Beverly Hills (CA) – Netflix believes the winner in the HD format war has been determined and said that it has begun stocking Blu-ray discs exclusively.
The company said that its move is prompted by the decision of four out of the six major movie studios to publish high-def DVD titles only in the Sony-developed Blu-ray format. The online movie rental company intends to phase out HD DVDs by the end of this year and, as of now, is purchasing HD titles in Blu-ray only.
The firm’s current HD DVD inventory will remain available to customers until the discs' “natural life cycle” takes them out of circulation in the coming months.
"The prolonged period of competition between two formats has prevented clear communication to the consumer regarding the richness of the high-def experience versus standard definition," said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix, in a prepared statement.
"We're now at the point where the industry can pursue the migration to a single format, bring clarity to the consumer and accelerate the adoption of high-def. Going forward, we expect that all of the studios will publish in the Blu-ray format and that the price points of high-def DVD players will come down significantly. These factors could well lead to another decade of disc-based movie watching as the consumer's preferred means,” Sarandos believes.
Netflix said that the majority of its customers looking or HD movies have chosen Blu-ray, and “only a portion” went with the HD DVD format. The company claims that it has more than 400 Blu-ray movies available for rent at this time.