Europe Embraces HD-DVD Over Blu-Ray, Sony ‘Late’ To Woo Indies

One of the two competing hi-def DVD standards is finding more favor with European movie distributors than the other, FT reports. Some 35 titles are available in Toshiba’s HD-DVD format compared with just 10 on Sony’s Blu-Ray discs. Studio Canal and Pathé (France), Filmax and DeAPlaneta (Spain), and Imagion and Nixbu (Germany) have each pledged their support to the Toshiba format. Studio Canal’s Rodolphe Buet: “I have met much more commitment from partners involved with HD-DVD than Blu-Ray.” Even the European vice-chair of the Blu-Ray Disc Association conceded Sony has concentrated on the U.S. and has considered it too early to work with European studios. Release of Sony’s Playstation 3, critical in establishing a beachhead for Blu-Ray in the living room, was delayed by nearly four months in Europe; whether this will prove fatal remains to be seen. In the U.S., Blu-Ray player sales have outstripped those of HD-DVD players by two to one, but the independent studios which have supported HD-DVD enjoy greater market share in Europe than in America (up to 50 percent).

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