Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Toshiba and disc maker develop dual format DVD

Toshiba Corp. and a Japanese disc maker said on Tuesday they had developed a disc that can store content in both conventional and high-definition DVD formats, in a move they hope will strengthen their hand in a battle for the next-generation DVD.

Toshiba, with NEC Corp. and Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd., is backing a next-generation DVD technology called HD (high-definition) DVD. Sony Corp. and several other giants of the electronics and computer industries have developed a competing standard dubbed Blu-ray. Both HD DVD and Blu-ray technologies use blue lasers, which have shorter wavelengths than conventional red lasers and allow discs to store more data, enabling the clearer and sharper pictures of high-definition films and television.Toshiba and disc maker Memory-Tech said they developed a dual-layer ROM (read-only) disc which stores data in the conventional DVD format on the upper layer and content in the HD DVD standard on the lower layer that is further from the DVD player's optical head.

The DVD layer holds 4.7 gigabytes of data, while the HD DVD layer has enough room for 15 gigabytes, the two companies said.

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