HD-DVD heavyweights target Europe

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HD-DVD heavyweights target Europe

Universal, Toshiba and Microsoft hook up to push format.

A handful of industry heavyweights have established a group to promote the uptake of HD-DVD technology in Europe.

The European HD-DVD Promotional Group includes Studio Canal, Universal, Toshiba and Microsoft.

The organisation was founded as the European counterpart to the North American HD-DVD Promotional Group and the HD-DVD Promotion Group originally organised in Japan.

The group's backers hope to attract movie studios, distributors, consumer electronics companies, IT firms, PC makers, disc replication companies and authoring houses around the globe.

An existing marketing campaign, which showcases HD-DVD as 'The Look and Sound of Perfect', will be used to highlight European perspectives, backed with promotions and marketing.

More than 100 HD-DVD titles will be available throughout Europe by the end of the first quarter of 2007, with an estimated 600 titles expected worldwide by December 2007.

"Our goal is to achieve global penetration of the HD-DVD format," said Yoshihide Fujii, chairman of the HD-DVD Promotion Group and president and chief executive of Toshiba's Digital Media Network Company.

"A lot of work has gone into making sure that authoring houses and replicators in Europe were given the training and expertise they need to get up and running and allow a wealth of European content to hit the market right from the beginning.

"This will be a key differentiator for HD-DVD in Europe for the foreseeable future. Combined with a solid line-up of US titles and affordable hardware, consumers have a lot of options to create an unparalleled home theatre experience."
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