Warner sides with Blu-ray in high-def format war

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In what could be a major blow to the HD DVD camp, Warner Brothers today officially announced that it has sided exclusively with Blu-Ray as its high-definition video format of choice, meaning the Toshiba-backed format will be left with support from just two major studios: Universal Pictures and Viacom’s Paramount Pictures.

Warner had been publishing its new high-definition DVDs in both Blu-ray and HD DVD but, in “response to consumer demand” and to avoid further confusion among customers, it will phase out HD DVD production by May of 2008.

The battle between the two technologies has left consumers scrambling to predict which format might prevail. While there is still no clear winner, Warner’s switch is expected to lead to 70 percent of all HD movies shipping only in Blu-ray, giving customers less incentive to buy HD DVD hardware – despite its price advantage over Blu-ray.

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