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HD format war a dead heat

March 9th, 2007 · No Comments

According to Paramount consultant Vito Mandato, claims that the format war between and is effectively over have been exaggerated. Speaking at the recent DisplaySearch Flat Panel Conference, he said “Some studio chiefs have claimed to have won, but quite honestly the war continues.”
Mandato gave an industry presentation that predicted both formats will end the year in a dead heat, each with a population of 1.7 million users. Mandato suggested only 22 per cent of PS3 owners will transpire to be regular Blu-ray movie buyers, giving an active BD population of 1.2 million consoles. This will be supported by sales of 500,000 dedicated BD players.
Conversely, he predicts that the HD DVD camp will be able to call on 1.2 million dedicated decks and 500,000 HD DVD drives.
The latest Nielsen VideoScan data concludes that sales of Blu-ray movies accounted for more than 60 per cent of the HD packaged media market during January. The format’s gains are being attributed solely to the steady roll-out of PlayStation 3 games console.
Mandato argues that with BD format backers owning the rights to the majority of box office hits from 2006, a concerted effort to release those movies could prove decisive. “If the Blu-ray camp can use the power of these movies and some of the other new releases over the next three or four months, they could win. People listen to the opinions of early adopters. If they say, ‘this is my format choice because I’ve got to have these movies,’ it could sway opinion and generate momentum.”
However doubts still remain that HD will capture the public imagination at all. The digital download market is already 10 times the size of the HD packaged media industry, and a recent survey indicated that fewer than 10 per cent of DVD buyers are currently planning to switch to a high def format.

Tags: HD DVD and Blu-ray · High definition TV · Home cinema · Trade

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