The original DVD format is Blu-ray's main rival, not the high definition HD DVD. That's according to Frank Simonis, the chairman of the Blu-ray Disc Association. He made the comments in a very forthright interview with Tech.co.uk today.

"The main BD competition is with current DVD businesses, not HD DVD," said Simonis. "[This means] the main hurdle [is] consumer understanding. For example when the consumer does not understand the benefits of or enjoy high definition. Hence, consumer education is key," he said.

Blu-ray vs HD DVD

Simonis also said that Blu-ray is closing in on victory in the high definition format war with HD DVD and that a big lead in hardware and software sales is opening up.

"The tipping point will be the overwhelming availability of Blu-ray Disc (BD) hardware and BD movies at retailers.

"At IFA, 14 brands introduced BD CE players which were Philips, Sharp, Sony, Denon, Onkyo, JVC, Panasonic, Samsung, Funai, Pioneer, Hitachi, LG, Loewe, Daewoo, PS3. HD DVD has just one: Toshiba," said Simonis.

"We believe content is what will drive adoption of an HD format. And with seven of the eight major studios now releasing blu-ray titles in earnest, Blu-ray's content advantage is apparent. Blu-ray has already surpassed HD-DVD in terms of the number of titles available for purchase and the gap is continuing to expand as five studios are publishing content exclusively on Blu-ray.

Tipping point is now

"BD movies have been outselling HD-DVD for a long time. It's a matter of time that we reach this stage in Europe which is expected this calendar year," he said.

It's always important to take comments like these with a pinch of salt. But it's still very interesting to hear the thoughts of one of the most influencial men in the HD format war.

Click to read the full Q&A with Frank Simonis, chairman of the BDA