Dell, HP Reiterate Support for Blu-Ray

On Tuesday, Microsoft and Intel publicly expressed their support for HD-DVD, the latest shot in the battle between that format and Blu-Ray, the one that Apple is behind. Dell and Hewlett-Packard, two of the companies also in the latter camp, on Thursday reiterated their support for Blu-Ray and cited inaccurate statements issued by Microsoft and Intel.

With battle lines drawn months before either next-generation DVD format is expected to ship, the financial stakes in this war grow daily. The prizes include not only the type of drives used in upcoming computers and videogame consoles but also the preferred format for movies, games and other content.

To that end, HPis general manager of personal storage, Maureen Weber, said in a statement: "From a PC end-user perspective, Blu-Ray is a superior format. It offers 67-150% more storage capacity, higher transfer rates, slim-line notebook compatibility, broadband connectivity and a proven interactive layer with BD-Java."

The Blu-Ray Disc Association (BDA) noted in its press release that its discs can hold 50GB of data, 67% more than HD-DVDis standard discs and 150% more than HD-DVDis recordable format. The BDA also touted the ability of Blu-Ray hybrid discs to hold standard- and high-definition versions of a movie as well as the formatis use of BD-Java rather than Microsoftis iHD, the interactivity layer that will be used in HD-DVD.

Both of the new DVD formats are backwards compatible with older DVDs, assuming the players include red lasers, and both offer more restrictive copy protection than current DVDs, which saw their protection scheme cracked a few years ago.

Apple came forward with its support of Blu-Ray this past March. Other companies on board with the format include Hitachi, LG Electronics, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Pioneer, Royal Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, TDK, Thomson, Twentieth Century Fox and Disney.

While Blu-Ray has more support among hardware manufacturers, HD-DVDis backers include Paramount Home Entertainment, Warner Home Video and Universal Pictures, which puts a good chunk of the film industry behind that format.