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Archive for Thursday, July 5, 2007

Total HD high-def disc launch delayed

July 5, 2007

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With Hollywood studios still split about competing formats for high-definition DVDs, Warner Bros. will delay the launch of a dual-format disc until next year.

The studio, a unit of Time Warner Inc., introduced its Total HD disc earlier this year as a compromise between the incompatible Blu-ray and HD DVD formats. Total HD discs contain a Blu-ray copy of a movie on one side and an HD DVD version on the other.

But the concept has yet to gain traction because only two studios produce DVDs in both formats - Warner Bros. and Paramount Pictures, a division of Viacom Inc.

Warner believes other studios also must embrace both formats along with the Total HD technology and release at least 10 popular titles before stores would be willing to devote shelf space to the discs. That is unlikely to happen by the fourth quarter, leading the company to push back the introduction until early next year.

Warner is hoping to convince other studios that overall movie disc sales are boosted when titles are available in both formats.

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