LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. said Wednesday it will release movies and other content on the high definition Blu-Ray disc format when that technology launches next year.
The studio joins Sony Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox and The Walt Disney Co. as supporters of one of two next generation DVD formats vying to replace standard DVDs.
Both formats promise increased storage capacity and movie resolution superior enough to get top performance from high-definition television sets. And both would contain stronger anti-piracy protection, a key factor in the studios' haste to adopt a new format.
Supporters of the rival format, HD-DVD, include Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios.
Blu-Ray was developed by Sony Corp., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., which makes the Panasonic brand, and Philips Electronics NV. HD-DVD was developed by electronics makers Toshiba Corp. and NEC Corp.
HD-DVD players and films are expected to be available by the end of the year. Blu-Ray players and films are expected to be available in North America sometime next year.
Studios and consumer electronics makers are hoping to avoid a format war that would leave consumers confused and unwilling to upgrade to the new equipment needed to play high definition discs. Such a war ensued when the competing Betamax and VHS videocassette formats were introduced, and it was blamed for slowing consumer acceptance of videocassette recorders.
Industry officials are pushing this time for both sides to reach a compromise. Source