The HD DVD high-definition movie format may have the lead in the U.S. porn industry, but Japanese adult film makers have turned decisively to Blu-ray Disc, breathing new life into its bid to replace DVDs as the disc of choice for home movies.

Sony Corp. has started offering more technical support to the adult film industry in Japan, movie makers said at the Adult Treasure Expo 2007 in Chiba, Japan, and the problem of finding companies to mass produce their movies appears to be over.

It’s an important step for Blu-ray Disc. HD DVD has already won over the U.S. adult film industry through its lower costs and ease-of-use. People in the industry say they’ve received plenty of help from backers of the format, including Microsoft Corp. and Toshiba Corp. But Blu-ray is different.

Sony and one of the biggest movie makers in the world, the Walt Disney Co., object to pornography, and Disney maintains a policy against having its own movies replicated by any company working with adult movie titles.

Until now, only a handful of companies operated the stampers needed to copy thousands of Blu-ray Disc movies at a time. But the Japanese company handling most of the early Blu-ray Disc adult film releases in Japan says it has partnered with a Taiwanese company able to secure the necessary equipment from Sony.

“In Japan, there are some problems. Companies cannot press Blu-ray discs because they cannot touch adult-related contracts,” said Kiyotaka Konno, director of administration at Assist Corp., a Japanese company that authors and replicates DVDs for the adult industry in Japan.

“So we asked some makers in Taiwan to do the work, and then we import the discs back to Japan. The Taiwanese company was able to obtain a pressing machine from Sony and will start mass production in August.”

Sony says its policy of not allowing its disc replicating subsidiary, Sony DADC, to copy adult films has not changed. But the company is offering technical support to any film makers looking for help, no matter what industry, a spokeswoman said Monday.

The adoption of Blu-ray Disc by the Japanese porn industry could make all the difference in the format war. The adult film industry has long been a first mover in using new technologies, and many analysts say the industry played a key role in making VHS the winner in the video cassette fight against Sony’s Betamax video tape standard years ago.

Blu-ray Disc, also a Sony technology, is now vying with HD DVD to be the high-definition disc of choice in the 21st century.

Japan’s adult film industry already has ten movies out on Blu-ray Disc (BD DVD), including “JK,” “Sex Vacation in Guam” and “Eroist.” More are on the way, said Yoshimasa Nozu, a producer at Total Media Agency Inc. His company plans to release at least one more movie per month on Blu-ray for the rest of this year.

By contrast, only one HD DVD adult film has been made in Japan so far, “Perfect Slave Rin,” by Glay’z productions.

“HD DVD is popular overseas, but it faces a tough market in Japan,” said Takeshi Kobayashi, head of operations at Taisei Co. Ltd., which distributes films under the trade name Glay’z in Japan. “Sony is really pushing the industry to adopt BD DVD.”

Price is one issue. HD DVD movies sell for



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