Netflix just announced today that they will be acquiring no more HD DVD titles as they begin their transition to Blu-ray as their sole high-def DVD format. This might be the nail in the coffin for those of you who were still skeptical about a clear winner already emerging in the Blu-ray vs. HD DVD format war.
Netflix currently has over 400 titles available in Blu-ray, and they will continue to receive more as they are produced. HD DVD titles, on the other hand, will be phased out by the end of the year. Here’s what their press release cited as the reason for choosing Blu-ray:
Citing the decision by four of the six major movie studios to publish high-def DVD titles only in the Sony-developed Blu-ray format, Netflix said that as of now it will purchase only Blu-ray discs and will phase out by roughly year’s end the alternative high-def format, HD DVD, developed by Toshiba.
Since the first high-definition DVDs came on the market in early 2006, Netflix has stocked both formats. But the company said that in recent months the industry has stated its clear preference for Blu-ray and that it now makes sense for the company to initiate the transition to a single format.
As it stands Blockbuster is still renting the HD DVD videos online, but how long will it take before the snowball effect really starts? At some point HD DVD is gonna have to drop out of the race since four out of the six major Hollywood studios have already chosen Blu-ray, and it probably won’t be long before the last stragglers follow along.