Australian Rental Chains Back Blu-ray

Australian video rental chains Video Ezy and Blockbuster, both owned by Franchise Entertainment Group, will exclusively rent Blu-ray Disc, and not HD DVD, at their 870 stores, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Paul Uniacke, FEG managing director, said that HD DVD was “missing the boat” in the Australian market. While neither format is dominating the market, Blu-ray has a clear lead over HD DVD. 2241 standalone BD players have been sold, compared to 609 HD DVD players, and over 100,000 PS3s have been sold, compared to only 2,461 HD DVD Xbox 360 add-on drives. Even more telling, 102,000 BD movies have been sold, far more than the 18,000 HD DVD disc sales. The stores will also make an effort to promote Blu-ray:

In an announcement made today, Sony said 40-inch LCD televisions connected to Blu-ray players and PS3s would be installed initially in close to 250 Video Ezy and Blockbuster stores across the country to promote the format.

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