BRT to Pull HD-DVD Lines from Pressing Plant, Not Waiting for Toshiba Announcement

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Blue Ray Technologies multi-format disc pressing plant will drop its HD-DVD lines, founder Erick Hansen says not waiting for Toshiba to throw in towel in format war. Makes statement to Toshiba and High Definition fans: "Not a loss for Toshiba, but a victory for consumers."

The only indie multi-format high definition disc pressing plant, Blue Ray Technologies, will drop its HD-DVD lines without waiting for the widely-reported and anticipated announcement of Toshiba's retreat from HD-DVD.

"This is a victory for the consumers, who can now move in to the stunning high def disc world and build collections with confidence," said industry expert Erick Hansen, a DVD pioneer and chairman of Blue Ray Technologies. "Toshiba can take heart in that there is no shame: it was a battle well-fought and that they have several adaptable technologies and backup plans."

In fact, no orders had come in to the full-service disc manufacturer for HD-DVDs, even partial orders along with Blu-ray clients looking to service both markets, since November. The indie film companies that BRT serves had seen the death of the HD-DVD format long before last week's announcement that Walmart, Blockbuster and Netflix were dropping the format - and even before Warner Bros. announced in January at the CES show they were going Blu-ray only.

"This week we will dismantle our HD-DVD lines and will be adding new equipment to bolster our Blue-ray manufacturing," said Hansen explaining, "Despite our name and preference, we always offered HD-DVDs as a service to our customers. Now we will reconfigure part of that equipment to make DVDs and CDs," said Hansen. "The indie film companies moved quicker than the studios and gradually stopped mixed orders in favor of Blu-ray late last year."

Hansen explained "They preferred the larger capacity and full 1080p quality of the Blu-ray discs going forward. We saw this but since I have been saying HD-DVD was DOA for four years, we still had to wait for the industry to catch up to the inevitable. HD-DVD is dead, all that is left is the burial."

He said "We are waiting this week for the other shoes to drop from Universal and Paramount/DreamWorks, the last studios to support HD-DVD over Blu-ray -- and word from Microsoft, who used the now-obsolete format as an add-on to their Xbox game console."

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