Walt Disney Backs Blu-ray

Burbank-based Walt Disney Company has put its backing behind the emerging Blu-ray Disc format, saying that it will release content in Blue-ray format in North America and Japan. The move heats up the competition between rival format HD-DVD and Blu-ray, both of which are seeking to become the standard for next generation digital video. Rival format HD-DVD just announced that Paramount, Universal, and New Line Cinema would support its format; this announcement adds another backer to Blu-ray, which includes Dell, Hitachi, HP, Sharp, Sony, and Twentieth Century Fox. The agreement calls for all Disney companies, including Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Walt Disney Home Entertainment, Hollywood Pictures Home Video, Touchstone Home Entertainment, Miramax Home Entertainment, Dimension Home Video and Disney DVD to support the new format. Disney has also joined the association as a member of its board of directors of the industry association. Blu-ray holds up to 25 gigabytes of data per disc; rival HD-DVD only holds 20GB but is easier to manufacture using existing DVD manufacturing equipment.