MGM has joinedthe Blu-ray Disc camp and plans to begin releasing film and television titlesfrom its library on the new high definition DVD format.

Yesterday'sannouncement hardly came as a surprise given that Sony led the consortium thatacquired MGM and is one of Blu-ray's chief backers.

Blu-ray iscurrently locked in an emerging technology war with Toshiba's HD DVD formatthat has sparked frantic jockeying for position among the US majors.

Both formats arescheduled to launch in North America early next year. Warner Bros and Paramountwill release content for both formats, while Sony, Disney and Fox have come outin favour of Blu-ray. Universal top brass have said they will support the HDDVD format exclusively.

'MGM'sfocus has always been to provide movie lovers complete access to the world'slargest modern film library in the most technologically advanced formats,' MGM Studios chairman andchief executive officer commented Harry Sloan said.

'Adopting this newBlu-ray technology, with its expanded storage capacity and increasedinteractive capabilities, allows us to continue to provide our customers withthe best movie viewing experience available.'