NEWS: Universal denies Blu-ray U-turn – no truth it's ditching HD DVD exclusivity

Tue, 15 May 2007, 5:02am

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Hollywood studio Universal has denied a German press report that it's planning to abandon its exclusivity agreement with the HD DVD camp, and start to make its movies available on Blu-ray.

The German report, on the Heise Online IT news site, says the source of the information was representative of Pioneer, and that the statement was made during that company's recent press briefing in Rome - if it were true, it would mean HD DVD losing the only studio totally committed to that format alone, since both Warner and Paramount started releasing titles on both format.

However, a statement from Craig Kornblau, President of Universal Studios Home Entertainment to one of the sites reporting the story says that the Heise report is 'totally false'. We have to add that we were at the same Pioneer press briefing, and heard no such claim being made by the company.

At the same time, Disney was confirming that it plans to stick with Blu-ray, in the light of some rumours suggesting the company was considering sharing the love with HD DVD.

Speaking just ahead of the Blu-ray launch of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Chief Executive Robert Iger said that the company is staying Blu, feeling it to be the superior technology and that it, not HD DVD, is the next-generation format of choice in other parts of the world. When it comes to Blu-ray, he said, 'We sense a real advantage."