LOS ANGELES Blu-ray high-definition movie discs
outsold films on the rival HD-DVD format by 2-to-1 in the
United States in the first half of 2007, Home Media Research
said on Tuesday.
The division of Home Media Magazine said total sales of
Blu-ray discs, using a Sony Corp (6758.T)-backed technology,
totaled 1.6 million units from January 1 through July 1,
compared with 795,000 HD-DVD discs sold in that period.
HD-DVD was developed by Toshiba Corp (6502.T) and backed by
Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and film studios such as Warner Bros.
Both formats were launched in spring of 2006. An estimated
3.7 million high-definition discs have been sold, including 2.2
million in Blu-ray and 1.5 million in HD-DVD through the end of
July, according to Home Media.
A Home Media spokeswoman said Blu-ray got a further boost
in August from strong sales of the "300" title. Stephen
Nickerson, senior vice president, market management at Warner
Home Video (TWX.N), reported sales of about 190,000 Blu-ray
units of the film, versus 97,000 in HD-DVD since July 31.
The industry-wide standards war is reminiscent of the VHS
and Betamax battle.
Blockbuster Inc BBI.N, the largest U.S. provider of home
movie entertainment, in June set out plans to line its shelves
with Blu-ray DVDs, saying Blu-ray rentals were "significantly
outpacing" HD-DVD rentals.