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Report: Draw Expected in Format War

12 Aug, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Neither HD DVD nor rival Blu-ray Disc is projected to become the heir apparent to DVD this year, according to an entertainment study by London-based media research firm Screen Digest.

The report, “HD DVD, Blu-ray Disc and the Future of Home Entertainment: A Strategic Analysis,” stated that by 2010, one-third, or $11 billion, of the anticipated $39 billion in total consumer spending on packaged media would be spent on high-definition formats.

“The net result of the format war and publicity it has generated will be to dampen consumer appetite for the whole high-definition disc category,” said Ben Keen, chief analyst with Screen Digest.

Keen said that scenario was one of four probable outcomes for the format war. Others included HD DVD and Blu-ray separately becoming the dominant format and/or a stalemate occurring between the formats resulting in the development of a hybrid format similar to recordable DVD.

“Given the vested interests on either side, we believe that the most likely outcome at present is that the two formats will co-exist until they give way to affordable dual-format solutions,” Keen said.

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