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HP, the world’s second largest maker of personal computers, announced that it will promote both Blu-ray and HD DVD formats. The company denounced a recent decision of Blu-ray backers not to enable an interactive iHD technology on Bly-ray discs. Additionally, HP said that as HD DVD was more cost-efficient, the computer supplier would be better positioned.

“By joining the HD DVD Promotions Group and continuing work with the Blu-ray Disc Association, HP will be in a better position to assess true development costs and, ultimately, provide the best and most affordable solution for consumers,” said Maureen Weber, general manager, personal storage business, HP.

Previously, HP supported the Blu-ray disc format exclusively. The company had requested the Blu-ray Disc Association adopt two customer-friendly technologies, mandatory managed copy and iHD, which are already included in the HD-DVD format.

Only mandatory managed copy, which permits consumers to make legal copies of video content, was formally adopted by the association. iHD, which allows content providers to offer greater interactivity on next-generation DVDs and helps ensure a more compelling user experience when recording HDTV programs or moving digital content throughout the home, was not approved for launch.

“We’re encouraged that the Blu-ray Disc Association is adopting Mandatory Managed Copy. Because HP wants to deliver the most user-friendly and cost-effective solution to our customers, we have decided to support both formats,” Ms. Weber added.

HP believes both mandatory managed copy and iHD are important to fostering the digitally connected home; both of these technologies are incorporated into HD DVD. Microsoft has already announced plans to integrate iHD into its new WindowsVista operating system. HP believes this integration will reduce development costs and provide a more affordable solution for consumers. In addition, HD DVD provides a rich, cost-competitive solution for the consumer and is easier to manufacture.

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