The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) announced that the majority of the computer industry, including Apple, now supports the Blu-ray high definition DVD format, according to Designtechnica. Nearly 90 percent of the consumer electronics (CE) industry, seven of the major film studios, are also on board. The only major holdout is Microsoft.
Andy Parson, Senior Vice President of Advanced Product Development for Pioneer Electronics, stated "Currently, DVD has 50,000 titles presently available, and both formats will co-exist for several years to come with new [Blue-ray Disc] players supporting both formats."
Blu-ray compatible DVD players are slated for a spring 2006 release, and will support the current DVD standard, along with the the Blu-ray standard. Blu-ray also has the added benefit of storing substantially larger amounts of data than the competing standard, and Microsoft favorite, HD DVD.
Another bonus of Blu-ray is that users wonit have to flip discs over based in the format they want to play. HD DVD, in contrast, stores standard DVD content on one side of the disc, and HD DVD content on the other. The BDA also stated that an Internet connection will not be required to play digital rights management protected discs.
A downside for both Blu-ray and HD DVD players is that they will not be compatible with each other.
Having so many players on board with Blu-ray is good news for consumers. Early on in the battle for the next-generation DVD format, it looked like consumers would have to wait years to see who the true winner would be. Now that HD DVD has only a small minority of supporters, consumers may feel more confident purchasing Blu-ray DVD players when the roll out next spring.
HD DVD suffered another blow when its developer, Toshiba, announced that it is delaying the release of the technology while it works out issues surrounding copy protection. An article at CIO Today notes that the original release, scheduled for the end of 2005, has been pushed back to spring of 2006. Moving the release date back puts HD DVDis debut closer to Blu-ray, leaving less time for HD DVD to gain a foot-hold.