The race heats up for HD-DVD

As studios and independent companies struggle to adapt a true blue laser technology to facilitate high definition DVD, the race seems to have come down to two candidates. Although the Blu-Ray technology, capable of holding 50Gb, has been accepted by Philips, Pioneer, Sony and Thomson, The DVD Forum has decided to back the new format created by Toshiba and NEC.

Although the format can carry slightly less that the Blu-Ray – coming in at 40Gb, the format won the approval of the Forum due to its backwards compatibility with existing DVDs and the fact that the new format can be created with only minor modifications to existing replication facilities, dramatically reducing the cost of investing in the format and likely an incentive to studios.

Final specs for the new format should arrive in May and both camps plan to complete a prototype by the end of 2003. Although a brief headache of format war may loom in 2004 it may be that soon that true HD-DVD is in our living rooms.

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