Netflix Puts Kibosh on HD DVD Rentals

As if the death knell for HD DVD wasn't loud enough earlier this year, proponents of the defunct HD disc format continue getting reminders of its passing. In a few weeks, DVD/Blu-ray renter (and streaming Web site) Netflix will cease all rentals of its current HD DVD titles—a move it first announced earlier this year.

For most of the format war that ended in early 2008, Netflix remained neutral while continuing to distribute discs in standard DVD, Blu-ray and HD DVD via the U.S. mail to its 8.7 million subscribers. It recently began charging a slightly higher fee for Blu-ray rentals over DVD, but has not yet disclosed what percentage of its business pertains to the sole HD disc standard. (If it's close to actual Blu-ray title sales, however, that would put Blu-ray's share of all Netflix disc rentals at under 10 percent.)

Effective Dec. 15, Netflix tells its subs in a mass e-mail that it will automatically replace all HD DVD titles in their respective queues with the same titles in standard DVD.