HD DVD Promotional Group offers little resistance to the latest Blu-ray victories

The HD DVD Promotional Group suffered two crippling blows yesterday. Early Monday morning, Netflix announced that it would become Blu-ray exclusive with regards to online high-definition movie rentals.

Monday afternoon, Best Buy announced that while it wouldn't drop HD DVD altogether, it would place more emphasis on Blu-ray and heavily promote that standard.

"Consumers have told us that they want us to help lead the way. We’ve listened to our customers, and we are responding. Best Buy will recommend Blu-ray as the preferred format," said Best Buy President and Chief Financial Officer Brian Dunn.

The HD DVD Promotional Group of course was not too happy to hear about the latest losses in the format war and offered up this rather tame response:

We have long held the belief that HD DVD is the best format for consumers based on quality and value, and with more than 1 million HD DVD players on the market, it's unfortunate to see Netflix make the decision to only stock Blu-ray titles going forward. While the Best Buy announcement says they will recommend Blu-ray, at least they will continue to carry HD DVD and offer consumers a choice at retail.

Perhaps the HD DVD Promotional Group doesn't have any fight left. Toshiba already went to great lengths to cut the prices on its third-generation DVD players, but that obviously wasn't enough to stop the shift to Blu-ray. Toshiba's HD DVD commercial during the Super Bowl also didn't help to win over any new supporters.

However, maybe consumers can take solace in the fact that things may be finally winding down in the HD DVD versus Blu-ray battle. Studio support is lining up fervently behind Blu-ray, so the days of finding a high definition movie on HD DVD, but not on Blu-ray, may soon be over.

Early adopters of the HD DVD standard though may just be left with their existing HD DVD library and an excellent upscaling DVD player.

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