German distrib follows Warner's lead

BERLIN — Constantin Film, Germany’s leading independent producer-distrib, is following suit in the wake of Warner Bros. decision to go with the Blu-ray format.

Company said Thursday it too had chosen the Blu-ray format for its hi-def home entertainment products.

Up until now, Constantin had supported both HD DVD and the Blu-ray technology, but as of March 1, new releases will be appearing solely in Blu-ray.

Warners last week rejected a dual-format strategy in favor of Blu-ray.

“By taking this trendsetting decision, the market-leading U.S. film group has helped to bring about faster the urgently needed clarification of the situation and to end the ‘format war’ that has been going on for years now,” Constantin said in a statement.

Franz Woodtli, Constantin’s home entertainment director, added: “In taking our decision in favor of the Blu-ray format, we are clearly following the international trend. The longstanding dispute about the successor to the DVD caused considerable uncertainty among consumers in 2007 in particular and has led to a delay in the mainstream introduction of hi-def as a result. Clear positioning therefore has advantages for consumers, producers and retailers.”

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