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Blu-Ray

Essay by   •  February 18, 2011  •  Essay  •  619 Words (3 Pages)  •  961 Views

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Blu-ray is the current next-generation home movie format. Much like the DVD did, Blu-ray represents a substantial leap forward in home movie quality. Blu-ray development began in 1995 as an association between Sony and Phillips. Its backers now include all the major movie studios and many of the big names in consumer electronics including Apple, HP, and Dell. Sony and Phillips found themselves in an intense battle for market supremacy with the competing technology offered by Toshiba and Hitachi called HD DVD. We will explain the differences between these two technologies and how Blu-ray managed to stay standing while HD DVD fell to the canvas.

The most apparent difference between the two technologies is the disc capacity. Dual-layered Blu-ray discs can hold up to 50 GB of media, while HD DVD can only hold up to 30 GB. This is a very substantial difference, when film makers are already claiming that 50 GB “isn’t really enough.” Beyond this fact, the majority movie studios were siding with Blu-ray, no doubt due in part to the ludicrous amounts of money that were being fed to them by Sony and Phillips. On the eve of Warner Bros. and Fox signing with HD DVD, they were paid a total of $720 million to stay with Blu-ray instead. In this case, money was talking loud and clear. The same levels of overwhelmingly more support for Blu-ray came from movie rental stores and nationwide retailers. Blu-ray has also found much needed success with Sony’s PS3 video game console, which supports Blu-ray disc media. The fact of the matter is that Sony and Phillips were willing to risk everything on this technology being the chosen one by the consumer market. Toshiba and Hitachi were not willing to do such. Sony has spent over $2 billion in supporting its Blu-ray technology and securing the important partnerships needed for the discs to be successful. By looking at the past, one can see many similarities with another technology battle that was fought in the movie media industry.

In 1975 Sony introduces the Betamax as the first successful home video standard, yet a year later JVC introduced the very similar VHS. These two technologies essentially provided the same service but were not compatible at all. This split manufacturer interest and set the stage for a “war” over who would provide the industry standard for in home movie viewing. VHS had taken over the market as the primary

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