Perhaps it’s not a huge surprise, since filmmaker Twentieth Century Fox has been sitting on the board of the Blu-Ray Disc Association since last October, but today the company formally announced that its home entertainment subsidiary will release new TV programs, films and other titles on the Blu-Ray disk format when Blu-Ray hardware launches in North America, Japan and Europe.
Blu-Ray is the high definition disc format that Apple pledged to support earlier this year. The discs provide more storage capacity than DVDs do, allowing companies to provide higher picture and audio quality than they can with present technology. Blu-Ray discs can hold up to 25GB of content, almost three times as much as current dual-layer DVD discs can. Dual-layer Blu-Ray discs will be able to store up to 50GB content. Blu-Ray players will also be able to play existing DVDs.
The next-generation HD disc format still doesn’t have ubiquitous support, however — a competing standard called HD-DVD has gotten backing from some drive makers and Hollywood movie studios. HD-DVD discs are supposed to be less expensive than Blu-Ray, but hold less content. Sony, Dell, HP and other companies have supported Blu-Ray instead.
Twentieth Century Fox said that its plan to release home video content on the Blu-Ray format was driven by the Blu-Ray Disc Association’s recent adoption of “copyright protection measures” such as renewable security, that promise to make it more difficult to pirate Blu-Ray content.