Warner Joins Blu-Ray DVD Camp; Toshiba Turns To China

The war continues and so does the confusion…two big moves came to light today:

Warner Bros: Warner Bros. said Thursday that its home video division will release DVDs in Blu-ray format (backed by Sony), tipping scales further in favor of Blu-Ray, and a day after HP called for a compromise. Warner, which had decided to distribute films in the popular HD DVD format, is now the second big Hollywood company to say it will also release films in Blu-ray. Warner will join the Blu-ray Disc Association’s board of directors, but still plans to release movies in HD DVD format.

Toshiba-China: Meanwhile, in a shrewd-yet-risky move, Toshiba, the main backer of HD-DVD, is encouraging low-cost Chinese competitors to crank out machines using its standard…Toshiba hopes to get cheaper HD-DVD players in the stores months ahead of Blu-ray companies, and hence get the big-box retailers like Wal-Mart for mass-market them in U.S. But inviting the Chinese to drive down prices is risky. Toshiba, after all, also makes DVD players, so it could undercut its own machines in stores. By ceding potential sales for its machines to other, cheaper brands, Toshiba may have a harder time recouping the hundreds of millions of dollars it has spent developing its format.

For everything related to this format war, read our dedicated DVD section.