Universal Music Group and Lions Gate Entertainment are the latest companies to throw their support into the Blu-ray high definition DVD ring.


LOS ANGELES -- Universal Music Group and Lions Gate Entertainment are the latest companies to throw their support into the Blu-ray high definition DVD ring.

UMG joined the Blu-ray Disc Assn. Aug. 16 as a contributing member, following Sony BMG as the next major music company to contribute to the format.

Lions Gate revealed Aug. 17 plans to release new theatrical DVDs, TV titles and catalog projects when the hardware debuts.

Blu-ray hardware and software is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2006. Home video companies that will release titles on Blu-ray include Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Buena Vista Home Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

The competing HD DVD format is still scheduled for a fourth quarter debut, and will be supported by Warner Home Video, New Line Home Entertainment, Paramount Home Entertainment and Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

It is unknown what the first HD DVD or Blu-ray music releases will be.