Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Blu-ray's ascendancy continues

Apple Insider reports: [edited]

Best Buy and movie rental service Netflix both said on Monday that they would focus their attention on Blu-ray discs.

Netflix was first to take the initiative and said that it would no longer add HD DVDs to its movie library, instead stocking only Blu-ray movies in the foreseeable future. HD DVD titles will remain an option for subscribers to the monthly service for now, but will gradually phase out as older movies leave regular rotation.

Best Buy is adopting a similar policy, according to reports. The big-box outlet now says it will prefer Blu-ray in its stores as of early March and will give both playback devices as well as movie catalogs more prominent placement in its stores than their HD DVD equivalents. Floor staff will also recommend Blu-ray over its rival.

The turnovers at either company only add to existing difficulties for HD DVD, which first saw its fortunes turn at the very start of 2008 when Hollywood studio Warner Bros.announced Blu-ray exclusivity beginning in June.

Warner's announcement left more than 70 percent of all high-definition movies as Blu-ray titles and pushed the HD DVD Promotional Group to abruptly cancel its keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show later in January. Toshiba followed suit by cutting HD DVD player prices in what analysts at Gartner dubbed "useless resistance" to a sea change in favor of Blu-ray.

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