Walmart picks Blu-ray

blu-ray discCould this be the end of HD DVD? Today Walmart announced it would promote Blu-ray Disc as the high definition format. This could possibly be the final blow to HD DVD, as earlier in the week both Netflix and Best Buy announced they would be promoting Blu-ray Disc exclusively.

A Hollywood Reporter article written by Thomas K. Arnold and Erik Gruenwedel says that the “format war has turned into a format death watch.” Industry sources say that Toshiba is widely expected to pull the plug it’s competitive hi def format HD DVD. However Jodi Salli, VP of marketing for Toshiba America says, “Given the market developments in the past month, Toshiba will continue to study the market impact and the value proposition for consumers, particularly in light of our recent price reductions on all HD DVD players.”

But with HD DVD only being supported by 2 of the major studios, and retailers and rental companies also swinging towards Blu-ray, one can only expect that others will follow along.

HD DVD was dealt a crucial blow in January on the eve of CES 2008, when Warner Bros announced Blu-ray exclusivity. Since then the HD DVD group has cut the prices of their players in half, as well as retailers offering 50% of titles, in hopes of gaining back some momentum. But industry data reveals that the HD DVD marketing offense, including a 2.5 million dollar Super Bowl ad, had almost no affect on consumers.

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Jeff Chabot

Jeff Chabot

Jeff Chabot writes about technology, broadcasting, and digital entertainment. You can also find him on Gameverse, Gadget Review, and Google+.

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