A global consortium trying to establish Blu-ray blue laser technology as the standard for next-generation DVDs said on Tuesday it has set specifications for read-only discs, and compatible DVD players would hit the market as early as the second half of 2005.
Availability of a read-only format is crucial to attract Hollywood film studios as sales of packaged DVDs have become a strong earnings driver for them. Support from major U.S. movie studios is expected to be indispensable for any new DVD technology to become mainstream.
"The ROM (read-only memory) format has already been set and we can disclose it shortly," a Matsushita official told reporters.
The official, who heads a joint technical committee of the 13 companies involved in developing Blu-ray, said DVD players and recorders compatible with the new read-only format would be ready by the second half of 2005, but did not specify which companies would be first to market them.
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