The Blu-ray high-definition disc format is continuing to dominate over its HD DVD rival in the United States. Home Media Research said yesterday that the Sony-backed Blu-ray format sold twice as many movies as Toshiba's HD DVD standard in the first half of 2007.

Blu-ray discs, which have a larger capacity than HD DVD ones, clocked up 1.6 million sales between January and July, with HD DVD only managing 795,000.

But while the Blu-ray Disc Association will tell you that selling 800,000 more discs than HD DVD is a big deal, it's not quite so significant as you might think.

Standalone HD player sales are still routed firmly in the low thousands in the US, which is tiny in comparison to the 85 million US households that own a normal DVD player. Hundreds of millions of DVD movies are bought and sold every year, so 800,000 is a fairly insignificant number.

War of HD attrition

Indeed, it's probably safe to say that HD discs as a whole have yet to truly fire consumers up in the US - or anywhere. The PlayStation 3 accounts for the majority of the Blu-ray players sold, and there's no guarantee that PS3 owners are actually watching Blu-ray movies on them. Without the Sony games console, Blu-ray software sales look significantly slimmer.

In Europe, HD DVD's cheaper retail prices are enabling it to sell far more standalone players than the Blu-ray camp. But again, the Blu-ray equipped PS3 is keeping Sony's soldiers in the game. Expect this handbaggy war of insignificant numbers to continue for a long time yet.

The HD war is still too early to call.