BusinessWeek: Amazon.com will begin selling high-definition independent films in the HD DVD format through its on-demand DVD printing service, the company said late Sunday.
The Web retailer said it will waive processing fees for the first 1,000 films it accepts for production by its CustomFlix Labs subsidiary. Microsoft will supply the necessary technology — VC1 high-def video encoding software and the HDi program used to package the film and extra features on the disk.
Microsoft’s Amir Majidimehr, corporate vice president for the consumer media technology group, said 90 percent of HD DVDs use Microsoft’s encoding and interactive programs, and that Amazon’s support could help extend the format’s reach.
“We believe in this format. We’re really committed to HD DVD,” he said.
With CustomFlix, when a customer buys a movie, it kicks off an automated process that copies the film onto a disk and puts together the packaging on the spot. The company did not provide details as to how many customers have used CustomFlix to buy on-demand DVDs, or how much an on-demand HD DVD might cost.
The Web retailer currently offers more than 300 HD DVD titles for sale on its site, and more than 400 that use the competing Blu-ray DVD format championed by Sony.