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.

2006

January 4 -- Bill Gates announces at CES that Microsoft will offer an add-on HD DVD drive for the Xbox 360 console.

March 10 -- Blu-ray Disc-supporter LG Electronics surprises the industry with news that it's developing an HD DVD drive.

March 31 -- Toshiba launches the world's first HD DVD player, the HD-XA1. It cost YEN 110,000 (US$936 at the time) in Japan.

November 11 -- Sony's PlayStation 3, which packs a Blu-ray Disc drive, goes on sale in Japan.

December 29 -- Hackers report success in breaking through part of the AACS copy protection that's on both HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

2007

January 7 -- Seeking to end the battle, LG Electronics unveils a dual-format player, while Warner Brothers shows a prototype disc that holds both an HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc layer so is compatible with players for both formats.

April 17 -- Sales of HD DVD players in North America hit 100,000 since launch.

August 1 -- Microsoft cuts the price of its HD DVD player for the Xbox 360 from US$199 to US$179 and starts offering five free movies.

August 20 -- Paramount and Dreamworks Animation both drop Blu-ray Disc in favor of HD DVD.

September 13 -- Sony says it will use Blu-ray Disc in all high-def video recorders in Japan.

November -- The price of Toshiba HD DVD players drops to US$100 with rebates as the holiday shopping season begins.

November 11 -- Sony begins selling a lower cost version of the PlayStation 3.

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Martyn Williams

IDG News Service

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