Sony, Toshiba Mull Unified Format to Avoid DVD War

Japan's Sony Corp. and Toshiba Corp. are in talks to develop a common standard for next-generation DVDs and end a fierce battle over formats that has been threatening to stifle the industry's growth. Sony and Toshiba, heading rival groups, have waged a three-year battle to have their new technology standards adopted by the industry and gain pole position in the multi-billion dollar markets for DVD players, PC drives and optical disks.

While a final deal is still far from certain, both camps are well aware that a drawn-out fight would likely confuse consumers and hinder the industry's development, just like the famous spat between the VHS and Betamax video tape formats two decades ago. "Toshiba believes a single format will benefit consumers. We are in talks (with the rival camp and related parties) and we will continue engaging in the talks," a Toshiba spokeswoman said.

News source: Reuters

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