In DVD Forum Japan Conference 2003 the 216 members of the DVD Forum discused the contingency to work together to develop an
enhanced DVD format that sticks with red laser technology and has
the same capacity as existing DVDs. The Enhanced DVD Format will add internet connection functions and high-speed recording to consumer electronics devices.
Among the members are film companies and makers of consumer electronics and information technology equipment from Japan, the rest of Asia, North America and Europe. The list includes Hitachi, Ltd, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd, Toshiba Corp, Sony Corp and Pioneer Corp.
The new format will enable DVDs to store Internet addresses and
digital keys that authorize connection to sites. New recorders
accommodating it are expected to be commercialized in 2004. With
these systems, a user will be able to watch a DVD movie and at
the same time connect to the Net and access information about it,
viewing both the DVD content and the Internet content
simultaneously on a monitor.
A next-generation optical disc technology has been developed that
uses a blue laser and can store more than three hours of digital
TV programming. The enhanced DVD format will only be able to
store two hours of analog video, just like the current DVD
format. But the next-generation optical disc technology is still
very expensive, and the DVD Forum sees the new enhanced format
serving as a bridge.