New disc & player may sway DVD wars

Consumers wary of buying new high-definition DVD players because of a technology war reminiscent of the days of Betamax versus VHS will soon have a new kind of DVD that might make the decision less daunting.

Warner Bros., which helped popularize the DVD more than a decade ago, plans to announce next week a single videodisc that can play films and television programs in both Blu-ray and HD DVD, the rival DVD technologies.

Warner Bros., a division of Time Warner, plans to formally announce the new disc, which it is calling a Total HD disc, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday. Barry M. Meyer, the chairman and chief executive of Warner Bros., said in an interview that the company came up with the Total HD disc after concluding that neither Blu-ray nor HD DVD was going the way of Betamax anytime soon.

South Korea's LG Electronics also said Thursday it would launch a DVD player that supports both Blu-ray and HD DVD as a format war over next-generation DVDs is looming. LG was a high-profile supporter of the Blu-ray format, backed by Sony until it said early last year it would join the Toshiba-led HD DVD camp as well.

News source: CNET

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14 Comments

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I don't understand the format wars one bit. It's all still compressed BS.

Hell we have yet to even fully exhaust the DVD standard. How many DVD-18 discs do you own? Exactly.

If I were either side I wouldn't want to allow this. Why would you want to help your competitors? I think all this would do is add confusion for consumers. Some movies would work on both players but the majority would not. This is just added cost and wasted space too. I honestly don't think this is going anywhere.

they forgot to say that movies you buy on Total HD disc will cost $100 When you have greedy studios, you can bet you behind that they'll try to bank in on both layers on this disc.

This isn't a new format, it's just a dual disk with both HD-DVD and Blu-ray on it. Read the article in future, people.

On that note, though, how does this make the decision to invest in either format any easier? It's not much different than companies releasing their titles in both formats, you still have to pick one and stick with it.

Kushan said,
This isn't a new format, it's just a dual disk with both HD-DVD and Blu-ray on it. Read the article in future, people.

On that note, though, how does this make the decision to invest in either format any easier? It's not much different than companies releasing their titles in both formats, you still have to pick one and stick with it.

I agree with Kushan. Warner isnt really solving anything. The war between the two formats will still rage on - and the customers will still have to make their choice.

Personally I'd prefer a single format with twice the capacity, rather than the same data copied multiple times in different formats, only one of which you will ever use...

how would this work? i thought the two formats were completely incompatible due to track width and depth? i can understand a dual format player, but how can a single disk have both track widths?

It seems they are just double sided disks with one side for each format, that sucks big time!

it means both sides matter for getting scratched, so you can't even put it down, and there will be no picture on one side, so who knows which disk it is without peering at the centre ring!

i think that is a terrible solution, i hope many companies get dual format readers and recorders and we can just forget about it, much like DVD-R vs DVD+R, most players/recorders do both.

joshysquashy said,
It seems they are just double sided disks with one side for each format, that sucks big time!

it means both sides matter for getting scratched, so you can't even put it down, and there will be no picture on one side, so who knows which disk it is without peering at the centre ring!


Google "laserdisc" one day, you spoiled-by-CDs person, you. :P

I usually know which disc it is by looking at the empty case on my DVD player. But, even if I didn't know, I'd much prefer the ring and a 2-sided disc than a pack with 2 discs just so that they could put artwork on one side of each disc, rendering that side useless. I like the old DVDs that had content on both sides.

Laserdiscs did not have that problem though. Like LP records they had a large label area. Double Sided DVDs on the other hand have nothing. A lot of the cheap DVD releases still use double sided discs, especially TV series. There are no words to describe how much I hate those things.

geez christ not another one... That's all we need now, isn't two enough? alot of the normal people wouldn't even know what the difference between blu-ray and HD-DVD are.. or even have a clue what blu-ray is..

So putting another one into the toss is really going to through people off..

Sn4k36 said,
geez christ not another one... That's all we need now, isn't two enough? alot of the normal people wouldn't even know what the difference between blu-ray and HD-DVD are.. or even have a clue what blu-ray is..

So putting another one into the toss is really going to through people off..

Dude, it's not another one or third. It's two-in-one technology that is compatible with both formats at the same time.

Warner Bros., which helped popularize the DVD more than a decade ago, plans to announce next week a single videodisc that can play films and television programs in both Blu-ray and HD DVD, the rival DVD technologies.