DALLAS — Blu-ray has pulled ahead in the race against rival HD DVD to become the favored high-definition DVD format in at least one important arena. Blockbuster here said yesterday that it is rolling out an expanded Blu-ray disc inventory for rental to 1,700 Blockbuster stores by mid-July. The company will continue to offer both Blu-ray and HD DVD titles through its online rental service and will offer both formats in the initial 250 stores that currently carry both high-definition formats. With Blu-ray rentals significantly outpacing HD DVD rentals at its stores, the company said it made the decision to expand the number of stores offering the Blu-ray format. "While it is still too early to say which high-definition format will become the industry standard, we will continue to closely monitor customer rental patterns both at our stores and online, so we can adjust our inventory mix accordingly and ensure that Blockbuster is offering customers the most convenient access to the movies they want, in the format they want,” said Matthew Smith, senior vice president of merchandising for Blockbuster.
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