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Europe: HD-DVD Edging out Blu-ray Among Indie Titles

Although its overall impact is yet to be determined, a small but growing number independent film studios in Europe (as well as some video disc production firms) are so far choosing to go with HD-DVD from Toshiba over Blu-ray Disc from Sony, thanks to what a global newspaper says is a "strong support program by the HD-DVD camp, and concerns over the price of Blu-ray technology."

While very early stats from North America appear to indicate that Blu-ray is outselling its incompatible rival--based at least partly on the inclusion of Blu-ray drives with all Sony PlayStation 3 game players--HD-DVD content may continue to hold an advantage in the European sector, according to The Financial Times.

However, indie films in Europe being released in one of the HD disc formats still represent a rather small slice of the pie: About three dozen European movies are currently available in HD-DVD; less than a dozen in Blu-ray. But larger studios such as Imagion and Nixbu in Germany, Studio Canal and Pathé in France, and Spain's Filmax and DeAPlaneta have all announced plans to use the HD-DVD format for their titles.

European indies, overall, reportedly account for about 30 percent of the movie market in the United Kingdom, up to perhaps 50 percent in France, and about 35-40 percent in Germany and Spain.