The War has Ended

HD DVD and Blu-Ray have been battling to become the pre-eminent format for next-generation DVDs for the last couple of years.

Toshiba had its HD DVD format approved by the DVD Forum back in 2004 and the first products hit the market in the US in April 2006. The same year Sony came out with Blu-ray.

Initially the two formats seemed to have an equal number of backers although there was general dismay in the industry that a new format war could slow down developments of a nascent market and be confusing for consumers.

So what is the big deal? Well the big deal is that is the company’s that distributes the content who will control which format wins. Studios like Disney, Lionsgate, MGM, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and 20th Century Fox. Together these studios represented over 70% of home video market share.

The final battle as it turns out that was the tipping point is when Warner Brothers decided to back Blu-Ray.

Around the same time HD-DVD lost several key retailers like Wal-Mart who announced that it would phase out HD DVD products and chain Best Buy also came down firmly in the Blu-Ray camp. Even Netflix said it would also focus on Blu-Ray.

What does that mean to you when you want to go by a player for your cool HDTV that you got for Christmas? Nothing really, except that it is still expensive and the format will be Blu-Ray. I bet you might be able to pick up a HD-DVD player on the cheap and some discs too. The only downside is that there will never be any new movies on HD-DVD ever again.

So when will the world have forgotten about the HD-DVD format and begin calling Blu-Ray by the same name? I bet really soon, since consumers call things whatever they want even if it is not correct. Coke, means soda weather you want a real Coke, Pepsi, or whatever.