LOS ANGELES (AP) - Three top Hollywood studios are throwing their considerable weight behind one of two competing formats for the next generation of DVDs, citing in part the need to stem piracy.
Paramount Home Entertainment, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros., which includes New Line Cinema and HBO, said Monday that they would start releasing films in the HD-DVD format in time for the holidays next year.
The announcement escalates the battle between HD-DVD, developed by electronics makers Toshiba Corp. and NEC Corp., and Blu-Ray, backed by Sony Corp., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., which makes the Panasonic brand, and Philips Electronics NV.
Monday's announcements are non-exclusive and the companies said they may produce DVDs in both formats if consumers demand it.
But the announcement also put pressure on electronics makers to produce devices that support both of the competing formats.
Privately, entertainment industry executives say they cannot afford a format war and do not want a repeat of the confusion that slowed the early adoption of videocassette recorders when consumers were faced with choosing between Betamax and VHS.
While the Blu-Ray format can store more digital programming than HD-DVD, proponents of the latter say it will be cheaper for manufacturers because it is uses technology that more closely resembles that used in current DVDs.
Read The Rest At Netscape News