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Digital HD Downloads, the Real Winner in the Format War

hd-dvd-blu-ray-vs-xbox-live.pngIt was hard to miss the news over the weekend that Warner Brothers chose to focus its efforts on Blu-Ray. Warner will release all of its new movies in Sony’s Blu-Ray format, though it still has some HD DVD titles in the pipeline (after which no additional titles will be released in HD DVD). Some have claimed that Warner’s move to Blu-Ray was designed to put an end to the format wars, which has confused consumers and as a result suppressed sales of both hardware and titles. Certainly, one can appreciate that Warner’s choice has not made the battle any easier for Toshiba and Microsoft but without a doubt this is far from the end for HD DVD.

While Blu-Ray and HD DVD have both been the most visible participants in the format wars there has been one format that has been far less visible. HD digital downloads have maintained a pretty low profile but seems to be the likely end to this whole debate. Microsoft has been the most successful in the HD digital download game thus far and with more and more Media Centers occupying living rooms and the fast-growing Xbox Live Video Marketpalce, it is only a matter of time before Blu-Ray and HD DVD are both obsolete.

Additionally, for anyone that watched Bill Gates CES Keynote, Mediaroom and Xbox Live will soon offer more on demand content then any cable company. Ultimately, the convience of being able to purchase this content from home will be just one of the reasons that neither HD DVD or Blu-Ray will be able to compete with digital HD downloads.

Stefan writes for, and we’re proud welcome him as a new writer here at InsideMicrosoft.

January 8th, 2008 Posted by stefan | Sony, Xbox Live, Xbox, Media Center, Windows | no comments

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