updated 09:40 am EST, Mon February 11, 2008
Netflix Blu-ray Exclusive
Movie rental service Netflix this morning dealt an added blow to HD DVD by announcing that it would drop the format from its mail-based subscriptions, offering HD movies solely in Blu-ray. While the company will not immediately halt rentals of HD DVD tiles, it will no longer add HD DVD movies to its catalog and intends to phase out the format as discs finish their useful rental cycles. The move is claimed to end the confusion caused by dual formats and will let Netflix push HD video more clearly to its rental business, which is still dominated by DVDs.
"We are 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," says Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos.
The decision compounds a steady series of losses for HD DVD, which were first triggered by Warner Bros.' decision to drop HD DVD from its catalog by June. The change will hand over 70 percent of the entire HD movie business to studios that support Blu-ray and is believed to have resulted in both expanded Blu-ray sales as well as emergency HD DVD player discounts by Microsoft and Toshiba in an attempt to both rescue format sales and clear movie player stock.