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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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