October 5: Sony and Pioneer unveil DVR Blue at Japan's Ceatec show. The format would go on to form the basis for first-generation Blu-ray Disc BD-RE.
November 1: Sony announces the development of Ultra Density Optical (UDO), a blue-laser optical disc format proposed to replace magneto-optical discs.
February 19: Led by Sony, nine of the world's largest electronics companies unveil plans for Blu-ray Disc.
August 29: Toshiba and NEC propose to the DVD Forum the next-generation optical disc format that will become HD DVD.
October 1: Prototypes of both formats are unveiled at Japan's Ceatec exhibition. Sony, Panasonic, Sharp, Pioneer and JVC showed prototype Blu-ray Disc recorders while Toshiba showed a prototype under the name Advanced Optical Disc (AOD).
February 13: Licensing of Blu-ray Disc begins. Player makers pay $20,000 to license Blu-ray while the content-protection system licence carries a $120,000 annual fee and additional charge of $0.10 per player. Media makers pay $8,000 annually and $0.02 per disc for the copy protection system.
April 7: Sony announces its Blu-ray Disc-based Professional Disc format for data archiving applications.
April 10: Sony puts on sale in Japan the world's first Blu-ray Disc recorder, the BDZ-S77. It's based on a 23GB cartridge version of the BD-RE disc and costs ¥450,000 ($3,815 at the time). The machine and a later model from Panasonic lack support for pre-recorded movies that will launch later and prove an expensive early step into next-generation video.
May 28: Mitsubishi Electric joins the Blu-ray Disc group.
January 7: Toshiba unveils its first prototype HD DVD player at CES. The player includes backwards compatibility with DVD.
January 12: HP and Dell put their support behind Blu-ray Disc.
June 10: The first commercial version of HD DVD-ROM is approved by the DVD Forum.
September 21: Sony announces the PlayStation 3 (PS3) will use Blu-ray Disc.
November 29: Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros, HBO and New Line Cinema announce support for HD DVD.
December 9: Disney announces support for Blu-ray Disc.
January 7: Backers of both formats promise players and movies in North America by the end of the year - something that never materialised.
March 24: Talk and hope of a common format as Ryoji Chubachi, then Sony's president-elect, says: "Listening to the voice of the consumers, having two rival formats is disappointing and we haven't totally given up on the possibility of integration or compromise."
April 21: Sony and Toshiba begin discussions on the possibility of a single format. The talks ultimately go nowhere.