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Saturday, August 13, 2005

HD DVD offensive starting to crack, Blu-ray gets ammo

HD DVD offensive starting to crack, Blu-ray gets ammo

"In the battle between HD DVD and Blu-ray, HD DVD proponents have been counting on a Holiday 2005 launch to get a leg up on Sony, whose Blu-ray spec isn't expected to materialize before mid-2006. Now, however, it looks like the launch will be less of a coup than expected. According to the Wall Street Journal, the studios who had planned to embrace HD DVD this holiday season are scaling back their plans to have HD DVD movies on shelves. Paramount Pictures, for instance, has nixed their plans for holiday releases entirely, although they have not indicated that they are bailing out of HD DVD altogether. NBC Universal will be releasing some HD DVD titles, but they have scaled their release back 25 percent. As of today, no other HD DVD titles have been announced.

The Journal also speculates that Toshiba will likely be the only company to bring a HD DVD player to market during the holiday season, and with an expected price circa US$1,000, it's unclear how many will fly off shelves immediately. If the launch is only accompanied by 12 titles from NBC Universal, most people will play the waiting game.

Sony, Disney, and now News Corp's Twentieth Century Fox have all committed to Blu-ray, and have no plans to sell HD DVD products. Sony gained Twentieth Century Fox just last week when the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) reportedly agreed to add watermarking technology to the spec. This has kicked off a round of sniping between Blu-ray and HD DVD proponents over which solution is more secure. The debate is a bit strange because the two solutions use largely the exact same core tech, namely the Advanced Access Content System (AACS)." [more]

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