Apple Joins Blu-ray, Adds High Dev DVD Support

The latest chapter in the DVD format wars continues as Apple Computer announced its support for the Blu-ray Disc standard. The addition of Apple adds one more consumer electronic and computing firm to the Blu-ray roster of backers, and ups the ante in the competition for a dominant standard. Apple will join the board of directors of the Blu-ray group, which includes Dell, HP, Hitachi, Sony, Thomson, Twentieth Century Fox, and Walt Disney among its backers. The Blu-ray Disc Association has been battling the HD DVD group for defining the next generation of DVD disk formats. The HD DVD group includes Paramount, Universal, New Line Cinema, and Warner Bros. Apple also said that it is adding a high definition MPEG codec to Quicktime 7, the H.264 Advanced Video Codec (AVC), which will ship with Mac OS X in the first half of the year. Apple already has a line of HD-focused content creation tools, including iMovie HD, Final Cut Express HD, and Final Cut Pro HD editing software.