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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 February 2008, 00:00 GMT
Wal-Mart backs Blu-ray over rival
Sony Blu-ray discs
Blu-ray has got the upper hand on its rival format
Supermarket giant Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, has announced it will only sell high-definition DVDs in the Blu-ray format at its 4,000 US stores.

The decision is viewed as a serious setback for the rival Toshiba-backed HD DVD format.

Wal-Mart said that customers had shown a clear preference for Blu-ray, developed by Sony, and the rival format would be phased out by June.

Wal-Mart follows a similar move by film rental firm Blockbuster.

The better picture quality and bigger capacity of next-generation DVDs and players were expected to help revitalise the $24bn global home DVD market

But, like the Betamax-VHS battle in the 1980s, having two DVD standards has dampened sales of both.

Analysts say it has frustrated both retailers and customers, who have to sell and buy products that could become obsolete very quickly.

SEE ALSO
Blockbuster to focus on Blu-ray
18 Jun 07 |  Business
Sony upbeat in DVD format battle
12 Jun 07 |  Business
Hybrid answers to DVD format wars
04 Jan 07 |  Technology
Sony price cut for Blu-ray player
04 Jun 07 |  Business
Your Blu-ray questions answered
20 Oct 06 |  Technology
The online DVD rental war
22 Mar 06 |  Business
No ceasefire in DVD format battle
09 Jan 07 |  Technology

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