March 10, 2005 11:01 AM PST

Apple sides with Blu-ray Disc in format war

Apple Computer has sided with the Blu-ray Disc Association, as it enters the debate over which specification will become the next-generation DVD format.

The association, which includes the likes of Sony, Dell and Hewlett-Packard, on Thursday announced Apple as its latest member following a bimonthly meeting in South Korea hosted by electronics maker Samsung. Apple will lend its expertise in high-definition and DVD authoring to the development of the Blu-ray Disc specification, which is backward-compatible with DVDs and allows for the storage of up to 50GB of data. Current DVDs can hold up to about 8.5GB of information.

Blu-ray Disc's ability to store such large amounts of data is one of its key advantages over the HD DVD specification. HD DVDs hold up to 30GB of data and are backward-compatible with current DVDs. Proponents of HD DVD say players and discs will be cheaper to make than products based on the Blu-ray Disc specification. The two incompatible formats are the main technologies being considered by electronics and PC makers, as well as entertainment studios, to succeed the highly popular and profitable DVD.

DVDs spawned a billion dollar industry, and executives are wary of tampering with a hit. However, all signs are pointing to the growing high-definition video market--and high-definition content requires more storage capacity than DVDs can sufficiently support.

"Consumers are already creating stunning HD content," Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said in a statement, adding that consumers are "anxiously awaiting" a way to burn content to high-definition DVDs.

Apple also will participate in the promotion and marketing of the Blu-ray Disc format, according to Josh Peterson, director of optical storage at HP.

"We're hoping to tap their marketing and creative genius when it comes to that area," Peterson said.

Peterson added that Blu-ray Disc products are still scheduled to come out as early as the end of 2005 and as late as the beginning of next year. The "gating factor" is copy protection, and on that front, a number of proposals are being mulled, including the use of Advanced Access Content System, or AACS, one protection technology that HD DVD is also considering.

The Blu-ray Disc Association is finalizing the list of interactive features it plans to support in the first Blu-ray Disc products.

Manufacturers are expected to come out with devices that read and write to DVD, Blu-ray Disc and CD.


Join the conversation!
Add your comment
<<Current DVDs can hold up to about 8.5GB of information.>>

WOW. After a multitude of articles claiming that DVDs only hold 4GB, CNET finally got their information correct. Nice to see. Good work.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Single sided
Single sided DVD's hold 4.7gb
Dual sided DVD's hold 8.5gb
and the dvd that movies are on typically hold closer to 9gb.

as I recall.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Link Flag
HD DVD or Blu ray it doesnt matter
IT really doesnt matter if a disk is going to hold 50 or 30 GB of storage. You say, what??

Well each 50 and 30 are quite large, larger than most hard drives that people have in their 3-4 year old computers or slightly smaller than their current Hard drives.

The point is, The real deciding factor is not how many people Back blu ray, but what is the PRICE for each DVD. If HD DVD costs $2 per disk and blu ray costs $5 per disk, guess which one I (or the consumer) will buy?
I realize that initially both will cost around $20 a piece but eventualy it will come down. We probably wont see disks worth pennies like DVD + or - R's.
Posted by lavacentral (61 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Go Blue.
If the disks are $20 each early on, then people will go with the most storage room. HD DVD will then have to be sold at a lower cost to stay in the game. That lowers profits, makes it a less popular format with some companies, and leaves them open to being outflanked by Sony's Blu Ray when they use the extra 20 GBs to cram on more "extras" which make the disks worth more money, or early-on, simply a better deal at the same price.

Companies are trying to save money up-front with HD DVD only to lose their shirts later on when Blu Ray takes the market.

In any case, I suspect the Sony CEO knows how to win this kind of a fight. Sony's old leadership, maybe not, even though they'd likely win anyway.

HDDs are only getting bigger. Movies are only coming with MORE extras and toys. Many companies won't want to sell the "extras" as something you can access online, because that gives them less ability to sell new versions of the same product. So again, more room on the disk will count for more in the long-term.

I'm not an Apple fan, but they are backing the right horse in this race.


<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
Posted by NWLB (326 comments )
Link Flag
The one thing nobody has mentioned is that the new Playstation 3 will be Blue-Ray. Since it was the Playstation 2 that out DVD players in a lot of peoples homes and in some cases is the only DVD player in the home I expect that Blu-Ray will win with all these people upgrading to the Playstation 3.
Backward compatiblity with all your current games and DVDs. or get a whole new player and hae one more piece of equipment under the TV.

Blu-Ray will win off the back fo the PS3 sales.
Posted by ahickey (177 comments )
Link Flag
100 Terabyte Atomic Holographic Nanostorage
will hold 4,000 Blu-Ray or HD-DVD disks.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
Posted by grey_eminence (153 comments )
Reply Link Flag

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot



RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.