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Wal-Mart adopts Blu-ray, dumps HD DVD format

Wal-Mart adopts Blu-ray, dumps HD DVD format

Last friday Wal-Mart, the largest US retailer said it would phase out the sales of HD DVD offerings and exclusively offer high-definition Blu-ray hardware and DVDs by the middle of this year.

The decision was based on U.S. customers' preference for Blu-ray movies and hardware in purchases, Wal-Mart said.

The retailer will phase out HD DVD offerings in Wal-Mart and Sam’s Clubs retail stores, as well as online offerings, by June, the company said.

Wal-Mart's rejection of HD DVD is a sign that Blu-ray is catching on with retailers. Best Buy earlier this week said it would recommend users to buy Blu-ray products, though it would continue offering HD DVD products. Movie rental chains Netflix and Blockbuster recently abandoned HD DVD in favour of Blu-ray DVD offerings.

Six of eight major movie studios publish Blu-ray DVDs, including Walt Disney, Fox, Lionsgate, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Sony and Warner Bros. Only two major movie studios, Paramount Home Entertainment and Universal Studios Home Entertainment, publish in the HD DVD format.

The Blu-ray format has also seen a spate of victories in the gaming and consumer electronics industries, with companies like Philips adopting the format over HD DVD.

Blu-ray supporters include Sony, Panasonic and Samsung, while Toshiba, Microsoft and Intel are among the companies supporting HD DVD.


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