A number of European independent film studios and DVD production companies are opting for Toshiba's HD-DVD format over the rival Sony technology, thanks to a strong support programme by the HD-DVD camp and concerns over the price of Blu-Ray technology.
About 35 European films are available on the HD-DVD format, compared with less than 10 for Blu-Ray. The larger European studios such as Studio Canal and Pathé in France, Filmax and DeAPlaneta in Spain, and Imagion and Nixbu in Germany have all announced plans to use the HD-DVD technology.
Although most commentators agree that the deciding battles in the format war will be fought in Hollywood, analysts such as Richard Cooper at Screen Digest say the importance of European independent studios should not be underestimated. European independent films account for only 30 per cent of the market in the UK, but 50 per cent in France, 40 per cent in Germany and 35 to 40 per cent in Spain.
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