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Apple Throws Its Weight Behind Blu-ray Disc

10 Mar, 2005 By: Kurt Indvik

Apple has joined the Blu-ray Disc Association's (BDA) board of directors, it was announced today.

The announcement means that the computer giant will throw its considerable technological and marketing weight behind the development of the Blu-ray format, said spokespeople for the BDA.

While the Blu-ray format would have been compatible for Macintosh users, Apple's involvement in the BDA means that the introduction of Blu-ray technology into Mac systems will happen that much faster, and likely with a higher degree of user friendliness, said Josh Peterson, a BDA spokesperson and HP's director of strategic alliances in the optical storage solutions group. HP is a member company on the BDA board.

“They've had a long history of innovation in optical-disc technology,” Peterson said regarding Apple. “They were one of the first to incorporate DVD writers into PCs, and they have broadened into HD content-creation tools, so this is a natural fit for them to focus on optical media.”

Peterson said Apple plans on lending its “marketing prowess” to actively push Blu-ray and will participate on the BDA's promotions committee.

It was also announced that Apple's QuickTime 7, the next version of the company's media player software, will feature the MPEG developed H. 264/AVC video codec, which has been adopted for high-definition DVDs. QuickTime 7 is expected to arrive sometime during the first half of this year, according to Apple.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs said he sees Apple's participation with the BDA as part of the company's efforts to drive consumer adoption of HD.

“Consumers are already creating stunning HD content with Apple's leading video-editing applications like iMovie HD, and are anxiously awaiting a way to burn their own high-def DVDs,” Jobs said.

The BDA is responsible for establishing format standards for the technical development of Blu-ray Disc and includes more than 100 member companies. The BDA's board includes 16 members from PC, consumer electronics and entertainment companies.

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