Blu-ray steps up the fight in HD format war

29th Aug 2007 | 23:00

Blu-ray steps up the fight in HD format war

But is it all just a load of hot air?

The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) has once again proclaimed the Blu-ray disc format to be the future industry HD standard.

At a fairly non-eventful press conference at this year's IFA Expo in Berlin , Frank Simonis, President of the BDA, rolled out a host of Hollywood studio bosses to sing Blu-ray's praises.

250,000 sales for Blu-ray

"Blu-ray Disc holds a commanding 90 per cent plus share of the HD market in Japan," said David Walstra of Sony, who also serves as VP at the BDA. "This is a significant position that Blu-ray disc has in Japan and it is mirrored in Europe and the USA," he said.

Walstra scrolled through a number of presentation slides designed to show how Blu-ray is beating HD DVD in "all sections of the market" including in software sales and hardware sales. He even made a big deal of the fact that total BD sales across Europe have just gone past the 250,000 milestone.

But does this really mean anything? On a continent with 900 million residents, 250,000 Blu-ray disc sales is an absolutely minuscule number. We should stop thinking of Blu-ray vs. HD DVD as a format 'war'. At the moment it's just some loud shouting.

"Blu-ray will win"

Much like the Blu-ray event at CES in January, executives from the likes of Walt Disney, Warner, Sony Pictures and 20th Century Fox, stepped up to the microphone to say how great the Blu-ray format is, and how excited we should all be about all the movies they have coming out.

Blu-ray is exciting. So is HD DVD. But a Blu-ray conference, talking about Blu-ray, is hardly going to change anybody's mind. Now that both formats are out there and building a user-base, it's time for the consumers to decide who wins. Or if there even should be a winner.

A short film was also shown in which Hollywood directors Eli Roth ( Hostel) and Martin Campbell ( Casino Royale) spoke through the lens of a camera, gushing about how great Blu-ray is for movie-makers. (Have they tried HD DVD? We think they'd probably be quite impressed with that format too.)

So: will Blu-ray beat HD DVD? No one really knows. But one thing's for sure, all this Blu-ray/HD DVD posturing is nowhere near being over. To be honest, it's starting to get a little tedious.

Tech.co.uk will be speaking exclusively to BDA President Frank Simonis on Saturday, so expect more then.

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