The HD DVD format lobby claims to have secured backing from major home electronics companies, disc replicators and Hollywood studios at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
A representative from Microsoft "discussed the company's contribution" to the medium, according to the HD DVD Promotion Group, which has been set up to market the format.
Toshiba, the format's developer, was joined by representatives from companies that have pledged to support HD DVD, including NEC and Sanyo.
Toshiba promised to begin shipping HD DVD players and notebook PCs with HD DVD drives in the fourth quarter of this year, while NEC announced that it would deliver HD DVD Rom drives in September 2005. Sanyo said that it would deliver HD DVD players in the fourth quarter.
In addition, Hollywood's HBO Video, New Line Home Entertainment, Paramount Home Entertainment, Universal Pictures and Warner Home Video all backed the format, which is fighting a bitter battle with the rival Blu-ray format.
Titles to be released on HD DVD in 2005 include The Manchurian Candidate, Mission Impossible II, Forrest Gump, The Chronicles of Riddick, Van Helsing, The Bourne Supremacy, The Polar Express, Ocean's Twelve, Batman Begins and Constantine.
Disc replicator Memory-Tech announced that it has been operating six HD DVD/DVD compatible mass production lines since May 2004, and currently stands ready to produce up to 50 million HD DVD discs per year.
Another disc replicator, Cinram International, announced that it will offer a single optical disc, HD/DVD 9, capable of storing data in both DVD and HD DVD formats.
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