hb-book-004.jpgUnfortunately, the slowness of holiday mail has meant that our latest supply of screeners is quite late, so the promised reviews are…still being promised! I did receive one wonderful surprise, though, on Christmas Eve. Insight Editions, publisher of an astounding array of fine books (including a couple of very cool Star Wars limited editions) was kind enough to provide us with a copy of Jerry Beck’s latest book, The Hanna-Barbera Treasury. It was certainly a pleasure paging through this one during the holidays. Hopefully, no one is expecting an authoritative text on the Hanna-Barbera studio, as that isn’t what the book’s purpose is. Nope, this is a scrapbook crammed with loads of H-B goodness, including both photos and actual replicas of artwork and merchandise. To see what I mean, please read our Book Review: The Hanna-Barbera Treasury.

There was huge news over the weekend for home theater enthusiasts as, on the eve of the Consumer Electronics Show, Warner Home Video announced that it would be ending its dual format support of high definition movies. As of June 1, WHV will be dropping its support of HD DVD, and will then be releasing its high-definition titles only on Blu-ray. Animation fans who cared were likely already Blu-ray backers anyways, given that Shrek The Third was the only HD DVD-exclusive title out there, compared to the Blu-ray exclusive Disney and Pixar movies, plus the dual format release of a few titles from Warner. However, Warner’s announcement is being called by many to be representative of the end of the format war, with Blu-ray’s victory looking even more likely than before. I just recently bought a PS3 myself, strictly for its Blu-ray capabilities, and I have loved watching Cars and Monster House in hi-def; but, I already had a HD DVD player for the past year, and I have been content to enjoy both formats. After all, there’s no King Kong or Batman Begins on Blu-ray yet. However, I know that few others are willing to adopt two new formats, when upgrading to hi-def may already mean purchases of new television and audio equipment. With only one viable format left, everyone is expecting Blu-ray to have a much better opportunity to take off after its relatively slow adoption to date. Of course, others argue that downloads are the future, but hi-def downloads have so many practical problems to overcome, and collectors like myself will always want to have something cool-looking to place on our shelves, as opposed to sitting on a vulnerable hard drive. For those trying to embrace the hi-def revolution, it’s time to go Blu.

We should be back soon with some really great DVD reviews. I promise. Stay tooned! -Rand.