Forrester: Blu-ray winning drawn-out format war

Sony’s Blu-ray format for next-generation DVD drives will win over Toshiba’s rival HD DVD format, analyst firm Forrester predicted Wednesday–but it won’t be a quick victory.

Another report on this – but this one has some more info that is interesting:

Also on Wednesday, Blu-ray backer Hewlett-Packard said it has appealed to the group to incorporate two HD DVD features: mandatory “managed copy,” which will mean consumers will always be allowed to copy movies to their computers’ hard drives, and iHD, a Microsoft-designed technology for interactive features.

“Managed Copy” is one of the features of AACS, that both BD and HD-DVD use. But it seems the difference is HD-DVD has made it mandatory for all content, while it is optional for BD. This is the biggest reason MS and Intel backed HD-DVD – it allows copying content off the disc onto a hard drive to use on a media server, etc. Of course they have a vested interest – and PC makers, like HP, would benefit too. I think mandatory managed copy would actually be a good thing.

iHD seems more like a sop to MS, and perhaps Toshiba. Since they developed iHD (yay, another new platform, just what we needed) and it is part of HD-DVD, adding managed copy and iHD to BD would make MS happy, and probably get their official backing. And it might help convince Toshiba to drop HD-DVD since it’d give them some intellectual property in BD. Of course, it would complicate all BD systems by having to support BD-Java and iHD.

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  • cbeveridge

    iHD stuff:

    1) It’s free basically. MSFT is dropping it into the patent pool and isn’t making anything on it. They do get advantages from it but it’s been developed by them and others, including Sony, so getting that in there is a good thing. It’s also supposedly very easy to develop for.

    2) It’d get the albatross of BD-J off of Blu-Ray. The thing is hella-expensive (3-6$ per piece of hardware for patent) and it’s been delayed continually and is still behind schedule and could affect the spring launch.

  • megazone

    The thing is, it seems very unlikely that they’d drop BD-J at this point in the game. If they add iHD I’m certain we’d see *both* required.

    Maybe adding iHD isn’t so bad – and I think it is probably the right thing to do for politicla reasons – but I don’t think it will replace BD-J.