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Adult Video Maker To Ship First Movie On Blu-ray Disk

Vivid Entertainment Group said it would release a porn movie on March 28 simultaneously on HD DVD and Blu-ray.

Antone Gonsalves

February 2, 2007

2 Min Read

Vivid Entertainment Group on Friday said it would ship an adult movie on a Blu-ray DVD, becoming the first porn distributor to announce it would use the high-definition format developed by Sony.

Adult-content producers have reported difficulty in finding a manufacturer willing to replicate porn movies on Blu-ray disks, and have claimed that Sony is responsible, an accusation that the company denies. Sony's replication unit refuses to handle adult content, but the parent company says other manufacturers are free to do what they want.

While declining to name the manufacturer, Los Angeles-based Vivid said it would release "Debbie Does Dallas Again" on March 28, a spokeswoman said. The movie would be available simultaneously on HD DVD, Blu-ray's competing high-definition format.

Disks in either format would be available for $39.95, despite a Blu-ray disk costing at least three-times as much to produce as a HD DVD, Vivid said. The reason is to test the market for both formats before deciding whether to continue producing movies in Blu-ray. "We want to see which one the consumer prefers," the spokeswoman said.

The adult industry is seen as a major driver behind the use of technology in the entertainment industry. Hollywood studios, for example, have adopted innovations in Internet video developed by adult filmmakers. Some experts believe that if the adult industry chooses HD DVD over Blu-ray, then the former would get a major boost over its rival in the market. Others disagree, saying the higher price of Blu-ray production is a more significant factor.

The use of high-definition content on DVDs and in TV programming remains in the early stages. Adult video producers are interested in the format because picture quality doesn't degrade on the largest HD TV screens. Large high-definition TVs are growing in popularity as prices drop.

In the meantime, many Hollywood and consumer electronics manufacturers are taking sides in support of either Blu-ray or HD DVD. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Pictures, and creator Sony are exclusively releasing DVDs in Blu-ray, while Universal Studios is distributing only in HD DVD. Among player manufacturers, Sony, Hitachi and Philips favor Blu-ray, while Toshiba and NEC support HD DVD.

Warner and Paramount Pictures are the only two major studios that are releasing movies in both formats.

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