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In August, Toshiba and NEC announced their competing standard, Advanced Optical Disc.
HD DVD had a head start in the high-definition video market, as Blu-ray Disc sales were slow to gain market share.
A then major European retailer, Woolworths, dropped HD DVD from its inventory.
Netflix and Blockbuster—major DVD rental companies—said they would no longer carry HD DVD.
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The BD format was developed by the Blu-ray Disc Association, a group representing makers of consumer electronics, computer hardware, and motion pictures.
Sony unveiled the first Blu-ray disc prototypes in October 2000, and the first prototype player was released in April 2003 in Japan.
This led to a chain reaction in the industry, with major U. retailers such as Best Buy, Walmart, and Circuit City and Canadian chains such as Future Shop dropping HD DVD in their stores.
The plastic disc is 120 millimetres (4.7 in) in diameter and 1.2 millimetres (0.047 in) thick, the same size as DVDs and CDs.
Conventional or pre-BD-XL Blu-ray discs contain 25 GB per layer, with dual-layer discs (50 GB) being the industry standard for feature-length video discs.
In March 2002 the forum approved a proposal, which was endorsed by Warner Bros. The proposal involved compressing high-definition video onto dual-layer standard DVD-9 discs.
In spite of this decision, however, the DVD Forum's Steering Committee announced in April that it was pursuing its own blue-laser high-definition video solution.
DVD-Video discs were limited to a maximum resolution of 480p (NTSC, 720×480 pixels) or 576p (PAL, 720×576 pixels).