Hewlett-Packard Co said it is to stay neutral in the emerging next-generation DVD format wars, by committing to support HD-DVD in addition to the Blu-ray standard it had already signed up to.
The company, which had previously tried to act as mediator between the two formats by making specific requests of Blu-ray’s managers, said it has now signed up to the HD-DVD Promotions Group, but will still work with Blu-ray.
HP has had requested the Blu-ray Disc Association adopt two technologies, Mandatory Managed Copy and iHD, which are already included in the HD-DVD format and which proponents claim make HD-DVD more consumer-friendly.
Blu-ray declined the proposal, which would have potentially averted a format war, and said it would only support Mandatory Managed Copy, a technology that permits at least one copy of a DVD to be made.
Blu-ray had seemed like the early leader in the higher-capacity DVD battle, until Microsoft Corp and Intel Corp said they would exclusively support HD-DVD. Microsoft plans to incorporate support into Windows Vista.
The operating system company is believed to have a problem with Blu-ray’s take on iHD-like interactivity, which will be based on rival Java technology.