PC maker Hewlett-Packard, once a strong ally of the Blu-ray disc next-generation recording format, announced that it also will be adding support for the rival HD DVD system, and will join the HD DVD Promotions Group.
HP had hinted at the move weeks earlier, after Microsoft and Intel announced their exclusive support for HD DVD, due to that format's use of mandatory Managed Copy and iHD interactivity.
Microsoft is building support for HD DVD into its next generation operating system, code-named Vista, and Intel is developing dual core processing technology that will leverage HD DVD's requirement to process dual video streams, simultaneously.
Last October, HP asked the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) to include mandatory Managed Copy and iHD as part of the BD format.
The Association allows for mandatory Managed Copy as part of the AACS content protection system, used by both Blu-ray and HD DVD, but it has opted for Sun Microsystem's BD-Java system over iHD.
The announcement could be the sign of a new schism in the HD disc war, pitting the IT community on one side and Hollywood studios on the other, with consumer electronics manufacturers split.