DualDisc was devised as a way of adding backward compatibility to new audio disc format. For the labels, that allows them to ship a single product rather than separate DVD Audio and CD releases, and ensures consumers can build second-generation audio collections before they switch to new hardware.
They will be able to play, say, higher quality DVD Audio content at home and use the same disc to play the same music in their car's CD player.
All the major recording companies have tested the format in the US' Boston and Seattle areas, but Sony's participation in the American and perhaps UK trials is interesting given it is touting its own second-generation CD format, Super Audio CD. SACDs already provide a CD Audio component for backward compatibility.
Rick Dobbs, SMI's chief, today told the Times that the company was "thinking about" rolling out DualDisc in the UK. However, such a test-run is unlikely to take place before the US trial has been expanded to other areas.
"We would need to broaden [the US trial] significantly to get enough information to really go forward," Dobbs said.
The DVD Forum's Steering Committee approved DualDisc earlier this month. ®