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Universal, Paramount to jump on Blu-ray bandwagon

Universal Pictures and Paramount, the last two Hollywood studios to have committed to HD DVD, are reported to be about to join the Blu-ray bandwagon in the wake of Toshiba’s HD DVD pullout announcement.

“While Universal values the close partnership we have shared with Toshiba, it is time to turn our focus to releasing new and catalog titles on Blu-ray,” said Craig Kornblau, president of Universal Studios Home Entertainment, in a statement issued moments after Toshiba announced it was pulling the plug on HD DVD, thus effectively ending a two-year format war with Sony’s Blu-ray Disc.

“The path for widespread adoption of the next-generation platform has finally become clear,” Kornblau said. ”Universal will continue its aggressive efforts to broaden awareness for high-definition’s unparalleled offerings in interactivity and connectivity, at an increasingly affordable price. The emergence of a single, high-definition format is cause for consumers, as well as the entire entertainment industry, to celebrate.”

Paramount and DreamWorks Animation were expected to make a similar move. Together with Universal and Paramount they abandoned their dual-format strategy last Autumn to begin releasing titles exclusively on HD DVD.

Van Wynendaele, deputy general manager of HD DVD, assured HD DVD owners that all players will continue to be protected on the standard Toshiba warranty, and firmware updates will be offered when needed.

Story filed 20.02.08

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