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Blu-ray, HD DVD Look Ahead After Warner Switch
Blu-ray looks to transition from DVD; HD DVD leaves it to the consumers.

Andy Parsons, chairman of the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA), didn't find out about Warner Bros. decision to release titles exclusively in his camp's format until the announcement was made days before CES.

They didn't really talk to BDA per se, he says, adding that the switch is gratifying for us.

Warner's move to Blu-ray is going to make the consumer's choice easier, he told me at CES.

The switch was a bit more shocking to the HD DVD camp, where Louis Masses, director of business development for Toshiba's Digital A/V group, said they were caught off guard.

We're totally surprised by it, he says, calling the announcement a setback.

BDA: No Unified Spec Hasn't Hurt

When I talked to Masses, he stuck to the HD DVD talking points about a unified spec and backing by the DVD Forum, and adding that retailers are telling Toshiba they'll continue to support both formats.

We're still behind it, he says.

Parsons says that Blu-ray not having a unified spec, as Toshiba argues, hasn't mattered much. It hasn't had a big impact, he says. It's a question of prioritization.

He says that people buy disc players because they want to watch movies in high-definition, not necessarily for bonus features.

That's pretty far down on the list for people I've talked to, at least.

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