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Next-Gen DVDs: Coming Soon?

The group of companies behind the DVD format has approved a next-generation rewritable optical disc that is the same size as existing DVDs but can hold more than four times the amount of data. The rewritable HD-DVD (High Definition and High Density-DVD) format was approved as the DVD Forum kicked off its general meeting in Tokyo this week, according to an official at one of the group's founding members. It specifies a 4.7-inch optical disc that can store up to 20GB of data on a single-sided disc compared to 4.7GB on existing DVDs. The format has been largely developed by Toshiba and NEC and a read-only version of HD-DVD, which can hold 15GB of data, was approved late last year.

Format Wars

Approval of the format marks a further step towards a format battle that is expected to see at least four incompatible technologies battling in the computer data storage market. Currently, the format with the largest number of backers is Blu-ray Disc, for which 12 companies sit on the format committee. Until recently it was targeted at recording of high-definition video, although the addition of Hewlett-Packard and Dell to the format steering committee earlier this year is expected to result in a widening of its target market to include the computing space. Sony, a prime supporter of Blu-ray Disc, has also developed Professional Disc. The format is available in two variants and is targeted at the specific markets of high-definition broadcast quality video and data archiving and storage. U.K.-based Plasmon has also launched its own format called UDO (Ultra Density Optical), which is also targeted at the data archiving and storage market as a replacement for MO (Magneto Optical) discs.

News source: PCWorld

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