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, Blockbuster’s endorsement is crucial for Sony, as it will cement its standing in the format war.