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Blu-ray Disc Leads in Early Format Match-up: Preferred by Consumers 4-to-1 Over HD-DVD

Study Shows Technology Company Support, Capacity and Ability to Play Discs Across More Brand-Name Players, Computers, and Gaming Machines Drive Preference

HOLLYWOOD, July 13, 2005 – A new poll suggests that as the battle between Blu-ray Disc and HD-DVD heats up, consumers overwhelmingly prefer Blu-ray Disc as their format of choice.

In the poll, conducted by Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates, a nationally recognized strategic polling firm, consumers were given a side-by-side comparison of the two formats on the following dimensions: technology company support, Hollywood studio support, gaming console support, disc capacity, potential movie title availability and anticipated launch dates.

In this side-by-side format comparison, 58% of the 1,200 consumers surveyed preferred Blu-ray Disc, 26% were undecided and only 16% preferred HD-DVD. Of those consumers who indicated that they are extremely interested in purchasing the next-generation format, 66% favored Blu-ray, 19% were undecided and only 15% preferred HD-DVD.

The poll, conducted in the US, also examined consumer attitudes toward high-definition television and next-generation disc formats. Among the key reasons consumers preferred Blu-ray were the ability to play the discs in more CE devices, personal computers and gaming consoles, backward compatibility with current DVD media, disc capacity and the ability to record large amounts of high-definition or standard definition video and data.

“While we are still in the pre-launch phase for both formats, Blu-ray Disc is the early front-runner,” said Mark Penn, whose firm conducted the poll. “Consumers perceive Blu-ray as the favorite on technology company support, gaming, storage, and disc versatility.”

The surveyed consumers placed considerable value on the amount of recording space available to suit their digital lifestyle, on Hollywood’s ability to fit movies, bonus and interactive features on a single disc and on the single-sided Blu-ray Hybrid Disc, which allows both high and standard definition versions of a movie to reside on a single disc that can be viewed in either a Blu-ray player or a DVD player.

“From day one, we’ve focused on delivering the best possible consumer experience while building support from the best brands in the world,” said Maureen Weber, chief BDA spokesperson and general manager of the Optical Storage Solutions Business at HP. “The result is a format that delivers a consistent, compatible consumer experience across a range of platforms, which is clearly something that resonates with consumers.”

The launch of Blu-ray Disc is expected to offer consumers a broad selection of movie and broadcast content from Walt Disney Pictures and Television, Miramax, Touchstone, MGM, ESPN and Sony Pictures. A selection of Blu-ray players, recorders and computer drives are expected from Sony, Hitachi, Sharp, Panasonic, LG Electronics, Pioneer, Philips, Mitsubishi, and Samsung as well as PC hardware from Dell and HP. Gaming hardware will be available from Sony with the release of PlayStation 3, and software will be available to the leading gaming software manufacturers.

About Blu-ray Disc
Blu-ray Disc is the next-generation optical disc format being developed for high-definition video and high-capacity software applications. A single-layer Blu-ray Disc will hold up to 25 gigabytes of data and a double-layer Blu-ray Disc will hold up to 50 gigabytes of data.

About the Blu-ray Disc Association
The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) is responsible for establishing format standards around the technical development for Blu-ray Disc — the next-generation optical disc for storing High Definition movies, games, photos and other digital content. The BDA has more than 130 members. Its Board of Directors consists of Apple; Dell Inc.; HP; Hitachi, Ltd.; LG Electronics Inc.; Mitsubishi Electric Corporation; Panasonic (Matsushita Electric); Pioneer Corporation; Royal Philips Electronics; Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.; Sharp Corporation; Sony Corporation; TDK Corporation; Thomson; Twentieth Century Fox; and Walt Disney Pictures and Television. For more information about Blu-ray Disc Association, visit the consortium’s web site at: http://www.bluraydisc.com

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