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Thursday, September 02, 2004
Microsoft Wins a High-Definition DVD Battle

Blu-ray on Wednesday said Microsoft has won the DVD technology group's backing of a video compression standard for new high-definition discs, marking an advance for the software maker in an emerging consumer electronics arena.

Two consortia, Blu-ray and HD DVD, are competing to become the technology for the next generation of DVDs which can store high-definition movies and many times the data of today's discs.

Microsoft is not guaranteed that its technology will be used by movie companies and others who produce advanced DVDs since content makers can choose any approved standard, but getting approval from a consortium is a major step in that direction.

Both groups, Blu-ray and HD DVD, have now backed three video compression standards, including VC-1, led by Microsoft, and the MPEG-4 AVS and MPEG-2 standards.

MPEG-2 is used for digital broadcasts and current DVDs while MPEG-4 is an advanced version of that standard. VC-1 is another standard for compressing video Microsoft has designed to work best with its products.

The Blu-ray consortium includes consumer giants Sony Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., while Toshiba Corp., NEC Corp. and Sanyo Electric Co all support HD DVD.

From Reuters

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