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Fox joins Blu-ray group

The studio will be a significant ally for the group, which is trying to win support for its technology over the rival HD DVD format.

20th Century Fox has joined a group developing one of two formats being promoted as a next-generation DVD technology.

Fox has joined the Blu-ray Disc Founders, who are working to establish Blu-ray as the follow on to DVD. Another group, called the HD DVD Promotion Group, is developing a competing format, called HD DVD. Both formats use blue lasers, as opposed to the red lasers used in DVD, but they're incompatible. Both also offer significantly more storage; Blu-ray offers 10 times the storage capacity of current DVD technology, and HD DVD also offers about six times as much.

The studio's announcement Monday marks one of the rare times an entertainment company will participate in the development of a technology.

Sony is also part of the group, and it has entertainment and electronics arms that would both stand to gain if the technology they support were to gain mass acceptance. Sony recently purchased MGM, and movies and shows from that studio will play a key role in the development of Blu-ray, according to Sony.

Support and input from a studio is viewed as significant for the formats, since content is key for the acceptance of any form of media.

Fox has not committed to publishing on Blu-ray media, but it wants to influence the outcome of key issues surrounding whatever formats become available in the market.

"We look forward to working closely with all members of the BDF on all aspects of the format's continued development," Andrew G. Setos, the Fox Group's president of engineering, said in a statement. "Most importantly, as a content provider, we see our role as bringing a unique perspective to the application layer and content protection."

Other members of the Blu-ray Disc Founders group include Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi, LG Electronics, Matsushita Electric Industrial, Mitsubishi Electric, Pioneer, Royal Philips Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sharp Electronics, Sony, TDK and Thomson. HD DVD is being supported by NEC and Toshiba.