Toshiba Pumps Up Capacity of Dual-Format DVD

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Today, Memory-Tech Corporation and Toshiba Corporation unveiled a single-sided, three-layer ROM disc for high capacity storage and playback on both DVD and HD DVD formats.

The disc is the latest addition to the DVD TWIN format, discs that support both DVD and HD DVD content and that are fully compatible with both formats.

The new disc boosts capacity and expands versatility with a three-layer structure for support for two HD DVD layers and one DVD layer or two DVD layers and one HD DVD layer.

Memory-Tech and Toshiba will propose the new disc to the HD DVD Forum, the industry body that defines DVD standards.

In a two-layer HD DVD configuration, the new TWIN disc has a 30GB HD DVD capacity, plus 4.7GB of standard DVD capacity.

Configured to maximize standard DVD content, the disc can support 8.5GB on two layers, plus 15GB of HD DVD content on the third layer. DVD content can be played back on a standard DVD player, while HD DVD players can play back both formats.

Memory-Tech and Toshiba together proposed the DVD/HD DVD TWIN to the DVD Forum in 2004, as a transitional format able to support both standard DVD and HD DVD content.

The single-sided, dual-layer TWIN disc was adopted as part of the HD DVD specifications, and has found wide application since HD DVD players and PC drives were launched in the Japanese and North American markets in March this year.

The TWIN disc allows standard definition and high definition versions of a movie to play on present DVD players, and on the high definition version players upon upgrade.

The first generation TWIN disc had limited capacity: support for 15GB of HD DVD content and 4.7GB of DVD content.

The companies say that the new 3-layer disc meets demand from movie studios and software companies in North America and Japan for a capacity boost, and offers double the maximum capacity for each format.

“We have been releasing TWIN Format titles since April,” said Hideki Oyagi, General Manager, Visual Entertainment Department, PONY CANYON INC. “We are getting very positive feedback from the market, and our TWIN Format titles are selling better than anticipated. The new 3-layer TWIN Format will allow us to develop even more products and I am sure it will accelerate acceptance of the HD DVD format in the market.”

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