The DVD Forum has ratified the H.264 Advanced Video Codec (AVC) – which Apple will ship in its QuickTime software later this year – to be included in the next-generation High Definition (HD) DVD format.

Apple first displayed H.264 at NAB earlier this year. MacCentral described H.264 – or MPEG-4 – as "an advanced HD video codec that, unlike other codecs, is scalable, allowing content creators to write content for everything from 3G phones to HD, and everything in between."

At the time Apple stated that it believed the technology would succeed MPEG-2 (as used in digital and cable TV transmissions) as the industry standard.

Apple's director of QuickTime product marketing Frank Casanova told MacCentral: "With its ability to encode content for so many media, there are many uses for H.264 in the everyday things we do today, including DVD movies, cable television providers, on-demand television in hotels and next-generation cellular telephones. H.264 is clearly going to take over. It will be the most significant video codec that we have ever seen introduced from a quality and efficiency standpoint."

Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing Philip Schiller said: "Apple is firmly behind H.264 because it delivers superb quality digital video and is based on open standards that no single company controls. QuickTime 6 has already topped 250 million downloads, making it one of the most successful media standards ever, and we will be adding support for H.264 to QuickTime next year.”

Microsoft does not include support for standards in its Windows Media architecture. Casanova said: "We really wish they would because we think their support for the MPEG standard would be a great thing for the whole industry."