“Paramount is poised to drop its support of HD-DVD following Warner Brothers’ recent backing of Sony’s Blu-ray technology, in a move that could sound the death knell of HD-DVD and bring the home entertainment format war to a definitive end,” Matthew Garrahan and Mariko Sanchanta report for The Financial Times.

MacDailyNews Take: And yet another defeat for Microsoft. MS couldn’t manage to shove DRM-laden WMA down the market’s throat, their tired and bloated WIndows platform is losing share to Apple’s superior Mac, and now they’ve failed at pushing the inferior HD DVD over Blu-ray, but, boy, do they have a Big Ass Table (with which to divert attention from their myriad failures; not yet shipping, of course)! Pizza Huts’ tabletop Ms. Pac Man machines cower in fear.

“Paramount and DreamWorks Animation, which makes the Shrek films, came out in support of HD-DVD last summer, joining General Electric’s Universal Studios as the main backers of the Toshiba format,” Garrahan and Sanchanta report. “However, Paramount, which is owned by Viacom, is understood to have a clause in its contract with the HD-DVD camp that would allow it to switch sides in the event of Warner backing Blu-ray, according to people familiar with the situation.”

“It is unclear whether DreamWorks Animation has the same get-out clause in its contract with the HD-DVD camp. However, Paramount and DreamWorks have a close relationship, with Paramount distributing DreamWorks Animation films,” Garrahan and Sanchanta report. “The two companies also signed their HD-DVD contracts at the same time.”

“Meanwhile, Universal has declined to comment on its next- generation DVD plans following the Warner move,” Garrahan and Sanchanta report.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Too Hot!” and “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]