ITPro: With HD DVD on the verge of being dropped, we chart the battle between it and Blu-ray as the two formats battled for market share.
Ultimately, the installed user community of Sony’s Blu ray-based PlayStation 3, and potential future sales, coupled with the backing of Sony’s own content businesses, non video content partners such as games developers and music labels, subsidised hardware, not to mention broad Hollywood support was just too much for the HD DVD camp to compete with. Nonetheless, Toshiba and its partners fought hard to try and establish the format.
August 2006: A report suggests the battle between Blu-ray and HD DVD is harming sales of both platforms. Consumers are confused about standards, and many wait to see which format will win out before investing in a product.
September 2006: A blow for Sony as the European launch of the Blu-ray PlayStation 3 is delayed. Sony has high hopes that the machine will allow Blu-ray to win out over HD DVD in the next-generation DVD format war.
October 2006: Customers are able to buy the first 50 GB dual-layer Blu-ray discs. Meanwhile, US media manufacturers opt for HD DVD.
December 2006: Dell backs Blu-ray with the launch of a notebook product containing a Blu-ray drive, cementing its long established support for the format. A year before it had backed Blu-ray with HP, while Microsoft and Intel came out in support of Toshiba’s HD-DVD.
January 2007: Although drives come out that support both Blu-ray and HD DVD formats, industry experts say the format battle is definitely not over.
March 2007: Industry group claims that Blu-ray will successfully replace standard DVD within three years. The HD DVD camp concedes the format is being outsold, mainly due to the PS3.
April 2007: Blu-ray grabs 70 per cent of the high-definition movie market due to the popularity of the PS3 and widespread Hollywood support. Around this time three out of four discs sold are Blu-ray.
June 2007: Toshiba tries to gain ground in the format war as it equips all its laptops with HD DVD drives.
July 2007: The European commission is to investigate why so many content providers went for Blu-ray rather than HD DVD, suggesting possible anti-competitive business moves.
August 2007: One of Hollywood’s biggest studios Paramount drops Blu-ray in favour of HD DVD.
September 2007: Analysts predict at least another year of battle before one format emerges as winner.
January 2008: Warner Brothers delivering a near knock-out blow as it says that it will only deliver content for the Blu-ray platform. Toshiba slashes HD DVD prices in response to the setback.
February 2008: Toshiba defeat over HD DVD.