Fox Backs Blu-ray

Twentieth Century Fox announced on Friday that it will release content on the high-definition Blu-ray Disc format through its subsidiary, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment LLC. This is hardly surprising—the studio has been a member of the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) board of directors since October 2004—but they haven't committed to releasing titles on that format until now.

Fox's commitment to emerging technologies is centered on enhancing the consumer experience of its products and providing for backward compatibility with their existing home-entertainment libraries. Also of primary importance is aggressively protecting its intellectual property from piracy. In fact, Fox's commitment to publish on Blu-ray is a direct result of the BDA's recent adoption of copyright protection measures, including renewable security, that address the needs and concerns of the studio and the entire Hollywood community.

"We are in creative collaboration with some of the best filmmakers in the business, and the most important thing to the studio is that we continue to provide the best possible presentation of our films," commented Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman, chairmen of Fox Filmed Entertainment. "Creative advances in movie-making technology have consistently helped raise the bar in films today, and with the Blu-ray Disc, the bar has now been raised for the home viewing experience. We will take full advantage of all the creative possibilities it offers."

Mike Dunn, president of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, agrees, adding, "Blu-ray is a superior high definition technology that is a full step forward in the evolution of consumer packaged media. For consumers, the release of our films on Blu-ray will provide in-home entertainment beyond anything they have imagined. On the business side, the advanced functionality, picture quality, and data capacity at a competitive manufacturing cost along with 'room for growth' as new consumer usage options are developed, fully realizes the promise of a next-generation format and represents the future of home entertainment."

In response to the Fox announcement, a spokesperson for HD DVD issued the following statement:

"Today’s announcement by 20th Century Fox regarding its support of the Blu-ray Disc format is surprising and misleading in terms of which format provides for more robust copy protection. The content-protection system of HD DVD provides an equivalent level of security as the system advocated by Fox for Blu-ray. We also believe the Blu-ray disc format and proposed copy-protection system may result in playability and reliability issues for the consumer. HD DVD provides robust, renewable, and standardized content protection coupled with proven reliability, cost effectiveness, and flexibility, which is why many major film studios have announced support for the HD DVD format."

And so the war rages on. Sigh…