Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, which has been distributing high-definition disks in both Blu-ray and HD DVD formats, announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Sunday that it will back Blu-ray exclusively. In an interview with Daily Variety, WBHE chief Kevin Tsujihara observed that while the price difference between the two players had become insignificant during the holiday sales period, people were still not buying players because they were confused about which format would prevail. "By us being both, we were playing into consumer confusion," he said. In reporting the move, Variety commented that it "all but signed the death warrant for HD DVD." That format remains backed exclusively by Universal and Paramount. But Warren Lieberfarb, the ousted head of WBHE and now a consultant to Toshiba, which holds the patents on HD DVD technology, predicted that hard drives and reusable flash drives will eventually replace disks of all types. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Lieberfarb called such storage media "much more economical and green" and predicted that in five or ten years, movies will be distributed online.


07/01/2008