December 09, 2004

Format Wars Blu-Ray and HD-DVD

Walt Disney supports Blu-Ray. Hollywood is evenly divided now on format.

From Silicon Valley -- Looks like the Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD format war is really heating up. Barely a week after Warner, Universal and Paramount announced their support for the HD-DVD format, Walt Disney and its Buena Vista Home Entertainment division joined Sony's Columbia Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, throwing their support behind Blu-ray. The move, announced late yesterday, means that the major Hollywood studios are evenly divided between the two formats. Only News Corp.'s Twentieth Century Fox has yet to pick a side, and it will no doubt do so soon. And that's when the battle will begin in earnest. Together, the HD-DVD supporters control about 45 percent of DVD market in the States. The Blu-ray backers control 36 percent. When Twentieth Century Fox commits, it will bring an additional 11 percent of the market to the camp it chooses. If that camp happens to be Blu-ray, my guess is this battle will be over very quickly. After all, the Blu-ray coalition includes most of the industry's largest consumer-electronics and computer makers -- a key reason why Disney decided to go with it instead of HD-DVD. Said Bob Chapek, president of Buena Vista Home Entertainment: "The reality is that this format war is not going to be won by content alone but in combination with the support from the DVD player manufacturers, who by sheer number vastly support the Blu-ray format."

Posted by Craig at December 9, 2004 07:13 PM