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Woolworths stores to stop selling HD DVD

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Woolworths has thrown its high street heft behind the Blu-ray Disc format. From March, it will no longer sell HD DVDs in its shops.

The change will coincide with the release of Pixar's Ratatouille, but while Woolies's shops will go Blu-ray only, the company will continue to sell HD DVDs online.

This move is the a result of a decision made after Christmas sales statistics were studied. In Woolworths stores, Blu-ray Discs outsold HD DVDs by a factor of ten to one over the seasonal sales period.

"Sales figures clearly show that the market is moving towards one format of high-definition DVD. The main reason is the success of Sony’s PlayStation 3 machine," Steven McGunigel, DVD buyer at Woolworths, said, according to The Retail Bulletin.

"Because [the PS3] plays Blu-Ray discs, there are over 750,000 homes in the UK that can view the new high-definition format. There is nowhere near that number of HD-DVD players around.

"Switching to Blu-ray only will provide one clear offer to customers in the format they want to watch high definition movies in."

Olivier Van Wynendaele, the European assistant general manager of Toshiba's Consumer Products Division, said: "While we’re disappointed by Woolworths’ decision, it is extremely early to spot which format will eventually win. We’re confident that HD DVD’s affordability, fantastic choice of movies, great consumer experience and upcoming promotions will help it continue to strengthen its share of the market.”

From March, Woolworths stores will have a Blu-Ray chart and back catalogue in all 820 stores across the UK.

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