I’m sure there are a bunch of reasons why this might be so: pragmatic, practical reasons.
But the staggered sales of video formats for a given movie just seems … underhanded. Standard Def releases aren’t marked as such. It’s a little late in the day to be acting like Standard Def is the norm. And then, when consumers have wasted their money on the Low Def edition, they finally release the HD version.
I wonder what percent of extra sales they make through “accidental” purchases.
For example, Amazon’s “Video Format Details” doesn’t distinguish definition only layout:
And you see the same panel for a High or Standard def video. In most cases, the only way to tell which definition you are going to be getting is a line below the video player: