NEWS: Blu-ray Disc Association sees big challenges ahead in making Blu-ray mainstream

The Blu-ray Disc Association is (unsurprisingly) delighted that Toshiba has killed off HD DVD, but says there are serious challenges ahead in turning Blu-ray into a mainstream format and the high-definition successor to DVD.

"Now that the format war has been put aside, it's great to be able to focus on the challenge of taking Blu-ray disc to the heart of the home entertainment industry," says Victor Matsuda, chairman of the Blu-ray Disc Association global promotions committee.

But Matsuda is far from complacent: "Our challenge is to convert our success in this relatively small market into a mass-market phenomena," he says.

He welcomed the decision by Paramount and Universal – the last two Hollywood studios to back HD DVD – to start releasing Blu-ray titles.

Asked about speculation that Blu-ray's success in the format war may have come too late as the format will face stiff competition from internet movie downloads, Matsuda said: "We do not live in a vacuum and technology does not stand still, so I would never say that HD movie downloads won't ever play some role in the home entertainment market. However, I believe this is a long-term, future scenario."

Other Blu-ray developments this week include the news that the Oscar-winning film No Country For Old Men will be released on Blu-ray in the US on March 11.

The Cohen brothers epic will feature an AVC MPEG-4 video transfer in 1080p, and a PCM 5.1 audio soundtrack sampled at 24-bit/48kHz. That's one test disc we certainly want to get our hands on!

Still Stateside, Sony has unveiled its next-gen Blu-ray players. And PC manufacturer Acer has announced that it will promote a range of Blu-ray disc-based notebooks later this year.

Technorati Tags: 1080p, Blu-ray, Blu-ray Disc Association, Full HD, high-definition, MP4, Sony

Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.