NEWS: 'Blu-ray has won' - Panasonic

Wed, 20 Jun 2007, 5:12pm

The HD disc format war is over - and Blu-ray has won. That's the view of Panasonic North America, given by its Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer Joseph Taylor in an interview with US consumer electronics trade magazine TWICE.

Taylor also told the magazine that while the company remains committed to plasma flatscreen technology, it may well give more attention to LCD screens, as they're proving increasingly popular with consumers.

Asked about the HD format war, in which Panasonic is firmly in the Blu corner, Taylor told TWICE: "I'm giving a very politically incorrect answer. I think the battle is over. I think Blu-ray has won."

In support of this statement, he asked "Who did the content providers select? At the moment, overwhelmingly, the content providers [the movie studios] have selected Blu-ray. What [discs] are consumers buying? Almost two to one for Blu-ray.

"There may be some noise for a little while, but in the end I think Blu-ray will be the technology that wins the battle."

Panasonic is the market leader in plasma screens in the States, but Taylor said "the marketplace will decide which flat panel they prefer. We are in a unique position because we just don't just provide plasma but LCD [too]. In this unique position we can do what our customers need us to do."

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Well, he would say that, wouldn't he? Fact is, there are three (count em - three) HD movies available at my local Virgin - two of them are HD-DVD, and one is Blu-Ray. So I don't think either camp is in a position to crow about winning yet, do you?

I think Blu-Ray has definatly won, i was shopping in HMV last week and was looking at the current high definition movies they had, HMV are stocking around 50 to 100 titles at the moment and they are all Blu-Ray! in fact i even asked the sales Manager why HDDVD were not present and he stated that there were more titles than ever being released on Blu-Ray as oppossed to HDDVD and that HMV would not be stocking HDDVD because of this.  Just to add this was a flag ship store in Manchester City Centre.  

My local Borders store (central Glasgow) don't sell any HD disks yet. We enthusiasts are in such a tiny minority that it would be unwise to speculate just now. I recenty had a HiFi shop assistant going on about how bad the HD DVD players were, but his arguments were just ill-informed and he was simply trying to push his personal preference. This will happen a lot just now, until we get players sold at higher volumes. Both camps have things going for them. As it stands I would go by price and WHS&V reviews, where I'd look for 5 stars.