Best Buy, Neflix back Blu-ray over HD-DVD

Business Materials 12 February 2008 02:59 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa )- In what could prove to be a crushing blow to Toshiba's HD-DVD format, two key US players in the industry on Monday announced their backing for Sony's rival Blu-ray system.

Best Buy, the largest US consumer electronics chain, said it will recommend that consumers choose the Sony high-definition video format and will feature Blu-ray hardware and software promotions in all its stores.

"Because we believe that Blu-ray is fast emerging as that single format, we have decided to focus on Blu-ray products," Brian Dunn, Best Buy's president and chief operating officer, said in a statement.

Netflix, which is the country's largest online DVD rental service said it will stock high-def movies exclusively in Blu-ray.

Netflix has been stocking high-definition movies in both formats since early 2006, but said in a statement that all of its new high-definition movie purchases will be Blu-ray and that it will phase out HD DVD discs by the end of the year.

The announcement followed a decision by Warner Bros Entertainment in January that it will put out high-def movies exclusively in Blu- ray, joining Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Sony Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox and Walt Disney in the Blu-ray camp. Two major studios, Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios, have sided with HD DVD.

"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," said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix, in the statement. "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."