Warner Bros. Entertainment will start to release its products only on Blu-ray disks from June 1, 2008. It also became known that Paramount and DreamWorks animation amended their contracts with HD DVD makers to win an opportunity to terminate their partnership if Warner Bros. supported Blu-ray.
The struggle between the two technologies, each of which enhances the disk volume and allows to release high quality image films on disks, has been alternating for quite a while. Intel and Microsoft promised to support Toshiba’s technology – the HD DVD format - in the autumn of 2005. The two computer giants said that the new format implied better image and sound qualities and was better compatible with other existing DVD standards.
Many European film studios chose the HD format too. In April of 2007 their catalogues included 35 films on HD, whereas Blu-ray releases were quite rare.
However, Walt Disney, 20th Century Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and now Warner have already fixed their choice on Blu-ray. Warner’s decision to use the new technology will bring up to 70 percent of Hollywood’s entire production on Blu-ray disks.
In addition, Microsoft considers an opportunity to include the Blu-ray technology into its Xbox 360 console. If the corporation makes a positive decision on the matter, it will become quite unexpected news for the world of gaming. Sony’s PlayStation 3 already uses the Blu-ray technology. It is also worthy of note that Microsoft closely cooperates with Toshiba, which promotes its HD DVD format.
Blu-ray Disc is a high-density optical disc format for the storage of digital information, including high-definition video.
The name Blu-ray Disc is derived from the blue-violet laser used to read and write this type of disc. Because of its shorter wavelength (405 nm), substantially more data can be stored on a Blu-ray Disc than on the DVD format, which uses a red (650 nm) laser. A single-layer Blu-ray Disc can store 25 gigabytes (GB), over five times the size of a single layer DVD at 4.7 GB. A dual-layer Blu-ray Disc can store 50 GB, almost six times the size of a dual layer DVD at 8.5 GB.
Blu-ray was developed by the Blu-ray Disc Association, a group of leading companies representing consumer electronics, computer hardware, and motion picture production. The standard is covered by several patents belonging to different companies. As of March 2007, a joint licensing agreement for all the relevant patents had not yet been finalized