Content will decide DVD format war

The experts — those who make their livings in the DVD industry — agree that the format duel between Blu-ray and HD-DVD will not be decided by technology, but by content.

That is, if it is ever decided at all.

At the recent annual DisplaySearch HDTV: The Future of Television conference in Beverly Hills, CA, a variety of interested parties — including analysts, manufacturers, retailers, studio executives and software makers — couldn't agree on how the format war would play out.

Opinions ranged from the rivals conducting a long, drawn-out slugfest to the finish, to a quick merger of the formats. All agreed, however, that if there is ever a winner, it will be decided by who has the most and best available content.

So far, it’s mostly a game of hardware, with four HD models now available — three HD-DVD and one Blu-ray format. The next six scheduled introductions are all Blu-ray format devices. To date, HD-DVD players have out sold Blu-rays by 33 percent.

Software titles are still lacking. It’s estimated that 200 HD-DVD titles will be available by 2007, and Sony will add to its 20 current Blu-ray titles in the coming months, it said.