Says sales of Hollywood movies now outstrip HD DVD
The Blu-ray standards group claimed today that it has overtaken HD DVD in terms of sales of Hollywood movies and that it now has a clear advantage over its bitter rival.
Despite HD DVD having a healthy year compared to Blu-ray, which suffered a number of setbacks, the camp said it enjoyed a strong final quarter for 2006, which saw a number of players being released. Sales of Blu-ray films released by the major Hollywood studios surpassed those in HD DVD by the end of December, the group claimed.
With LG’s hybrid Blu-ray/HD DVD player it now has seven Blu-ray players available in the US, including Sony’s Playstation 3 which is not yet being sold in Europe.
The group claimed it had three key advantages over HD DVD, including the available content (Hollywood movies being sold in the Blu-ray format), its hardware and the PS3.
Seven of the eight major Hollywood studios sell films in the Blu-ray format, of which five are exclusive to the standard. Nineteen of the top 20 selling movies last year are available in Blu-ray it added.
HD DVD players are cheaper to buy than Blu-ray, and the format took an early lead. But with more players now available, the group’s chair Alan Parsons said competition would drive down Blu-ray prices.
Asked if there was an end in sight to the format war, which the Consumer Electronics Association has said has hindered HD sales, Parsons commented: “It’s just a matter of time.” He believed consumers would plump for Blu-ray not because of its claimed technical advantages but because there were more movies available in the format.
With Warner Bros about to launch a dual format disc, LG launching a dual format player and consumers having already shown in the music market that they are willing to accept lower quality downloads for their convenience, many of the arguments over which standard is superior may well be irrelevant to the average user.
And the hybrid technologies are sure to attract consumers concerned about plumping for one standard over the other as they move to high definition content. Parsons said the Blu-ray group welcomed LG’s player, but did not believe it would damage Blu-ray take up or its development.
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