Netflix Inc., the online movie rental company, said Monday it is switching exclusively to the Blu-ray format for high-definition DVDs, following four major movie studios in selecting the Sony technology over one pushed by Toshiba Corp.
Toshiba and Sony have been vying to set the standard for high-definition DVDs for several years. The stakes are high because the winner will also get a boost in sales of DVD players needed to read the new format.
The Walt Disney Co., Sony Corp.'s Sony Pictures, News Corp.'s Twentieth Century Fox and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer have endorsed Blu-ray. Paramount and Universal Studios publish their high-definition DVDs in Toshiba's HD DVD format.
Netflix has stocked both formats since they became available in 2006, but said the decision of four of the six major studios to issue films only in Blu-ray format made it likely that the Sony format will prevail.
"From the Netflix perspective, focusing on one format will enable us to create the best experience for subscribers," the company said, adding that not many customers order high-def DVDs.
Many consumers have held off on buying a high-def DVD player until the dominant format is decided.