Blu-ray has emerged as the clear front runner in the high-def DVD format war against HD DVD.
That's according to an analysis published today by Business Week magazine.
The publication, which has considerable influence in the financial world, writes that Blu-ray still holds the greatest support among Hollywood studios. Four major studios now back Blu-ray exclusively while only two support HD DVD exclusively.
Consequently, Business Week says, the Sony-backed Blu-ray disc has outsold HD DVD by roughly 2-1 for the past year.
Additionally, the publication reports that Sony may be close to landing an exclusive endorsement from Warner Bros., which until now has released films in both formats.
"The rumor is that Warner is coming aboard soon," Michael Burns, vice-chairman of Blu-ray supporter Lionsgate, tells Business Week. "That will make it awfully tough for HD DVD to stay in this game."
Business Week added that "either side could (win the Warner endorsement)...but the Sony group has suddenly emerged as the front runner."
"Persuading it (Warner) to sign an exclusive deal would give the Sony crowd about 70% of DVD market share. That could prompt the other studios to abandon HD DVD," the publication writes.
Business Week notes that if Warner were to join HD DVD, the format war would be stalemated.
"That could create mass consumer confusion and potentially strangle a new technology that the studios hope will give a lift to flagging DVD sales. That's exactly why Warner has long pushed for a single format," it said.