As predicted by backers of the rival HD DVD format earlier this afternoon, Blu-ray proponents used their CeBIT press briefing to gloat about the wider studio support for the latter format.

Frank Simonis, chair of the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) Europe, said seven out of the eight major film studios backed Blu-ray, with five of those companies opting not to support HD DVD at all. He also said 18 of the 20 top-selling movies of 2006 are now available on Blu-ray, with only five available on HD DVD. Blu-ray is outselling HD DVD by two to one, according to Simonis, citing ´multiple sources´.

But the press conference wasn´t purely an HD DVD-bashing session. Simonis also announced that the BD-R 4x speed format would be available within the next few weeks. ´This means we have the ultimate format for recording content to disc,´ he said. ´People see recording times as a nuisance, and so any improvement is dear to the heart of the BDA.´