Hewlett Packard has made indications that it may not exclusively back the Blu-ray next generation DVD format from Sony as previously promised due to issues over what the new format will and will not support.
HP had asked Sony, the manufacturer of the Blu-ray disk, to include support for two new technologies - Managed Copy and iHD - as part of the next generation High Definition (HD) optical disc format.
However, months later The Blu-ray Disc Association has stated that it will not adopt recent proposals from HP by the time the technology is launched.
“While it is still committed to Blu-ray and believes it is the right technology, more important than anything is ensuring that consumers are not impacted by a standards war. No one wins in a standards war - least of all consumers”.
As a result, HP is willing to broaden its strategy around HD to ensure it encompasses the needs of consumers and encourage the rest of the industry to look at way to ensure that HD and Blu-ray can be compatible in the market”.
Reading between the lines, it seems that the company is happy to look at Toshiba's opposing format - HD DVD so it isn't left out of talks if the format takes off.
HP is keen for the Managed Copy and iHD technologies to be included in any new format as it will allow consumers to make legitimate copies of their HD movies, as well as provide a level of interactive experience, well beyond that of todays conventional DVDs.
More important for HP is that Microsoft has announced plans to implement iHD support in its Windows Vista operating system.
Either way HP has said that it does not expect these changes to delay the first generation Blu-ray products from being shipped.
The Blu-ray Assocation believes differently "I am not saying that we will not implement what HP has requested, but it is not going to stop the format at this time", Blu-ray spokesman Andy Parsons told Reuters in an interview.
Both formats are expected to come out some time in 2006.