High On DVD Hybrid

    April 22, 2005

Electronics manufacturers Toshiba and Sony continue to negotiate for a new hybrid DVD format as more companies weigh in on the matter.

Masushita Inc, parent of Panasonic sides with Sony after being in a similar battle with Sony many years ago when Panasonic had VHS and Sony had Beta. VHS won.

Now the two companies work together to promote the Blu-Ray DVD created by Sony. The new technology uses blue lasers instead of the current red and will grant the ability to user higher density disks. The Sony package will use 50gb DVDs.

Toshiba came up with HD-DVD shortly after Sony showed the Blu-Ray in 2002. The Toshiba model also uses a blue laser but the disk will hold 30gb. It works on the same type of disk structure as existing DVDs so it would require fewer changes in the way things are done.

Many other companies have come out on one side or the other. Dutch electronics giant Phillips as well as Dell Computer and Samsung are flying with Blu-Ray right now. Electronics companies Sanyo and NEC as well as movie companies Warner Brothers, Paramount and Universal are lining up with Toshiba. But all parties agree that a universal format is the best for all.

The universal format would be easier for producers, manufacturers and most importantly, consumers to deal with. Computer manufacturers don’t want to have to put to DVD players in their systems and movie companies certainly don’t want to double manufacturer DVDs of their movies.

“Toshiba believes a single format will benefit consumers. We are in talks and we will continue engaging in the talks,” a Toshiba spokeswoman said Thursday.

The promises of the new technology are quite exciting. The level of space available on these disks will give movie companies and game companies new licenses to be creative and integrate special effects into their products. Some predictions say the games and movies will look just about the same in that some folks won’t be able to tell the difference between the two.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.