Ken Graffeo, Universal Studios executive vice president of high-def strategic marketing and co-president of the HD DVD Promotional Group, spoke in-depth to the site BetaNews, and he had plenty to say about the HD DVD format, and how it won't be waving any white flags anytime soon.
He addressed the talk of Paramount and Universal switching sides, saying, "First of all, I want to say that none of those rumors were substantiated. Nobody ever talked to us. I know nobody talked to Paramount because Brenda, their PR person, sent out a statement immediately. This is business as usual for us and there are no plans to make any changes. We just made an announcement of our new HD DVD titles yesterday, with American Gangster. We also have a lot of other things planned. It's business as usual."
He also talked about educating the consumer base about the HD DVD format and just high-definition in general.
"The consumer today is very confused about HD. Only 12% of all households are getting HD programming, but 35% of households have HDTVs. We have spent a lot of time, and will continue to try to educate the consumer because there's a lot of confusion on what this means. When you're watching a TV show and the logo says in high definition and you don't have your source for high definition, it further adds to the confusion. People don't understand this.
"People have a library of DVDs, people understand HD and know it looks better. But they're not thinking about it from a format perspective, they are thinking 'I want my movies in high-def.'
"I think education has been very important and is something we have to continue doing. In Toshiba's recent press release, they said they will have an aggressive marketing campaign that will be launched very soon that will complement their new pricing strategy."
He also stated that all future Universal HD DVD's will be the same combo format as before.
"All of our new releases that Universal has made since last September have been combo discs [with standard DVD on one side]. We have no plans to change that, and our retail partners are saying if you want to go to the mass market, you don't want to limit consumers into only being able to play it on one device."
The exec touches on many more issues, so CLICK HERE to read the entire interview.