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Paramount, DreamWorks rip up HD DVD release list

Blu-ray discs coming in the summer

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Paramount has confirmed its last ever HD DVD releases will go on sale in the States on Tuesday, 4 March. From then on, it's DVD and Blu-ray Disc only.

And DreamWorks Animation has clearly had word from Toshiba: it's knocking its HD DVD release schedule on the head too, including the Bee Movie disc, originally due to go on sale in the US on 11 March.

Movies schedules for HD DVD release from both companies will appear on DVD, but don't expect Blu-ray versions until the summer, Paramount said. Neither have said what their first Blu-ray releases will be.

DreamWorks' CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg earlier this week said he was committed to the agreement reached with Toshiba in August 2007 to release hi-def content only on HD DVD.

"We have a partnership with Toshiba and have an obligation to see this through," he said. "It really is in [Toshiba's] court at this point to really declare what the next step will be."

Presumably, Tosh told him that it's OK to go Blu. The Japanese consumer electronics giant's thoughts on the matter were so important to Katzenberg and co. because, as he admitted, DreamWorks was "well-compensated" for backing HD DVD.

The only other studio that had committed itself exclusively to HD DVD was Universal, and it hopped on the Blu-ray bandwagon very quickly after Toshiba announced it would no longer manufacturer HD DVD hardware.

Special Report: Obituary: HD DVD 2002-2008

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