More Blu-Ray Supporters Emerging [8:33 am]
Lions Gate Home Entertainment is expected to announce today that it plans to produce next-generation digital video discs using Blu-ray technology developed by Sony and others. The decision could give the supporters of the Blu-ray format an edge in its continuing battle against backers of HD-DVD technology, who are supporting a competing format for new high-definition discs.
Lions Gate, which controls about 4 percent of the DVD market, is the latest studio to declare its allegiance in the format contest. [...]
[Lions Gate Entertainment's president] Mr. [Steve] Beeks said that the Lions Gate’s agreement was not exclusive and his company could produce discs in the HD-DVD format if needed. However, he said the sooner the industry and consumers settled on a single format, the better.
Blu-ray is likely to become the dominant standard faster, Mr. Beeks said, partly because Sony plans to include the technology in its new PlayStation 3 game consoles that are expected to be in stores next spring. The game machines thus would double as Blu-ray disc players and could potentially increase Blu-ray disc sales.
Like the other studios, Lions Gate has had to balance the benefits of the competing formats against how quickly they could be marketed to consumers. Some industry executives say that growth in the sales of the current generation of DVD’s is slowing and that introducing high-definition discs is needed to increase overall sales.