Remember last November when Netflix CFO Barry McCarthy declared Blu-ray the winner, then Netflix announced they would carry both formats? Eight months later and things are a bit different in the video rental giants' view. During their Q2 Earnings Conference Call yesterday, CEO Reed Hastings stated that they now view the format war as an unwinnable one. In their view, the best thing that can happen now would be for all studios currently declared exclusive on either side to release films on both formats starting early next year, ending the war and restoring consumer confidence in both camps. That is certainly a better alternative than going the way of DVD Audio and SACD, which all sides risk with the situation as it is. It's also interesting to see the sudden boost of confidence in HD DVD, Blu-ray's shaky, slow launch may be costing them some of their most important allies in getting discs and players to consumers.

Blu-ray supporters are still strong in their belief that they will dominate HD DVD and achieve victory outright, but until they start delivering players and sics that are more in line with expectations, it's very difficult to believe them. The question is will Fox, Universal, Lionsgate and others listen to Netflix, or stay the course and hope they've backed the right one?

[Via Thomas Hawk]

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Netflix CEO sees HD DVD and Blu-ray war "maintaining stalemate"