By Simon de Bruyn

Australia’s top Blu-ray DVD compression and authoring companies have been put in an enviable position, after the last of the major supporters of HD DVD, Toshiba, announced it will no longer develop, manufacture and market HD DVD players and recorders.

Grant Salinger, of Sydney based Motionlink, told Inside Film he had been working in both high definition formats for close to three years, with feature film distributors and production houses making up the majority of his clients.

‘We author the discs; get all the raw material and put it together. While this is a positive announcement for us, it clears the water for the whole industry now, and we all have one format we can develop without HD DVD muddying the waters,’ he said.

DVD Tech general manager Steve Marler said he had backed Blu-ray from the beginning, based on demand from the United States consumer market.

‘This bodes well for us. We never installed the HD DVD system but went with Sony instead. We backed Blu-ray as the winner from the word go,’ he said.

The announcement last night from Toshiba confirmed what many have suspected would happen since Warner Brothers pulled its support of HD DVD in January. All recent research had suggested that Blu-ray was already the market leader in Australia.

Toshiba however was reluctant to concede defeat, with Toshiba Australia general manager, Mark Whittard declaring that Blu-ray might become redundant as HD digital video downloads become more popular.

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