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December 16, 2005

HP backs both Blu-ray and HD DVD

Posted by David Hunter at 7:48 PM ET.

HP had originally been a supporter of the Blu-ray format favored by Sony for next generation DVD’s over the rival HD DVD format touted by Microsoft. Then they had second thoughts and started waffling. Now they have made it official – they support both:

Hewlett-Packard has announced it will support both contenders to be the next generation of DVDs, a change of tack that could raise the chances of an expensive format war.

The computer maker had previously been a staunch supporter of Sony-backed Blu-ray technology, which is competing with HD DVD to be the high-definition disc format adopted by gear makers and movie studios. However, Blu-ray backers last month rejected a call by HP to include several technical features in the disc specifications.

In response, the computer maker said Friday that it would continue to support Blu-ray, but would also join the Toshiba-led group working to promote HD DVD.

“Because HP wants to deliver the most user-friendly and cost-effective solution to our customers, we have decided to support both formats,” said Maureen Weber, general manager of HP’s personal storage division, in a statement.

The Blu-ray group had already acceded to one HP demand for a change in their spec to add mandatory managed copy, but balked at another change supporting the iHD interactivity specification developed by Microsoft and Disney which will be included in Vista.

What kind of drives will go in HP PC’s is still undetermined, but surely it won’t be both.

Filed under Blu-ray, Coopetition, HD DVD, HP, Hardware, OS - Client, Sony, Windows Vista

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One Response to “HP backs both Blu-ray and HD DVD”

  1. Microsoft News Tracker » Microsoft arm twisting over HD DVD? Says:

    [...] She just used the “M” word! (Public details on HP’s reversal are here.) Asked whether Microsoft is now doing just that, Weber said that in the end, “It’s about money and the cost to the PC industry.” Whereas the overall Blu-ray royalty structure adds up to $30 per PC drive, she said, everything a PC vendor needs to support HD-DVD “comes free, shipped and integrated with Vista — Microsoft Corp.’s next-generation operating system.” [...]

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