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The HD format war is over and Blu-Ray has won

January 6, 2008

Vista busy cursor It looks like the second of my “Eight for 2008” is coming true, and all before most people have taken their festive decorations down.

Sheffield Wednesday’s jammy New Year’s Day win over Preston NE meant my “thing no. 8” had come to pass. Friday’s announcement from Warner signals the same for my “thing no. 4”.

If you refer back to my table of which studio supports which format you will see that Warner were the only studio still supporting both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, with most of the others having plumped for Blu-Ray only.

Warner having come off the fence in favour of Blu-Ray is the killer blow for HD-DVD. It is all over bar the shouting. It is the decisive development which will signal to consumers that they may as well dip their toe into the market and buy a Blu-Ray player.

Personally I am delighted we have a winner. I didn’t greatly care who won, just that we should have an end to this nonsensical format war that was destroying the market for everyone.

Having said that, one downside of Blu-Ray winning out is that Blu-Ray has retained the absurd and irritating region coding system, whereas HD-DVD was region-free. Having said that, the first Blu-Ray region hacks are starting to appear.

Another downside is that Blu-Ray players are more expensive, but prices will surely start to come down now.

Blu-Ray is though the more technologically advanced and more capacious format.

I note, by the way, that (in the UK at least) physical video rental shops are stocking Blu-Ray. HD-DVD is not getting a look-in.

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