Universal Ending Its HD DVD Exclusivity

What a week for the two camps: after Warner Bros. pulled out of HD DVD camp, and denials by Paramount of going completely Blu-Ray, comes the news from Variety that Universal’s commitment to backing HD DVD exclusively has ended, though it has not pulled out of the camp completely. Universal, owned by NBC Universal (NYSE: GE), is not ready to pull out completely yet, and is committed to a series of promotions for the HD format in coming months, the story says.

Meanwhile, Paramount, which signed on with Toshiba last summer, has a clause in the deal that allows it to pull out of the contract if WB goes with Blu-ray, but it plans to keep backing HD DVD for now.

Staci adds: One hardware exec whose companies has ties to both formats asked at CES if I was there to write HD DVD’s obit. He thought the HD DVD group made a major mistake by canceling that press conference Sunday night. They had the media’s attention and could have used it to show off the format. Instead, they left the impression that even they think HD DVD was on its way out.