Blu-ray Outpaces HD-DVD in U.S.

Blu-ray high-definition movie discs outsold films on the rival HD-DVD format by 2-to-1 in the United States in the first half of 2007, Home Media Research said on Tuesday. The division of Home Media Magazine said total sales of Blu-ray discs, using a Sony Corp (6758.T: Quote, Profile, Research)-backed technology, totaled 1.6 million units from January 1 through July 1, compared with 795,000 HD-DVD discs sold in that period.

HD-DVD was developed by Toshiba Corp (6502.T: Quote, Profile, Research) and backed by Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and film studios such as Warner Bros. Both formats were launched in spring of 2006. An estimated 3.7 million high-definition discs have been sold, including 2.2 million in Blu-ray and 1.5 million in HD-DVD through the end of July, according to Home Media.

A Home Media spokeswoman said Blu-ray got a further boost in August from strong sales of the "300" title. Stephen Nickerson, senior vice president, market management at Warner Home Video (TWX.N: Quote, Profile, Research), reported sales of about 190,000 Blu-ray units of the film, versus 97,000 in HD-DVD since July 31.

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News source: Reuters

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