original story HERE __________________________________________________ __________ » COLUMBIA GOES HI-DEF The road to high definition just got its first day-tripper: Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment has pledged to release all of its home video product in the Blu-ray format by the end of 2005. Speaking at a "Digital Hollywood" reception Monday night, CTHE president Ben Feingold praised the merits of the next-generation high-definition format. "Consumers are demanding high definition," he said. "We see Blu-ray as a revenue engine for Hollywood." In emphasizing his commitment to Blu-ray, Feingold said Columbia would release all home video product in the Blu-ray format by the end of 2005. Blu-ray DVD - supported by a consortium of manufacturers including Sony, Matsushita (Panasonic), LG, Philips, Samsung, JVC, Pioneer, Sharp, Hitachi and Thompson Multimedia - uses a blue laser to read next-generation optical discs. Whereas current DVD technology uses red lasers, blue lasers have a shorter wavelength (405 nanometer) than red lasers (650 nanometer). This allows for a thinner light beam which can read and write smaller bits of information on a disc. Current DVD discs hold 4.7 gigabytes on single-layer discs and 8.5 gigabytes on dual-layer discs; Blu-ray discs can hold 25 gigabytes of data or high definition video on a single-layer disc and 50 gigabytes on a dual-layer disc. Current Blu-ray specs call for discs to come housed in a cartridge, but manufacturers are looking into hard-coating the discs to protect them from dust and fingerprints without requiring a cartridge. The rival format developed by Toshiba and NEC, with backing from the DVD Forum, is HD-DVD which uses both red and blue rays to read current and next-generation discs. A dual-layer HD-DVD disc can hold 30GB of data, but can use compression to squeeze more video hours of onto a disc. You can learn more about the Blu-ray format at its official site. __________________________________________________ __________ Whether you fancy Blu-Ray or HD-DVD, I think for a studio of this profile to commit to releasing all of its home video product on a high definition disc by the end of next year is great news!