Blockbuster Gives Nod To Blu-ray DVD

International Herald Tribune/AP, Monday, June 18, 2007 11:15 AM
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Blockbuster -- which has been renting both Blu-ray and HD DVD titles in 250 stores -- says it will only offer the Blu-ray format in 1,450 stores when it expands its HD offerings next month. It will continue to rent HD DVD titles in the original 250 locations and online, but the announcement is a major blow to the HD DVD format.

Blockbuster found that consumers were choosing Blu-ray titles more than 70% of the time. The formats are incompatible, and neither will play on standard DVD players, although standard DVDs can be viewed with either a Blu-ray or HD DVD player.

The decision was helped in large part by the lopsided availability of titles in Blu-ray, says Matthew Smith, Blockbuster's senior vice president of merchandising. All major studios except one are releasing films in Blu-ray, with several, including Walt Disney, releasing exclusively in Blu-ray. Only Universal Studios, which is owned by General Electric, exclusively supports HD DVD.

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