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Research Firm: Blu-ray Win Inevitable

28 Jan, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey

Technology research and advisory firm Gartner is calling a Blu-ray Disc victory inevitable, with an analyst saying the decision by Warner Bros. to go exclusively with Blu-ray will make HD DVD throw in the towel by the end of the year.

In a brief published in Gartner's Semiconducter DQ Monday Report, analyst Hiroyuki Shimizu noted that Toshiba is staying in the game by reducing prices on standalone players, but studio support for the competition may be too much to overcome.

“While officially announced as price cuts, this move from Toshiba is an attempt to back up the HD DVD format after the loss [of Warner],” Shimizu wrote. “Warner's shift from producing in both formats to Blu-ray alone has left HD DVD with just Paramount Home Entertainment and Universal Studios Home Entertainment as its major Hollywood supporters, both of which account for only 30% of all high-def movies.

“The movement was sufficiently damaging as to force the HD DVD Promotional Group to postpone, and then ultimately cancel, its CES keynote session. There is still a lot of support for HD DVD as the de facto standard, from companies such as Paramount, Universal Studios and even Microsoft. However, Gartner believes that Toshiba's price-cutting may prolong HD DVD's life a little, but the limited lineup of film titles will inflict fatal damage on the format. Gartner expects that, by the end of 2008, Blu-ray will be the winning format in the consumer market, and the war will be over.”

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