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Panasonic reaffirms faith in Blu-ray technology

Panasonic's upcoming disc player will play Blu-ray discs exclusively, a decision that follows recent defections from the Blu-ray camp by Hewlett-Packard and LG Electronics.

Executives at Matsushita's Panasonic on Tuesday voiced support for Blu-ray, one of two competing technologies battling to become the next standard for DVDs.

The nod to Blu-ray comes after LG and Hewlett-Packard decided to release products that will embrace both Blu-ray and rival HD DVD formats.

Reid Sullivan, Panasonic's vice president of merchandising, told Reuters that the company didn't see a need to adopt both technologies when designing it's new disc player.

"We think adoption will be strong, based on broad support. For the first 12 months, we expect 4 million to 5 million units to be sold beginning in May and across all platforms, including standalones, computers and gaming systems," said Sullivan said.

The clash of the two sciences has split Hollywood studios and electronics makers. Analysts have predicted that competing formats will only serve to confuse the public and lead to financial losses for both sides.

Consumers who buy an HD DVD player may be frustrated when they realize that the machines won't play Blu-ray discs.