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HP, the world’s second largest maker of personal computers on Wednesday asked the group of Blu-ray supporters to include certain features into the standard that are available on competing HD DVD and that ease copyright protection and add certain interactive features.

Particularly, HP asked the Blu-ray group to include functionality known as mandatory managed copy, allowing users to copy high-definition movies onto their computers from discs and distribute them on home networks. HP also asked Blu-ray to support a feature called iHD, which provides for new interactive features and is slated to be implemented in Microsoft’s new Windows Vista operating system, Reuters news-agency reports.

“We’re still supporting Blu-ray but we’re very serious that we want these technologies. If in the end, they’re supported in one and then not the other, we’ll have to make a choice,” said Maureen Weber, general manager of personal storage in HP’s personal systems group.

The proposal of HP comes after Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp. openly supported HD DVD and the latter’s chairman Bill Gates called Blu-ray copyright protection capabilities “anti-consumer”.

HD DVD discs can store up to 15GB on a single layer and up to 30GB on two layers. Its competitor, Blu-ray, can store up to 27GB per single layer as well as support a variety of additional features, including advanced copy-protection mechanisms, but Blu-ray discs are more expensive to produce. The HD DVD is pushed aggressively by Toshiba and NEC as well as being standardized at the DVD Forum, which represents over 230 consumer electronics, information technology, and content companies worldwide. Blu-ray is backed by Sony and Panasonic, the world’s No.1 and No.3 makers of electronics. Among Hollywood studios HD is supported by Warner Bros. Studios, New Line Cinema, Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures, whereas Sony Pictures, Walt Disney and Twentieth Century Fox endorse Blu-ray.

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