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Department of Justice investigates DVD Bluray group

Who will win battle for future content?
Mon Jan 26 2004, 08:24
THE BLURAY GROUP has become the subject of an inquiry by the Department of Justice (DoJ) over the global standards it promotes.

But the investigation underlines some cracks in the whole industry's rush to make all content work together on numerous devices, with Intel and Microsoft big movers and shakers behind the scenes.

According to today's Wall Street Journal, the group, pushed by Sony, Matsushita (Panasonic), and Philips, will investigate the impact of the Bluray disks, capable of holding much more content.

While the Bluray consortium is pushing its own standard for video disks, it's in a battle with NEC and Toshiba which are promoting their own high density HD DVD format.

Last November, the DVD Forum, which consists of all the companies mentioned above and more, endorsed the HD DVD forum.

The report said that HP and Dell are already supporting Bluray, while Microsoft wants the electronics firms to use the Window Media video software.

The stakes are high because of a widespread industry push for DVD convergence. Many smaller hardware manufacturers are resisting another push by Intel and Microsoft for content on machines.

The investigation is preliminary, and the Journal says that the DoJ takes an interest in format wars, which could end up with consumers paying through the nose for standards promoted by multinationals with many axes to grind. µ


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