February 11th, 2008, 16:54 Posted By: Shrygue
via Games Industry
Netflix has announced that it will be phasing out HD-DVD movies in favour of Sony's Blu-ray format, stating that the movie industry has already chosen a winner in the battle of hi-definition formats.
Movies on HD-DVD, developed by Toshiba, will be dropped from the online rental service by the end of the year, with the company stating the format war has been damaging to consumers.
"The prolonged period of competition between two formats has prevented clear communication to the consumer regarding the richness of the high-def experience versus standard definition," commented chief content officer Ted Sarandos.
"We're now at the point where the industry can pursue the migration to a single format, bring clarity to the consumer and accelerate the adoption of high-def.
"Going forward, we expect that all of the studios will publish in the Blu-ray format and that the price points of high-def DVD players will come down significantly. These factors could well lead to another decade of disc-based movie watching as the consumer's preferred means," he said.
Microsoft backed Toshiba's HD-DVD format for the Xbox 360, launching a movie playing peripheral, but the company has never released uptake figures and has slashed the price of the device on a number of occasions since launch.
Sony's PlayStation 3 is built around the Blu-ray format, with the company clearly stating that Blu-ray would be the key differentiator between the two home consoles.
Netflix claims to be the world's largest movie rental business with more than seven million subscribers accessing over 90,000 titles. It currently stocks around 400 Blu-ray movies.
"From the Netflix perspective, focusing on one format will enable us to create the best experience for subscribers who want high- definition to be an important part of how they enjoy our service," added Sarandos.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Warner Home Video, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and Buena Vista Home Entertainment all endorse the Blu-ray format.
Paramount Home Entertainment and Universal Studios Home Entertainment have backed HD-DVD.
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