Timeline: HD DVD vs. Blu-ray Disc

What started as technical research became a battle between the world's largest electronics companies and movie studios, with the consumer caught in the middle.


January 7 -- Toshiba unveils its first prototype HD DVD player at CES. The player includes backwards compatibility with DVD.

January 12 -- Hewlett-Packard and Dell put their support behind Blu-ray Disc.

June 10 -- The first commercial version of HD DVD-ROM is approved by the DVD Forum.

September 21 -- Sony announces the PlayStation 3 will use Blu-ray Disc.

November 29 -- Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, HBO and New Line Cinema announce support for HD DVD.

December 9 -- Disney announces support for Blu-ray Disc.


January 7 -- Backers of both formats promise players and movies in North America by the end of the year -- something that never materialized.

March 24 -- Talk and hope of a common format as Ryoji Chubachi, then Sony's president-elect, says: "Listening to the voice of the consumers, having two rival formats is disappointing and we haven't totally given up on the possibility of integration or compromise."

April 21 -- Sony and Toshiba begin discussions on the possibility of a single format. The talks ultimately go nowhere.

August 18 -- Lions Gate Home Entertainment and Universal Music Group decide to back Blu-ray Disc.

September 27 -- Microsoft and Intel put their weight behind HD DVD.

October 3 -- Paramount Home Entertainment says it will offer movies on both HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

December 16 -- Hewlett-Packard decides to drop exclusive support for Blu-ray Disc and back both formats.

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Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
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