Netflix, Best Buy Just Want to Be Friends With HD DVD

Enjoy your HD DVD players while you can, early adopters!

by | February 13, 2008 | Comments

It’s still making a few gurgling noises underneath its breathing mask, but the death watch for HD DVD continues — and the latest news from Netflix and Best Buy should only speed up the process.

In a statement released Monday, Netflix announced it would be dropping HD DVD, making its hi-def stock exclusively Blu-ray. Although the company freely admits “only a portion” of its subscribers have started asking for hi-def titles, most of the ones who have are taking theirs Blu-ray — so no hard feelings, HD DVD, but business is business. As Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, puts it:

“The prolonged period of competition between two formats has prevented clear communication to the consumer regarding the richness of the high-def experience versus standard definition. We’re now at the point where the industry can pursue the migration to a single format, bring clarity to the consumer and accelerate the adoption of high-def. Going forward, we expect that all of the studios will publish in the Blu-ray format and that the price points of high-def DVD players will come down significantly. These factors could well lead to another decade of disc-based movie watching as the consumer’s preferred means.”

On Tuesday, Best Buy continued the Blu-ray lovefest, issuing a statement announcing that, although its stores will continue to stock HD DVD titles, the company is instituting a policy of recommending Blu-ray. Brian Dunn, Best Buy’s president and COO, pounded the latest nail in HD DVD’s coffin:

“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. Our decision to shine a spotlight on Blu-ray Disc players and other Blu-ray products is a strong signal to our customers that we believe Blu-ray is the right format choice for them.”

Of course, customers who wanted Best Buy to lead the way before Christmas may be finding this announcement a case of too little, too late — but who doesn’t need another high-priced doorstop in their home, right?

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