a lot.

Homevideo execs at the majors and Microsoft — which helped with HD posting and mastering on the project — will no doubt be monitoring sales of the HD Island Fever 3.”

So, maybe this experiment with HD DVD and adult filmmaking will mean a long-lasting relationship for the format and the genre for years to come. In a new world of the Internet and other advances in media technology, maybe adult video sales won’t have as much of an impact on hi-def DVDs as it did on Betamax. It’s not news that the adult film world is a multi-billion dollar industry, so it’s an economic impact worth considering. Will this stuff matter at the end of the day?

This Article is related to: Uncategorized