HP officially announced on Friday that it will support the HD-DVD high-definition DVD format, in addition to the Blu-ray Disc format, and join the HD-DVD Promotions Group.
The No. 2 PC maker, is splitting support between the two leading technologies HD DVD and Blu-Ray.
Previously, HP supported the Blu-ray Disc format exclusively. The company had requested
the Blu-ray Disc Association adopt two customer-friendly technologies, Mandatory Managed Copy and iHD, which are already included in the HD-DVD format.
HP has been a supporter of the Sony-led Blu-ray, and in October had said if two technologies it considered important to PC users were not included in Blu-ray's specifications, it would consider backing rival standard HD-DVD, championed by Toshiba.
Only Mandatory Managed Copy, which permits consumers to make legal copies of video content, was formally adopted by the association. iHD, which allows content providers to offer greater interactivity on next-generation DVDs, was not approved for launch.
"We're encouraged that the Blu-ray Disc Association is adopting Mandatory Managed Copy. Because HP wants to deliver the most user-friendly and cost-effective solution to our customers, we have decided to support both formats," said Maureen Weber, general manager, Personal Storage Business, HP. "By joining the HD-DVD Promotions Group and continuing work with the Blu-ray Disc Association, HP will be in a better position to assess true development costs and, ultimately, provide the best and most affordable solution for consumers."
HP believes both Mandatory Managed Copy and iHD are important to fostering the digitally connected home; both of these technologies are incorporated into HD-DVD. Microsoft has already announced plans to integrate iHD into its new Windows Vista operating system. HP believes this integration will reduce development costs and provide a more affordable solution for consumers.
Toshiba welcomed the decision of HP: "The announcement of HP, a prominent leader in the IT industry, to support HD DVD and to join the HD DVD Promotion Group is significant and welcome news. With cost, quality and time to market issues as key advantages of HD DVD, we believe HP will see clear long-term advantages to the format. We expect that today's announcement will add to the increasing momentum in the IT industry toward HD DVD, in addition to the existing support among the CE and film industries."