Apple has joined the Board of Directors of the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA), the company announced today.

Apple has been involved in developing the DVD authoring market since January 2001, when it launched its SuperDrive, iDVD and DVD Studio Pro. The move also reflects Apple's addition of High Definition video support across its applications.

The forthcoming introduction of QuickTime 7, which will feature the scalable H.264 Advanced Video Codec (AVC) which has been adopted for high definition DVDs. Apple will release QuickTime 7 in conjunction with the release of Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger), "in the first half of 2005".

"Apple is pleased to join the Blu-ray Disc Association board as part of our efforts to drive consumer adoption of HD," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "Consumers are already creating stunning HD content with Apple's leading video editing applications like iMovie HD and are anxiously awaiting a way to burn their own high def DVDs."

"Apple has a long history of technical innovation around DVD hardware and software, and their support of the Blu-ray Disc format is a testament to their commitment of ongoing innovation. The Blu-ray Disc format provides the immense capacity and the revolutionary functionality that Apple's loyal customer base will be sure to enjoy," said Maureen Weber, chief BDA spokesperson and general manager of HP's Optical Storage Solutions Business.

"We're thrilled about Apple joining our 16-member board, and we look forward to working with them on the development and promotion of the Blu-ray Disc format," she added.

Blu-ray Discs have five times the capacity of today's DVDs, with a single-layer Blu-ray Disc holding up to 25GB of data and a double-layer Blu-ray Disc holding up to 50GB. That's ten times the storage available on today's DVD discs.