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Warner Bros. joins Blu-ray

Hmmm. Maybe that high-def format war won't drag on endlessly after all.
Warner Bros. announced today that it has withdrawn its support for HD DVD and would put out high-definition titles exclusively in the Blu-ray format. That decision leaves HD DVD with only two major Hollywood studios in its camp -- Universal and Paramount -- along with a number of smaller distributors, including The Weinstein Co. and DreamWorks. Blu-ray, on the other hand, has three other majors beside Warner (Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox and Disney), plus Lionsgate and MGM.

Of course, if Paramount keeps having the kind of year it had in 2007 (Shrek the Third, Transformers, Bee Movie... the list goes on and on), HD DVD could be around for a long time. Still, more titles are available in Blu-ray, and about twice as many Blu-ray discs are selling than HD DVD ones. With retailers devoting more space to Blu-ray products, it may be hard for Universal and Paramount to continue holding out against the Blu-ray machine.

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Times editorial writer Jon Healey pens opinion pieces about a variety of business issues, and blogs about technologies that are changing the entertainment industry's business model.

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