Blu-Ray, HD Wrestle for DVD Market

Blu-Ray and HD are two video formats vying to be the high-definition replacement for the DVD. Companies such as Disney and Fox are releasing movies in Blu-Ray and Paramount will reportedly get $150 million from Blu-Ray to release upcoming titles in its format.

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Now on Mondays, we talk about technology. And today, we'll discuss high-definition DVDs. There are two formats competing for dominance in the world of DVDs. One is called Blu-ray, and the other is HD DVD. And if you're wondering which technology will be the one that you should buy, well, we cannot give you an answer just yet.

Corey Moore reports.

COREY MOORE: Remember having to choose between VHS and Betamax back in the day? Well, we know VHS clearly emerged the winner. With high-def DVDs, it's not so clear. At first, Viacom's Paramount and DreamWorks animation released movies in both formats. But a reported $150-million marketing deal might have helped sway them. All their upcoming titles, like "Transformers" and "Shrek the Third" will only be released on HD DVD.

Meantime, Disney and Fox are putting their money on Blu, and Blockbuster has decided to carry the Blu-ray disc in stores. Consumers seem to be choosing Blu-ray, too. Over a million have sold this year, compared to about 800,000 HD DVDs.

Given that, will Blu-ray ultimately put HD DVDs out of business?

Mr. TIM HERBERT (Senior Director of Market Research, Consumer Electronics Association): At this point, it's probably really too soon to tell.

MOORE: Tim Herbert of the Consumer Electronics Association.

Mr. HERBERT: Certainly, though, consumers cannot go wrong, and the benefits of the superior video and audio is something that people can enjoy today.

MOORE: To watch them, you need a Blu-ray or HD DVD player. But only a quarter of a million sold last year, about half of those are Blu-ray. It seems most consumers are sticking to their old standard DVD machines.

For NPR News, I'm Corey Moore.

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