Will Blu-Ray Include Region Encoding?

Representatives for the Blu-Ray Disc Association say several rights management issues surrounding the next-generation DVD format remain undecided.

LAS VEGAS—Representatives for the Blu-Ray Disc Association said Thursday that several rights management issues still remain under discussion.

In response to audience questions at a news conference held at the Consumer Electronics Show here, executives said the issues of region encoding and content protection systems are still being finalized.

Four new members also were added to the association, including videogame publishers Electronic Arts and Vivendi Universal Games, as well as Sun Microsystems and Texas Instruments.

No new content partners were announced besides the two games publishers.

Although lassoing proprietary content such as movies and games is seen as critical in tipping the balance toward one of the two next-generation DVD formats–Blu-Ray or HD-DVD, led by Toshiba–many of the content providers now seem format-agnostic.

Bob Chapek, president of Disneys Buena Vista Home Entertainment movie studio, said his studio is open to supporting both formats if the need arises. However, he added, "We dont see the need."

Furthermore, a source close to Electronic Arts said that companys decision was largely governed by the formats chosen by the game console and PC markets. Sony has chosen the Blu-Ray disc as its format for its next-generation game console, known as the PlayStation 3.

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