We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Blockbuster's Blu-ray deal 'not an endorsement'

What Blu-ray's Blockbuster victory really means

Movie rental giant Blockbuster this week announced that it will roll out Blu-ray Disc movies for rental in 1,450 Blockbuster video shops in the US. But is this is a decisive victory for Blu-ray Disc over HD-DVD?

Blockbuster's decision to nail its colours to the Blu-ray mast followed a pilot programme launched in late 2006, in which Blockbuster offered selected titles for rental and sale in 250 stores.

See also: PlayStation 3 being used as a Blu-ray player

Seven months later, Blockbuster says it sees a clear enough trend among its customers to pinpoint Blu-ray Disc as its HD (high definition) format of choice. A smack in the face for HD-DVD, then, but there is some hope for Blu-ray's rival.

"This was a move that was driven by Blu-ray rentals outpacing HD DVD rentals 70 percent to 30 percent," says Blockbuster spokesperson Randy Hargrove.

"In our online rentals, it's favouring Blu-ray as well. We're not looking at this as a format endorsement; we're looking at this as following the demand of our customers.

"In the future, if that means adding more HD-DVD titles, we'll do that as well."

Blockbuster will continue to offer both Blu-ray and HD-DVD for rental and sales in the 250 stores that participated in the pilot program. However, the 1,450 additional video shops coming on board with Blu-ray will offer the discs for rental only (at least for now). Rentals still comprise the majority of Blockbuster's business: first quarter global rentals revenue was $961 million, as compared with movie sales of $105 million.

Both Blu-ray and HD-DVD will continue to be available through Blockbuster's online service - a world that is free of the space constraints that brick-and-mortar stores face. Likewise, for now this is a US-only initiative: Blockbuster in Canada, for example, has been offering both Blu-ray and HD DVD in about 75 stores, and "they will continue to monitor the marketplace," says Hargrove.


IDG UK Sites

Black Friday 2014 tech deals UK: Today's bargains phones, tablets, laptops and more for Black...

IDG UK Sites

Black Friday feeding frenzy infects the UK

IDG UK Sites

VAT MOSS: Will I be affected by the EU VAT changes? Here are the facts for designers and artists

IDG UK Sites

Black Friday 2014 UK: Apple deals, Amazon deals & Black Friday tech offers