The End of the HD Format War is Nigh

Variety has confirmed that Universal studio's exclusive commitment to backing HD-DVD has ended and will not be renewed.

This leaves only Paramount as the one major studio still supporting the format. However, according to the Var article, both studios claim that they are still going to support the format, at least somewhat:
Neither studio is ready to throw in the towel immediately, however. Universal is committed to a series of promotions for the high-def format in coming months, and Par has said its current plans are to keep supporting HD DVD, which it backed exclusively in August.

But now that Paramount is left swinging in the breeze as the sole distributor of the HD-DVD format, our guess is that they will be folding like a cheap suit fairly shortly. Especially considering the fact that Paramount has an escape clause in its HD DVD contract allowing it to release pics on Blu-ray after Warner Bros.' decided to switch to Blu-Ray format exclusively.

Also, as the article mentions, the decision to support HD-DVD may be made for them:
...retailers may force the HD DVD camp's hand: They're unlikely to keep devoting premium shelf space to a dying format, and at this point, the odds are not in HD DVD's favor. With Warners' defection, only Par and U remain in the HD DVD camp; Sony, Disney, Fox, [and] Lionsgate remain ardent Blu-ray backers. Warner sister companies New Line and HBO are also shifting allegiance to Blu-ray.
Back in March of 2006, CNET did a side-by-side comparison between the two formats, however in light of the news that WB has decided not to distribute anything on HD-DVD, they've updated their article and are now recommending that consumers not purchase an HD DVD player.

Turn out the lights, HD-DVD, the party is over. Time to call it a good fight, lick your wounds and move on. The sooner Hollywood accepts one format for the future of content distribution, the sooner all the studios can start making more money selling their un-creative tripe to the generally ignorant public.

We'll cover this till the bitter end. As always, stay tuned.

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