Blockbuster to move high-def, offering only Blu-ray Discs

Posted by Mark Raby

Los Angeles (CA) - Blockbuster will begin offering high definition videos next month, but will only be stocking Blu-ray format titles, another setback for rival HD DVD.

Blockbuster added HD DVD and Blu-ray to its online video rental service last year, but will only bring the latter format to retail store locations.  The company said that more than 70% of HD video rentals online were Blu-ray movies.

It's unclear how much on an effect the move will have, since Blockbuster has seen a steady decline in customers over the past several years.  Major setbacks have already hit HD DVD, though, as the Toshiba-fronted format has yet to overtake Blu-ray sales in a single month period.

HD DVD Promotional Group co-president Ken Graffeo told the Associated Press, "I think trying to make a format decision using such a short time period is really not measuring what the consumer is saying."

Titles like Casino Royale and the first two Pirates of the Caribbean movies hit Blu-ray as exclusive titles and have been tremendous sellers for the Sony format.  HD DVD, meanwhile, has seen success with premium box set features like the Planet Earth documentary series and The Matrix trilogy.

Blockbuster Online will continue to offer HD DVD titles.