Paramount’s decision gives Blu-ray slight lead over HD DVD in next gen DVD format war

“The war over the next-generation DVD standard is playing out full force at a sprawling electronics exhibition opening near Tokyo on Tuesday with Japanese electronics companies on both sides expressing confidence for victory,” Yuri Kageyama reports for The Associated Press. “The CEATEC 2005 exhibition in Chiba, Japan, is opening as the battle escalated a notch after Paramount Pictures, which had previously supported the HD DVD backed by Toshiba, became the first major movie studio to support both rival formats. Matsushita Electric Industrial, which backs Blu-ray Disc, the other technology, is openly gloating. ‘The format war is coming to a close,’ says Matsushita Executive Officer Kazuhiro Tsuga, adding that he is hopeful other Hollywood studios will follow suit. ‘That’s our current scenario.'”

“Until Paramount’s decision, the six major studios had been evenly split between HD DVD and Blu-ray, also backed by Sony… Analysts say it’s way too early to say which side has the advantage in the format wars. ‘There is no decisive lead for either side,’ says Koya Tabata, consumer electronics analyst at Credit Suisse First Boston in Tokyo. Not everyone is going to rush out to buy next-generation DVD products, and the situation is changing every day, although Paramount’s decision seems to be putting Blu-ray slightly ahead, at least for the moment, Tabata says. Complicating the issue is that the consortium backing HD DVD includes chipmaker Intel and software giant Microsoft, but PC makers such as Apple Computer, Hewlett-Packard and Dell are backing Blu-ray,” Kageyama reports.

Full article here.

Related articles:
Record set straight on Blu-ray Disc Association’s superior high definition format – September 29, 2005
Microsoft backs cheaper, less sophisticated, lower capacity HD DVD over Apple-backed Blu-ray format – September 27, 2005
Twentieth Century Fox joins Apple, Dell, HP, others to support Blu-ray Disc format – July 29, 2005
Poll shows Apple-backed Blu-ray preferred by consumers over HD DVD for next-gen DVD standard – July 14, 2005
Microsoft allies with Toshiba on HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray Disc backers Apple and Sony – June 27, 2005
Apple joins Blu-ray Disc Association Board of Directors – March 10, 2005

21 Comments

  1. It’s all about VC-1 for Microsoft. It’ll back whatever format includes their codec. This has ramifications beyond disc formats. It includes what MSOs will use beyond MPEG-2 for compression to their STBs, too.

  2. I’m o.k. with either format if they can bring the cost of DVDs down. Oh yes, and as long as no one decides to try to bring back “smell-o-vision” either (a scene from Blazing Saddles and one from The Shawshank Redemption come to mind). ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”shock” style=”border:0;” />

  3. HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray is a war that will not be won by any computer industry.

    Which ever format the Porn industry decides on will win. Simple as that. So unless Blu-ray gets in line on cost HD-DVD has already won. Time will tell what the porn industry will do. But since I don’t watch I don’t really care as long as my superdrive will work I don’t care.

  4. to apaterso:

    What are you smoking?

    Porn has no dictation of where the technology goes… It’s a billion dollar business, but has no say. They’ll follow with whatevers in at the time.

  5. Nice1, but I think the computer industry does hold a lot of clout here. I mean, I bet there are almost as many computers as their are dvd players out there, and computers will lead the charge here. If computers have blu-ray first, then why shouldn’t blu-ray players for television follow suit?

  6. Perhaps if Dell and HP want Blu-ray support in their machines, they will have to choose another OS than MS Vista.

    maybe Jobs would cave in and license OSX to them and Apple will move further into the Entertainment arena and start a music label.

  7. Like it or not the porn industry had a lot to do with VHS “beating” Beta. Circumstances are different now in that mainstream movies are widely distributed by DVD whereas when porn picked VHS we didn’t have Blockbuster. But, porn might be slow to adopt new DVD standards if it doesn’t help their “bottom” line.

  8. apaterso & JJ-

    apaterso has a valid point.

    The porn industry has, in fact, been an early adopter and leader in many technological adoptions.

    Look at the history:

    – The Internet companies that had porn were some of the first to be profitable. In addition, it is quite a cottage industry for smaller content players.

    – Laserdiscs & DVDs: yup… porn was a pioneer for this media.

    – Pay-per-view programming: the giggest hotel chains and cable companies both can claim that adult entertainment count for the lion’s share of revenue.

    We may not be proud of it… but there is a great deal of validitity to the arguement.

  9. Though I agree the porn argument is definitely a factor I think backwards compatibility may be even more of a factor. Back in the Beta/VHS wars that wasn’t an issue as they was no legacy products i.e. video tape

    People have their DVD collections and they’ve spent a lot of money on them. No one’s going to want their whole Simpsons or Sopranos or whatever collection to become obsolete.

    From what I understand that’s the real problem with BluRay. The machines won’t be able to play old DVDs. If they can get around that, then BluRay is the obvious choice. If not…

  10. One point should be made about Microsoft’s “support” of HD-DVD. So far that “support” consists of them making a statement along the lines of “HD-DVD all the way! That’s the format we like!” There’s no action behind the words. They’re not even including HD-DVD in the XBox360, at least not at first.

    Microsoft’s HD-DVD “support” is little more than a no-risk political play.

  11. To me. it was obvious that Apple would adopt Blu-Ray because Apple has had a past of forcing it customer base to buy new computers by forcing new technology. If the industry goes Blu-ray, your superdrive WILL NOT Work and you will have to buy a new G6 or whatever. HD DVD works with DVD players now, and you don’t have to build whole new factories to manufacture them.

    HD DVD is cheaper, has about the same storage space, and requires relatively little modification to existing manufacturing processes.

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