Consumer electronics firm Thomson today hedged its bets in the next-generation disc format battle by backing both Toshiba's HD DVD and Sony's Blu-ray.
The firm announced that it will manufacture both discs through its Technicolor business, but gave a boost to the HD DVD format by promising to make HD DVD consumer players through its Thomson and RCA brands.
Thomson said that its commitment to support HD DVD will ensure that studio customers that have selected this format will have HD DVD discs and players available for the planned launch in late 2005.
The company, which is a founding member of the Blu-ray Disc Association, added that it will continue to participate and support the development and production of the Blu-ray format.
The Association boasts over 70 companies, including Sony, Dell, HP, Hitachi, LG Electronics, Mitsubishi, Panasonic (Matsushita Electric Industrial Co), Pioneer Corporation, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, TDK, 20th Century Fox and The Walt Disney Company.
However, support for the rival HD DVD format was recently enhanced by endorsements from major Hollywood studios, including Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, New Line Cinema and Warner Bros Studios.
Quentin Lilly, president of Thomson's Technicolor Home Entertainment Services, said: "Our tradition is based on being a trusted service provider to content owners, independent of format choice.
"We believe that the timing is right for the introduction in 2005 of HD DVD players that Thomson will market under the RCA brand in the US and the Thomson brand in Europe, in support of the content roll-out."
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