Netflix sides with Blu-ray

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Netflix has sided exclusively with Blu-ray in the high-definition format war and will phase out its stock of HD-DVD titles over the course of 2008..

The online film rental service said that the industry has now picked a DVD format winner, citing decisions by four of the six major movie studios to publish HD titles only in the Blu-ray format.

Since the first high-definition DVDs came on the market in early 2006, Netflix has stocked both formats.

But Netflix said that the industry has stated its clear preference for Blu-ray and that it now makes sense to initiate the transition to a single format.

"The prolonged period of competition has prevented clear communication to the consumer regarding the richness of the HD experience versus standard definition, " said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix.

"We are now at the point where the industry can pursue the migration to a single format, bringing clarity to the consumer and accelerating the adoption of high-def.

"We expect that all studios will publish in the Blu-ray format and that the price points of high-def DVD players will come down significantly."

While only a portion of Netflix subscribers have elected to receive high-def DVDs, a majority of those subscribers have chosen Blu-ray over HD-DVD, according to the company.

Netflix said that it will acquire no new HD-DVDs and that its current inventory would continue to rent until the discs' natural life cycle takes them out of circulation in the coming months.

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