Warner Bros exclusively backs Blu-RayIt will stop selling rival HD-DVD format movies

08 January 2008

Entertainment giant Warner Bros has announced it is to stop selling high definition (HD) DVD movies and will concentrate solely on the rival Blu-Ray disc.

The company’s announcement that it will stop selling the HD-DVDs from the end of May is a major boost to those who back the Blu-Ray format.

Blu-Ray and HD-DVD makers have been vying for supremacy in the market and the two formats have support from a number of big hitters.

Blu-Ray is backed primarily by Sony, while HD-DVD is supported by Toshiba among others.

Consumer demand

Warner Bros said its decision to concentrate on Blu-Ray was prompted by consumer demand.

Warner Bros Home Entertainment Group President Kevin Tsujihara added: ‘The window of opportunity for high-definition DVD could be missed if format confusion continues to linger.

‘We believe that exclusively distributing in Blu-Ray will further the potential for mass market success and ultimately benefit retailers, producers, and most importantly, consumers.

‘Consumers have clearly chosen Blu-Ray, and we believe that recognising this preference is the right step in making this great home entertainment experience accessible to the widest possible audience.’

Dual format player

Warner Bros announced the move on the eve of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Which? technology expert Mike Briggs, who is currently reporting from the show, says it’s not all doom and gloom for the HD-DVD format.

‘Warner is estimated to be the industry leader, distributing more than 300 million DVD discs a year.

‘However, all is not lost for HD-DVD. Samsung has announced the arrival of another dual format player, the BD-UP5500, which just like the LG BH100 Best Buy can play  both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD discs.’

HD-DVD players boast pictures that, providing you are watching a high-definition disc, are far superior to standard DVDs.

However, Which? has found that both Blu-ray and HD-DVD have their drawbacks. On the players we've tested basic features such as 'resume from standby' are missing, they’re generally more complex and sluggish, use more power and are noisy. High-definition players also cost about ten times more than a standard player.