Memory-Tech Corporation and Toshiba Corporation today announced that they have
jointly developed a dual-layer ROM (read-only) disc that can store content in both the HD
DVD and DVD formats.
The newly developed ROM disc has a single-sided, dual-layer structure. The upper layer,
closer to the optical head, stores data in the DVD format, and the lower layer stores HD
DVD data. The DVD layer has a 4.7GB capacity, satisfying specification of current DVD
discs, while the HD DVD layer can store 15GB capacity. The DVD layer can be played back
on currently available DVD players.
The new disc makes it possible for consumers to view DVD content on standard DVD players
and, after purchasing an HD DVD player, to enjoy high definition content on the HD DVD
layer from the same disc. The new disc structure also increases options for content
providers; they can provide the same content in two formats, or use the HD DVD layer for
a feature movie and the DVD layer to store promotional videos or audio content, including
the movie sound track.
The new disc can be produced on Memory-Tech's existing manufacturing lines, which can
manufacture both HD DVD and DVD discs. The disc's manufacturing cost is expected to be
comparable with that of single-sided dual-layer DVD-ROM or HD DVD-ROM discs, as it has
the same physical structure as those discs.
HD DVD is the next generation DVD format being standardized at the DVD Forum, which
represents over 230 consumer electronics, information technology, and content companies
worldwide. HD DVD players and HD DVD video software are expected to come to market in
late 2005, and will allow consumers to enjoy video content, including Hollywood movies,
with crystal-clear, high-definition picture quality.
The transition from DVD to HD DVD is expected to be smooth, as DVD enjoys wide popularity
in the market. However, the move to digital broadcasting and demand for large screen
HDTV, both of which will fuel demand for HD DVD, are expected to see strong demand growth
in 2005 and 2006. Noting these market characteristics, Memory-Tech and Toshiba anticipate
demand for a disc compatible with both the DVD and HD DVD formats, and expect their newly
developed disc to offer benefits to both consumers and content holders and providers in
achieving a smooth transition.
"I am very excited about the development of the new dual format disc," said Hisashi
Yamada, Chief Fellow of Toshiba's Digital Media Network Company. "This disc will support
content providers in assuring a smooth transition from DVD to HD DVD, and I am sure it
will also encourage consumer interest in HD DVD equipment. The new disc will be a bridge
media to the future, with no increased production burdens for manufacturers."
Shiroharu Kawasaki, President and CEO of Memory-Tech commented that, "The new technology
Toshiba and Memory-Tech have jointly developed will help the industry to make a smooth
transition from the current DVD business to the next generation DVD business without
interfering with current DVD business growth. Memory-Tech will continue to develop
innovations that support content providers in delivering attractive video and music
products to consumers."
Pony Canyon Inc., one of Japan's largest DVD software distributors, gave the new disc a
warm welcome: "The dual format disc developed by Memory-Tech and Toshiba makes it
possible for the content industry to introduce next generation DVD software smoothly to
the market," said Hideki Oyagi, General Manager of the Pony Canyon's Visual Entertainment