Blu-ray is extending its early lead in the high-def video wars.
Blockbuster Inc. announced it will carry Blu-ray DVDs exclusively in its 1,700 company-owned stores beginning in mid July. The company said the decision was based on Blu-ray rentals popularity over HD-DVD rentals.
Both Blu-ray and HD-DVD have similar picture qualities, but Blu-ray technology enjoys a vast advantage of being backed by major film studies such as 20th Century Fox, Buena Vista, Sony and Lionsgate. HD-DVD has NBC Universal as its main backer and a few others. Warner Home Video and Paramount said they will release movies in both formats.
Blu-ray discs have a higher storage capacity than HD-DVD and also can be played in Sony PlayStation 3 game console.
HD-DVD Promotion group recently estimated that Blu-ray titles have sold more than 1.5 million movies, while HD-DVD has sold 1.2 million. There are an estimated 1.3 million Blu-ray players, most of which are Sony PS3 consoles. There are 150,000 stand alone HD-DVD players.
I'm glad Blockbuster is choosing just one format. It's too confusing without it. Also, Blockbusterâ€™s endorsement is crucial for Sony, as it will cement its standing in the format war.