Two major video rental chains, Video Ezy and Blockbuster, have announced a partnership with Sony designed to educate customers about the Blu-ray format.
Over 200 stores around the country will be fitted with stands featuring PlayStation 3s, Sony's BDP-S300 Blu-ray players and Bravia TVs, as well as educational content. Most of the featured stores will make BDs (Blu-ray discs) available for rental, while some will also sell the discs.
The two chains began installing the stands on the weekend with the last store expected to be fitted out by 15 December.
In June, Blockbuster in the US announced it would only rent Blu-ray discs, and not HD DVDs, in its 1,700 company-owned stores.
Video Ezy aims to promote the format across TV, radio, direct mail, catalogues, mobile and online mediums, while Blockbuster will concentrate on print and online channels.
"We endeavour to sell to demand -- at this stage Blu-ray is clearly the leading HD format and industry data backs that up. The future will depend on hardware sales catering to either format and we will move with those trends," Richard Clutsom, General Manager, Buying, at Video Ezy said.
However, availability of Blu-ray disks still continues to lag behind DVD, with Sony Pictures -- for example -- only publishing 51 of its titles in the format.