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Warner Brothers Joins Blu-ray Disc Association Print E-mail
Friday, 21 October 2005
Warner Brothers announced that it has joined the Board of Directors of the Blu-ray Disc Association. The studio had supported Toshiba’s HD-DVD over Sony’s Blu-ray but, following a similar announcement by Paramount earlier this month, it is now backing both formats. "Consumers will soon be able to enjoy a large selection of catalogue favorites and contemporary hits from Warner's vast library on the Blu-ray format," said Jim Cardwell, President, Warner Home Video. Toshiba was quick to respond with a statement saying “Toshiba and Warner Bros. continue to collaborate closely toward the commercial launch of HD-DVD. We understand Warner Bros. continues to strongly support HD-DVD”. Like Paramount, Warner is hedging its bets, making a decision that essentially eliminates its need to choose between the two formats. This move shifts studio support even more in favor of Blu-ray (also backed by Sony, Fox, Disney and Lions Gate). The only studio to back HD-DVD exclusively is Universal.

Mike Dunn, president of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment commented on Warner’s move by saying “These latest developments are the categorical shift needed to avoid a format war and insure the successful launch of Blu-ray and secure the future of high-definition pre-recorded media”. But just sitting on the fence is not enough to avoid a format war. Companies need to take action for a compromise to be reached, much like HP did by asking the Blu-ray Disc Association to add technologies supported in HD-DVD to the Blu-ray specification.

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