Consumers will soon be able to make their choice in the battle for the high-definition DVD format as players for the two main competing formats finally get release dates.
Toshiba has announced a March launch for its HD-DVD format player, making it first to market in the new format. However, this date may be put back to April to coincide with the first films to appear on HD-DVD.
Warner Home Video said it will release three HD-DVD films on 18 April: Million Dollar Baby, The Last Samurai and The Phantom of the Opera. Warner will follow these up with 17 other titles, including Batman Begins, Constantine, Training Day and The Matrix.
The rival Blu-ray format is set to have its first working DVD player in the shops in April. Samsung will launch its player that month, although Sony won't have its first model available until July. Sony said its BDP-S1 Blu-ray player will cost around $1,000 (£570).
However, the launch of the Blu-ray players may also be delayed until content for the platform is available. The earliest Blu-ray titles won't be released until 23 May.
In a move that will please consumers not wanting to back a doomed format, LG is creating a player that handles discs from both systems.
The company has told its dealers to expect delivery of the dual-format player in autumn.
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