03.23.2005 12:00 AM
In-Stat Study: HD DVD and Blu-ray DVD Will Both Survive
In one of those upbeat industry studies that seems to have good news for everyone with no downside, researcher In-Stat said it's latest findings indicate that new digital delivery services (notably two emerging, incompatible formats for high-definition DVD) "are not likely to supplant the DVD business, but rather bring digital entertainment to people by adding either convenience or accessibility that complements," rather than divides and conquers.

Today's standard DVD will continue to be a popular medium and continue to experience "substantial growth," according to In-Stat. The researcher also predicts the worldwide value of all published DVD products is expected to grow with a compound annual growth rate of about 18 percent--more than doubling from $33 billion in 2004 to $76.5 billion by 2009.

And apparently because the world is so big that two more competing formats can thrive if they are restricted to different parts of the globe, In-Stat concludes that in North America, HD DVD will jump-start a round of growth for HD versions of motion pictures (after all, 35mm film is HD quality), as consumers begin replacing their libraries of old VHS tapes and today's DVDs.

In-Stat does not see one format zeroing out the other, ala VHS vs. Betamax: "HD DVDs will appear later this year to take advantage of the growing installed base of HD sets in [America]. However, we expect Blu-ray products [from Sony ] to take off in Asia in 2006, and in Europe and the rest of the world during 2007. Music videos, DualDisc products and locally produced DVDs will account for 20 percent of the market value by 2009." But will North America really support another media format that does not function anywhere in the rest of the world? Stay tuned.

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