We’re getting towards the business end now. Unification talks between the two competing next gen media formats seem to have broken down and now HD DVD has signalled its intention to carry the fight to Blu-ray by finalising the technology to make volume production of its recordable discs.
Hitachi, Maxell, Mitsubishi and Verbatim lined up today to announce the development. It is significant on two fronts: firstly because the companies have finally come up with a suitable dye with which to coat the media, and secondly because Blu-ray has been in this position for nearly three months.
Firstly the technology. Standard DVD-R discs use a photosensitive organic dye as the data storage medium in their recording layer. In the transition to HD DVD, manufacturers had to meet the challenge of developing a dye that could be used with the narrow wavelength of a blue laser and offer sufficient readout stability.
Obviously this has now been achieved, but a downside to the breakthrough is only single layer 15GB HD DVD-R discs have so far been confirmed to work en mass. A further issue is the lag behind Blu-ray, which already sports a wider range of backers (Apple, Dell, HP, Hitachi, LG, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, TDK, Thomson, Twentieth Century Fox and Walt Disney Vs Toshiba, NEC, Sanyo, New Line, Paramount, Universal and Warner Bros) and greater storage capacity (25GB to 15GB).
That said, HD DVD is backwards compatible with DVD players and Blu-ray is not, but I still know where I would place my money right now…