Universal signs up to HD-DVD

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Universal signs up to HD-DVD

Universal Studios Home Entertainment announced at a press conference at CeBIT that it has signed up to the European HD-DVD Promotional Group along with Toshiba, Microsoft and Studio Canal.

Universal already produces around 300 titles in HD-DVD and is hoping to have over 600 titles available worldwide by the end of the year.

The studio is aiming at having over 100 titles available in Europe by the end of the first quarter, a third of which will be from foreign studios.

"After a strong year in North America and Asia, HD-DVD is drawing attention in Europe," said Ken Graffeo, executive vice president of marketing at Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

"HD-DVD is the most recognised brand name worldwide for high definition packaged media, and we now have a strong group of companies behind it from hardware manufacturers to studios and distributors."

This move firmly plants Universal's stance against the competing Blu-ray. Most reports show that Blu-ray has been winning the format war thus far with sales of Blu-ray titles outselling HD-DVD by around two to one.

The adoption of either high definition format has been rather lacklustre to date, however, the major hurdle being the high price of players.

Blu-ray's gains in the battle have mostly been attributed to Sony's inclusion of a Blu-ray drive in its PlayStation 3 gaming console.

However, as the price of players decreases and adoption becomes more widespread the backing of major studios such as Universal may swing the tide in the favour of HD-DVD.
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