Apple Computer Backs Blu-Ray DVD Format

Monday, March 14th 2005, 10:13 am

By: News On 6

TOKYO (AP) _ Apple Computer Inc. is supporting the Blu-ray format for next-generation DVDs, giving it a boost over a rival format known as HD-DVD in the competition over setting a new standard for recording high-definition video and other digital information.

Both technologies promise more storage capacity and enhanced video quality over current DVDs, including the ability to record high-definition video. Both can be used to store movies, games, photos and other digital information.

Apple, which makes Macintosh computers and iPod portable music players, will become a member of the board of directors of the Blu-ray Disc Association, the consortium that supports and promotes the Blu-ray format, it said in a statement.

Other members of the Blu-ray alliance include Japanese electronics makers Sony Corp. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Dell Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and The Walt Disney Co.

The rival HD-DVD format is backed by Japan's Toshiba Corp., NEC Corp. and others.

Backers of Blu-ray say it is superior because it has a higher storage capacity, while supporters of HD-DVD say it is more compatible with current DVD technology and is less costly to make.

The winner of the standards battle stands to gain from patent royalties.

Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif., recently introduced high-definition editing capability in its iMovie HD software.

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said consumers who are already creating their own high-definition content want to be able to record it on high-definition DVDs.

``Apple is pleased to join the Blu-ray Disc Association board as part of our efforts to drive consumer adoption of HD,'' Jobs said in a statement.

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