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Paramount To Support Blu-ray & HD-DVD

A new wrinkle in the hi-def DVD format war has occurred. Paramount Home Ent. has announced that it will support Sonys Blu-ray format as well as its previously announced support for Toshibas HD-DVD.

Rumors are afloat that Warner Bros. with be announcing dual support later this week as well. Previously, Universal was the first studio originally backing HD-DVD to announce that it was going to support both formats. Some say its a move to save face for backing the potential loser in the format wars.

Toshiba seems to be in trouble. In April, the company sat down with Sony to try and hash out a compromise format, but no deal has been forged. The company had vowed to release the first HD-DVD players by the 2005 holiday season, but now that seems unlikely.

Sony, on the other hand, will release Blu-ray players in conjunction with the spring 2006 launch of its PlayStation 3 gaming system, which will feature Blu-ray technology. Walt Disney previously announced that it would support the Sony format and Fox is a board member of the association that backs Blu-ray.

DreamWorks has never weighed in on the issue. Its home entertainment products are released via Universals distribution.

The main problem facing HD-DVD now is that with Blu-ray players already in homes via PS3 how will Toshiba lure customers to their side if all the studios are releasing films on both formats and some, like Disney and Sony, only releasing films on Blu-ray?

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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