Netflix Goes Blu-Ray Exclusive

Another nail in the coffin of the format war: top DVD rental service Netflix has announced that they will be going Blu-Ray exclusive.

The company says that the industry has “picked a winner” in the format face-off and will phase out HDDVD by the end of the year.

From Netflix:

“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,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix. “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.”

“From the Netflix perspective, focusing on one format will enable us to create the best experience for subscribers who want high- definition to be an important part of how they enjoy our service.”

Sorry, HDDVD. Things aren’t looking too good.

Friend of the blog, film critic Phil Villarreal of the Arizona Star, got the following email from Netflix:

Dear Phil,

You’re receiving this email because you have asked to receive high-definition movies in the HD DVD format. As you may have heard, most of the major movie studios have recently decided to release their high-definition movies exclusively in the Blu-ray format. In order to provide the best selection of high-definition titles for our members, we have decided to go exclusively with Blu-ray as well.

While we will continue to make our current selection of HD DVD titles available to you for the next several months, we will not be adding additional HD DVD titles or reordering replacements.

Toward the end of February, HD DVDs in your Saved Queue will automatically be changed to standard definition DVDs. Then toward the end of this year, all HD DVDs in your Queue will be changed to standard definition DVDs. Don’t worry, we will contact you before this happens.

You can click here to change your format preferences.

We’re sorry for any inconvenience. If you have any questions or need further assistance, please call us at 1 (888) 638-3549.

-The Netflix Team

Netflix, Citing a Clear Signal From the Industry, Will Carry High-Def DVDs Only in Blu-ray Format (Press Release) [Netflix]
The death blow for HD DVD? [PhilmGuy]

PREVIOUSLY: Why Don’t You Weigh In On The Format War?