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Is Blu-ray Getting in Bed with the Adult Porn Industry

Sony certainly has fresh in their memory their failure with the Beta Max player against the VHS format in the early 80’s. During the VHS vs. Beta competition, the adult film industry (Porn), was credited with turning the tide in favor of VHS. Sony is embattled in another format war and they most definitely do not want a repeat outcome in the Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD format. Once again, the adult industry looks to play a major role in the outcome.

Sony decided to focus on family programming and an alliance with the Disney Corporation over the adult industry. Disney will not allow any replication company they work with to do business with any porn content, thus protecting their family friendly image and preventing any accidental packaging of pornographic content with their family themed productions. Sony also has an anti-porn policy when it comes to replication at its facilities. So with that and the apparent lack of support for the adult filmmakers in filming and editing in the Blu-ray format, HD-DVD has become the format of choice amongst the adult industry.

HD-DVD replication is easier to convert from the standard DVD line, so it’s easier for the adult industry to find replication facilities willing to mass produce their titles. At the same time, the adult industry has received help from Microsoft and Toshiba (strong backers of the HD-DVD format) in production of films in the HD-DVD format. That has all lead to HD-DVD having a strong foothold in the adult market.

In Japan, the BD format is preferred over HD-DVD which was helped by the inclusion of a BD player in the PS3 gaming consoles. Because of this, the Japanese porn industry is leaning toward the BD format. Since Sony DADC, Sony’s disc replicating subsidiary, is not allowed to replicate porn, the Japanese adult industry may have been forced to use HD-DVD just like their American counterparts.

Sony, most likely trying not to make the same mistake twice, has found a loop hole in their moral stance against replicating pornographic material by allowing a Taiwanese company access to the BD replication equipment. The Taiwanese company, not constrained by rules of the BD replication plants in North America and Japan, is able to take orders for adult films to be produced on BD discs. In addition, Sony has also made technical assistance available to the Japanese adult video makers stating that they are happy to provide assistance to all film makers.

So despite any previous public stance against adult video, Sony seems to be condoning the production porn on BD discs which may help them greatly in the current format war. Since the American adult industry has not produced as many HD-DVD titles as once promised, it looks as though the door in open there as well for the BD format to step in and take over the market. With so much to gain and also so much to loose, both formats are finding that they have to play on both sides of the moral fence if they want to succeed in this business. In the end, the adult industry proved that if you want to succeed in the home video format, you’ll have to get in bed with them eventually.

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