Apple and Microsoft showdown over Blu-ray vs. HD DVD?

“It seems that everywhere you turn these days the age old feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys of the personal computing world, Apple and Microsoft, is resurfacing. In this epoch, however, the battlefield is not just desktop computing but online entertainment, whether it be music downloads or high definition video,” Stan Beer reports for iTWire.

“Microsoft has already publicly declared its hand in the high definition video war, lining up firmly behind the Toshiba led HD DVD camp. The software giant turned games console maker plans to incorporate HD DVD into its Xbox 360 platform in direct opposition to games console king and Blu-ray champion Sony,” Beer reports.

“Meanwhile, Apple has kept a relatively low profile in the building optical disc war as far as the general consumer public is concerned. In fact, however, Apple has already declared its hand. Apple is board member of the Blu-ray Disc Association. This, as others have pointed out, would suggest very strongly that Blu-ray players will be a feature of future Macintosh computers,” Beer reports.

“Apple, which has always been a technology driven company, appears to be in the Blu-ray camp and, given its once again growing influence in the home computer market, will, like Sony PlayStation 3, be a critical driver of Blu-ray going forward,” Beer reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced on March 10, 2005 that Apple was “pleased to join the Blu-ray Disc Association board as part of our efforts to drive consumer adoption of HD.”

According to The Blu-ray Disc Association’s website, HD DVD’s pre-recorded capacities are 15 GB for a single layer disc, or 30 GB for a double layer disc. Blu-ray Disc provides 67% more capacity per layer at 25 GB for a single layer and 50GB for a double layer disc. It’s par for the course that Apple backs the superior format while Microsoft supports the inferior one.

It does, however, bear noting that Apple is playing both sides of the fence in a wait and see mode. According to a press release from April 17, 2005, “Apple is committed to both emerging high definition DVD standards—Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD. Apple is an active member of the DVD Forum which developed the HD DVD standard, and last month joined the Board of Directors of the Blu-ray Disc Association.”

Related articles:
Ricoh creates ‘universal’ optical disk lens; reads and writes Blu-ray, HD DVD, DVD, and CD – July 10, 2006
Blu-ray Disc blank media hits U.S. shelves – May 22, 2006
Blu-ray Disk Associaton: we’ll win DVD format war over HD-DVD – May 12, 2006
RUMOR: Apple asks studios to include iPod video content on Blu-ray discs – April 25, 2006
Sony postpones PlayStation 3 release until November due to Blu-ray delay – March 15, 2006
Broadcom announces decoder chip that plays both Blu-ray and HD DVD – January 03, 2006
Forrester Research: Apple-backed Blu-ray will win over Microsoft-backed HD DVD – October 20, 2005
BusinessWeek: ‘it looks as if HD DVD’s days are numbered’ – October 07, 2005
China to develop own as-yet-unnamed DVD format; Blu-ray vs. HD DVD vs ? – October 07, 2005
Paramount’s decision gives Blu-ray slight lead over HD DVD in next gen DVD format war – October 04, 2005
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


  1. I’d rather have the larger capacity of Blu-Ray for backing up hard drives. A terabyte of photos = a whole hell of a lot of DVD-Rs. I’d rather burn 40 Blu-Ray disks than 67 HD-DVDs. Wondering how blank media prices are going to shake out, though.

  2. I have read M$ wrote the drivers for HD-DVD, so they will receive royalties for each drive. Drivers for blu-ray are open source.

    M$ is not backing HD-DVD because they believe it to be the best technology—they are backing another revenue stream.

  3. Most of the Hollywood studios are releasing on Blu-Ray and only a couple are behind HD-DVD.

    quoter: Care to back up your statement that PS3 is “likely to fail”? It couldn’t do much worse than Xbox 360 (which in any event will have a hastily cobbled together add-on solution for HD-DVD, unlike PS3’s integrated Blu-Ray).

  4. If you are choosing between an HD-DVD player for $500, or a game console with a Blu-ray drive for $500, which would you choose?

    The PS3 is going to put millions of Blu-ray drives into homes.

    IMO, that will be the beginning of the end for the format war.

  5. “@bambi:

    AAC wins. Look at the facts.

    And BTW, “Don’t talk nonsense about something you know nothing about.””

    No shit, I was being irnoic. I was using that as an example to show that HD-DVD is better.

  6. sorry, that post above was written by me in response to rasterbator.

    PS3 WILL fail! Anyone who gives a shit about videogames (I don’t even care that much about them) knows this. $500 for a bound to be obsolete machine (doesn’t have HDMI on the $500 version) and $600 for a box that plays horrible games is not going to sell very well. Everyone knows that you can buy a Wii and a 360 for the same price, and everyone knows that everyone is going to go for the Wii. Japanese know this, stockbrokers know this, developers know this, fans know this, even the president of Sony knew this and quit!
    Sony keeps digging further and further to their grave with statements like “The PS3 will end the need for a PC.”…yeah, i’m sure. The only people that are going to buy that crap are ignorant asses who think $600 for a crap console with a BD player is a ‘steal’. PSPs suck, Nintendos DS already stole the show for that. But perhaps, and hopefully you’re right. Hopefully PS3 will sell out on launch, and I can pick one up and sell them for 3x the already outrageous price on ebay.

    and again, to Rasterbator, you’re an idiot for not seeing my obvious sarcasm about the AAC post.

  7. Much better article here:

    Quote: “All the signs here at Ars point to an even longer wait. The significant cost and disappointing performance of products on the market now hardly make a jump to Blu-ray compelling to even the most technology-starved professional user. The Mac Pro is already going to be a very expensive machine given Intel’s pricing structure and the cost of the new chips. Not many individuals are going to be lining up to pay an extra US$1000 for the privilege of of a drive whose media is in short supply and reliability is in question. Sony’s much-lauded PS3 release is further likely to bottleneck Blu-ray components for a few more months, driving prices even higher. If all these concerns weren’t enough, all the way back in November, Steve Jobs was already taking a rather cautious stance on Blu-ray. Even with Apple’s history of embracing emerging media, they may opt to sit this one out for a round or so.

    When Blu-ray does ship, it probably will be in the warm embrace of Pro machines, but that’s unlikely to happen anytime within the next year.”

    —> I totally agree with that – particularly the last two statements. There is *no* hurry for Apple to enter the fray yet. Let it play out. I believe it will be Blu-ray, but it’s just not a *necessity* at this stage in the game. Let prices fall and media availabilty become more prevalent – then ship.

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