Weekend news roundup: 7-9 December

Warner Bros may be siding with Blu-ray before we know it

After months of speculation, it looks like Warner Bros may finally become an exclusive Blu-ray backer. If Warner does join the Blu-ray camp, it will be for one main reason: that most studios support Blu-ray over HD DVD already. That's according to a report from BusinessWeek that cites its own findings as well as comments made by Lions Gate Studios.

"The rumour is that Warner is coming aboard soon," says Michael Burns, vice chairman of studio Lionsgate Film Studios, which makes its movies available on Blu-ray. "That will make it awfully tough for HD DVD to stay in this game."

Sony influence

Perhaps most enticing to Warner, according to the report, is Sony's control over the current-generation DVD market. As of right now, Sony commands 49 per cent of the US market. If Warner is coaxed aboard, Sony and its allies would represent 70 per cent of the entire DVD market, strengthening the hand of Blu-ray in the immediate future.

Even more of an issue for Warner, which has continually pushed for a single format, is the state of the market if it were to side with HD DVD instead. According to the report, this would split the industry down the middle and most likely cause the high-def format war to last much longer than originally anticipated.

AMD unveils new video card

AMD on Friday unveiled a new graphics card that will be the first to feature a native DisplayPort connection. Dubbed the RV635 XT, the graphics card's DisplayPort connection should eventually replace DVI and VGA connections.

Moreover, it could become a viable contender for HDMI because of its ability to pump out 24-bit, eight-channel audio. AMD did not release any specifications for the device, nor did it announce pricing or availability, but promised more details soon.

In other news...

Nokia has unveiled two new stereo headsets - the WH-600 and WH-700 - that will allow you to connect them to a Nokia mobile phone and listen to MP3s until a call comes in. When that happens, you will be transferred to the call and the song will pause so you can pick up where you left off.

Nokia did not announce any pricing or availability for the headsets, but more details should be known at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.