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Brinkley: Blu-ray has 'Won the War'

It's really just another guy's opinion at this point, but Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Joel Brinkley is now among those observers saying he thinks Blu-ray, for all practical purposes, has won the format war for next-generation DVDs. In his online blog at the Ultimate AV Web site, the author of a high-profile industry book several years ago that traced the history of HDTV in the U.S. ("Defining Vision: How Broadcasters Lured the Government into Inciting a Revolution in Television"), now says "the war is over, and the right team won."

Brinkley, the son of late broadcasting legend David Brinkley, has covered many of the key issues leading up to the DTV transition for The New York Times. He thinks the "key announcement indicating that the war is likely over" came within the past couple of weeks when Warner Brothers Entertainment announced it had decided to issue movie titles in the Blu-ray format. Warner had been in the HD DVD camp, Brinkley noted, and its announcement came on the heels of a similar announcement by Paramount.

He believes this, and other recent events, now mean Blu-Ray has the support of nearly all the major studios, while HD DVD has what appears to him to be "half-hearted support" from only some of them. Brinkley thinks if Blu-ray does wind up winning the format war, it will be justified for a few reasons--among them the hard fact that its technology is superior to HD DVD's for storage capacity.

HD DVD proponents, meanwhile, believe they're still very much in the game, even though a planned holiday marketing campaign set for this month (which would have beat Blu-ray out of the starting gate) had to be postponed several weeks ago. Stay tuned.