News You Can Use?

The one on top gets heavier every day ...In the wake of Warner’s earth-shattering announcement that it would be abandoning the HD DVD format in May, the geekweb is afire with a new rumor — reported in the Financial Times late on Monday — that Paramount Home Entertainment will use the shift in the format war to resume releasing Blu-ray titles about a year before the end of its 18-month exclusivity deal with HD DVD.

Yesterday, Paramount refuted the rumor … sort of. As reported on, according to spokeswoman Brenda Ciccone, “Paramount’s current plan is to continue to support the HD DVD format.”

Now, as Engadget HD points out, the operative word there is “current”. As in “right now”. As in “while we’re talking”. As in “until something else becomes the current plan”. I’m no fan of giving rumors any more credence than they deserve, but that specific phrasing practically screams out to be noticed.

Also somewhat screamy: Paramount just announced that it’s pushing back the release of its next two major titles, “Into the Wild” and “Things We Lost in the Fire”, from February 12th to March 4th. That could simply be an Oscar-related rescheduling decision … or an attempt to give the studio enough time to produce BD versions to ship alongside the standard and HD DVD editions.

One wonders.