Hewlett-Packard, a major supporter of the Blu-ray Disc format, late Oct. 19 said it has issued a formal appeal to the Blu-ray Disc Assn. to include two new technologies, iHD and Managed Copy, as part


(The Hollywood Reporter) -- Hewlett-Packard, a major supporter of the Blu-ray Disc format, late Oct. 19 said it has issued a formal appeal to the Blu-ray Disc Assn. to include two new technologies, iHD and Managed Copy, as part of its format specifications.

Both technologies are already part of the specs for Toshiba's HD-DVD format, which is vying with Sony's Blu-ray Disc to become the next-generation, high-definition optical disc standard.

"The move reflects HP's desire to ensure that customers are not forced to choose between competing HD formats for DVDs," the company said.

Observers see HP's push to get the two technologies into Blu-ray as an attempt to sway computer giants Microsoft and Intel to switch support from HD-DVD to Blu-ray Disc, which already has a clear advantage in the brewing next-generation format wars.

Blu-ray currently uses Sun Microsystems' Java software for built-in interactive features and has no Managed Copy technology.

When Microsoft and Intel last month announced their support of HD-DVD, the format's use of iHD and Managed Copy were cited as key factors behind their decision.

Microsoft and Toshiba both worked on iHD, and Intel, in fact, subsequently issued a statement in which it said it would be willing to support Blu-ray Disc if the format allowed consumers to copy content from discs onto home multimedia servers.

In the Oct. 19 statement, HP said it has "determined that Managed Copy and iHD will address the fundamental technical needs of the PC and help create a seamless experience throughout the digitally connected home."

Managed Copy allows consumers to make legitimate copies of their HD movies. "Making this feature mandatory will ensure a consistent consumer experience across all next-generation DVD content," HP said.

HP also said iHD technology "provides a broad foundation to enable new interactivity with standards-based development tools and technologies. It will provide consumers with enhanced content, navigation and functionality for HD films."

The computer maker further noted that Microsoft intends on implementing iHD support in its Windows Vista operating system, "which will help ease implementation and provide a cost-effective solution for consumers."

With five of the six major studios now supporting Blu-ray Disc, HD-DVD, with just three majors on its side, is clearly losing steam, observers say. Blu-ray also is favored by most consumer electronics manufacturers and computer makers, giving it an advantage in both software and hardware.