Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The demise of HD DVD?

Without wanting to sound too premature about the possible demise of the HD DVD High Definition format, more bad news continues to suggest that its rival Blu-ray may well emerge as the dominant format.

This week, the market research group Gartner indicated that it believed that the format war would be resolved in 2008 with Blu-ray emerging as the victor. It also suggested that Toshiba's strategy of cutting HD DVD player prices would simply delay the inevitable.

HD DVD was dealt what many believe to be a fatal blow earlier this month with the announcement from Warner Brothers that it would no longer be producing HD DVD versions of its films. With around 20% of all DVD sales, the big Hollywood studio's decision was certainly a huge set back for the HD DVD format.

More bad news for HD DVD has emerged this week in the UK with Woolworths announcing that it would no longer be offering HD DVD films in its stores after March this year. The stores decision is based on Blu-ray outselling its rival 10:1 over the Christmas period, with a company spokesperson pointing to the fact that the 750,000 (Blu-ray playing) PS3's in the UK give the format a significantly larger user base than HD DVD.

If a single format emerges, it will be good news for consumers who up until this point have been reluctant to commit to High Definition DVD, and for the industry in general which will surely see an explosion in public interest. Barry Meyer, chairman of Warner Bros had previously warned that "the window of opportunity for high-definition DVD could be missed if format confusion continues to linger,"

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