Industry News

HD-DVD Format Dead

Toshiba announced in a press conference today that they would be dropping the HD-DVD format, thus ending the High Def format war. Sony’s format, Blue-Ray, appears to have won. The mainstream media had predicted that the adult industry would determine the winner in the format war, much like adult had with Beta and VHS. Several companies have come out with HD-DVD titles, including there being a big push of HD-DVD titles showcased at this year’s AEE Expo.

I’ve been told HD-DVD is a slightly more expensive format, however Sony was initially non supportive of any adult movies being released on Blu-Ray. It wasn’t until the Japanese adult video companies (JAV) began releasing their titles on Blu-Ray that Sony backed away from content control. Sony initially told replicators not to replicate adult or Sony would not authorize them.

Though Sony lost the Betamax war (Betamax was a Sony format) they have won the High Def format without the help of adult. If anything it was the mainstream studio’s backing of the format that brought it to a quick victory. Another factor is Sony’s forsight in shipping Blu-Ray players with all Playstation 3’s.

How much of a loss did companies take now that HD-DVD is dead? The cost of replicating both formats is highly expensive. How many companies will actually embrace the High Def market? Is it something the consumer really wants to see?

It would appear to me that the mainstream press got it all wrong. The issue wasn’t HD-DVD versus Blu-Ray. The real issue is physical media versus digital files. I would think physical media is a dying format and porn’s continued future is online and VOD.

A reader posts in the comments of this article the following:

Most mainstream publications were correct about porn not being a factor in the format wars, a few even quoting me in the process, so the claim that they were clueless is strange at best.

I have read countless articles on how porn would decide the format. Here are but a small amount:


Just as in the 1980s, when the Betamax and VHS video formats were battling it out for supremacy, the pornography industry will likely play a big role in determining which of the two blue-laser DVD formats — Blu-ray Disc and HD-DVD — will be the winner in the battle to replace DVDs for high-definition content.


Even CBS News made the suggestion that Porn would choose the high def war.

Like it or not, in the next few years, you’re probably going to be following the lead of the porn industry. I’m not talking about wearing high heels to bed or making noises like a wounded rhino. I’m talking about video technology.

Also in terms of the connection between the High Def war and how the JAV Market (Japanese Adult Video) helped thaw Sony’s content restrictions:

TechSpot: According to reports, Sony has begun offering technical assistance to adult film studios in Japan, something that’s been lacking in the US, where HD DVD has already won over adult film industry through its lower costs and ease-of-use.

From PSU: Sony has finally bowed to the porn industry in Japan, at least in an offhand kind of way. Though Sony still will not “press” Blu-ray discs containing adult content, they have sold a machine to a new Taiwanese company, which has already made an agreement to manufacture adult Blu-ray movies. In addition, Sony has promised to give technical support to any Blu-ray manufacture, regardless of the intended content.

This latest news comes from the Adult Treasure Expo 2007 in Japan. Currently there are 10 adult Blu-ray titles available to Japanese. Yoshimasa Nozu, a producer at Total Media Agency, promises that they will begin to output at least 1 new title a month alongside the new announcement.


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