Sucking Up to Blu, In a Bad Way

As you'll recall, Paramount came up a loser in the HD DVD/Blu-ray battle. Its exclusive support for HD DVD proved to be as adept as the $100 I put on Big Brown at Belmont. DFL, as they say. Anyway, Paramount is now embracing its inner Blu - kind of. Its first BD movies were released on May 20 (with the corpse of poor HD DVD still warm in its grave). And seriously good titles like There Will Be Blood arrived in early June. Still playing catch-up, Paramount has also launched a Blu-ray support web site, designed to pump BD, and to show that Paramount's strong support of HD DVD was all just a bad dream. Actually, speaking of recurring nightmares . . .

The support site, very thin, has all the usual material - stuff like background, current and scheduled releases, generic tech support, links to Amazon, and so on. The infamous "Coming Soon" graphic (unavailable material, as opposed to a new movie) makes a strong appearance, so maybe the content will be usefully fleshed out pretty soon. It would be a nice gateway to Paramount's BD-Live titles, for example.

Headerlogo Here's the bad news. The site's design is suspiciously similar to Paramount's old HD DVD support site. In fact, it's clear that the web designers used the old HD DVD site as a template. At least until they fix it, you can still see old HD DVD alt tags here and there.

For example, when you hover over the Paramount logo (in the top right corner), you see "Paramount HD DVD Support."  And when you hover over the "About Blu-ray" link (at the top left), you see "About HD DVD." Worst of all, if you hover over the Blu-ray logo (in the lower left corner), you see "The Look and Sound of Perfect" which is, of course, the old HD DVD slogan. Ominously, if you actually go to you see an all-black page announcing that HD DVD has officially died and gone to heaven. One can only hope that Paramount, one of Blu-ray's greatest hopes, cares more about the future of Blu-ray than this "support" web site suggests. -Ken C. Pohlmann