By Chris Nicholls

SYDNEY: DVD and video game rental chain Video Ezy has joined sister company Blockbuster and will promote Blu-ray software for the foreseeable future, according to buying general manager Richard Clutsom.

The deal will mean both chains stock an increased number of Blu-ray films, and Sony will provide 40-inch LCD televisions, Blu-ray players and Playstation 3 machines to display the material in over 200 Video Ezy and Blockbuster stores Australia-wide. Both chains will run accompanying multi-format promotional campaigns.

Clutsom said Video Ezy based the decision on demand.

“At this stage, Blu-ray is clearly the leading HD format and industry data backs that up. The future will depend on hardware sales catering to either format and we will move with those trends.” 

However, John McKay, Blockbuster’s product head, said the group would only purchase Blu-ray for “the foreseeable future”, a decision taken after the US parent made the same decision.

 “We made this decision in order to meet the demands of our customers and based on trend data we’re seeing both here and internationally. We believe the customer will dictate which high definition format will become the industry standard as the format matures in the Australian marketplace and we will be supporting them in their decision.”

The decision will mean consumers who rent at Blockbuster and Video Ezy will be unable to hire full high definition films released by Paramount, Universal, Warner Brothers, HBO Video and New Line Home Entertainment, who release their films in the HD-DVD format.

Richard Clutsom was contacted for comment but did not respond before publication.