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Monday, October 03, 2005
Paramount to Back Blu-Ray Format

In a statement released late Sunday in the United States, Paramount said it would release high-definition movies in the Blu-ray format, without however clarifing whether it would drop support for the rival HD DVD format.

Paramount film studio had previously said it would release titles in a competing HD DVD that is endorsed by a consortium of electronics makers including Toshiba.

"After more detailed assessment and new data on cost, manufacturability and copy protection solutions, we have now made the decision to move ahead with the Blu-ray format," Thomas Lesinski, president of Paramount Pictures, said in the release.

Commenting on Paramount's announcement, Toshiba spoksmen said "Our understanding is that Paramount Home Entertainment also continues to support HD DVD, a position established in comments from Paramount officials in press reports. We see Paramount's continued commitment to releasing HD DVD titles as proof that the studio still recognizes HD DVD's advantages. "We understand that studios want to see precisely what will happen in the CE and IT industries, and that they will want to support all potential markets for their products."

The president of Paramount Pictures, Thomas Lesinski, said in a statement that Sony's inclusion of Blu-ray technology in its PlayStation 3 videogame console when it is released next spring was an important factor in his studio's decision. With that technology inside, the game machine will effectively double as a Blu-ray DVD player.

Paramount's support is a welcome vote of confidence for the Blu-ray camp following news last week that Microsoft and Intel were throwing their weight behind HD DVD.

Paramount joins Sony Pictures Entertainment, The Walt Disney Co. and News Corp. unit Twentieth Century Fox in backing Blu-ray, although like Paramount, Disney and Fox have not ruled out the possibility of also releasing movies for HD DVD.

Universal Studios and Warner Bros. Studios have endorsed HD DVD.

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