Apple Computer Inc. on Thursday backed Sony Corp.'s Blu-ray format for the next generation of digital videodiscs, bolstering Sony's effort to dominate the $26.1-billion U.S. market for DVDs and players.
Apple, whose computers including the iMac run software to create DVDs, joined the board of the Blu-ray Disc Assn., Blu-ray said. Sony is fighting to win support over Toshiba Corp. and NEC Corp.'s HD-DVD standard.
The competing formats promise high-definition pictures, better sound quality, more capacity and improved copyright protection than standard DVDs. Gaining the support of film studios and computer makers such as Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple will help determine the dominant standard.
"Capacity is everything" for personal computer makers, said Ted Schadler, an analyst at Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc. "In capacity, Blu-ray is much better."