Response to Netflix

I am enormously disappointed to see Netflix abandon its HD DVD customers in favor of supporting just the Blu-ray format. Clearly Blu-ray looks like the inevitable winner in the wake of confusion left by this unfortunate format war. However, many consumers invested in HD DVD hardware over the past year or so [I’m included in that lot]. This decision by Netflix to stop stocking discs in the HD DVD format leaves these people with few options. Also, there are likely to be upcoming HD DVD titles that are unavailable in the Blu-ray format for a while. Netflix, you’re simply going to deny your customers of these titles in HD altogether? Even with Blockbuster switching [who really cares, right?] and retailers now clearly favoring Blu-ray, many consumers took comfort in the fact that some major studios still support the HD DVD format and that, all the while, Netflix has provided unwavering support for both formats. Until today. Until now.

I understand the need to gain economies. I understand the costs associated with distributed fulfillment. So here’s my plea, Netflix: Continue to offer titles in the HD DVD format as they’re released and as long as demand exists, but centralize the distribution. This allows for a smaller inventory while continuing to serve customers with the latest in high-def content. When customers select movies in the HD DVD format, they’ll do so knowing that the distribution process may take a little longer. That’s OK. I’m willing to wait a little longer for a title in a high definition format that I can use.

Eventually, one format will prevail, but that day hasn’t truly arrived yet. That day won’t arrive until all the major studios abandon support for and discontinue the release of titles in the other format. That day may be tomorrow, but from what I see, it’s at least five months—if not a full year or so—from now.


Long-time Netflix customer and HD DVD adopter (doh!)

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