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Next Generation DVD Battle

Boot Camp feature for Monday, December 6, 2004

The battle over the next generation of DVDs. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. They will most likely start to arrive next year. Next generation DVD recorders and players with enough capacity for high definition movies and video. But, at Burnham Securities, managing director David Leibowitz says…consumers may be caught in the middle of a battle…

"Basically we have two new formats emerging and there is an awful lot at stake here. Once again as we saw when we had both Beta and VHS, you have Sony on one side and their arch rivals on the other."

Sony, Samsung, Philips and Matsushita…which makes the Panasonic brand…are backing what is called Blu-Ray technology, while Toshiba, NEC and Sanyo are behind a competing format called HD-DVD. Last month….the HD DVD format won the backing of some big movie studios…including Warner Brothers, Paramount, Universal and New Line Cinema. Sony is counting on support from its own Sony Pictures and MGM Studios. Liebowitz says Sony will also use its next generation game consoles to bolster Blu-Ray….

"And then they're going to have to have enough weight here to convince the rest of the industry as well as the consuming public that this is the direction to go."

For consumers… in the new year….the best approach may be wait and see. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.