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Saturday, June 12, 2004
HD-DVD specifications approved


The DVD Forum this week approved HD-DVD 1.0, a specification that will compete with Blu-Ray for the future of the DVD disc format.

According to the DVD Forum's web site, the DVD Forum approved the specification on June 9 or 10. In November, the consortium approved version 0.9, which defines a 15-Gbyte single layer DVD disc and a 30-Gbyte dual-layer disc.

The approval appears to set the stage for yet another optical storage standards battle. The DVD Forum's member list includes companies like NEC and Toshiba, who developed the current DVD-R and DVD-RW specifications.

Meanwhile, the separate Blu-Ray camp has proposed a rival specification, with some flexibility in its specification: for example, a single-layer disc can hold 23.3 GB, 25 GB or 27 GB, while a dual-layer disc will be able to store 46.6 GB, 50 GB or 54 GB of data.

The Blu-Ray Disc Founders Association is led by Sony and Dell. Sony has committed itself to shipping second-generation consumer-oriented Blu-ray video recorders by the end of the year, supporting single-side, dual-layer rewriteable discs with a total capacity of 50 GB. The only Blu-ray recorder currently available in Japan is the Sony BDZ-S77, which is priced at $2,700; the discs themsevles cost about $23 per disc.

Companies like LG Electronics, Matsuhsita, Mitsubishi, and Thomson have so far remained agnostic, and supported both of the rival formats.


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