While HD DVD has long harked on about how it launched with a finalised spec, had cheaper players and the potential for better backwards compatibility (ie DVD dual sided discs) it has fallen behind Blu-ray in terms of sales and write speeds.
Here to give the format a much needed (though possibly too late) bit of mouth-to-mouth is Verbatim which has become the first manufacturer to announce commercial availability of 2x HD DVD-Rs.
In an age of 52x CD and 16x DVD burners a 2x HD DVD disc may seem positively snail-like but the breakthrough means the time required to fill a 15GB single sided HD DVD will be slashed from one hour to approximately 30 minutes. Yes, it's still no drag race, but come on...
The jump was made by developing a new highly sensitive recording layer and further refining the format's physical characteristics to create a more uniform groove shape, consistent substrate thickness and disc flatness. At this stage Verbatim hasn't said whether the 2x write speed will be available on dual layer 30GB HD DVDs.
Verbatim says 2x discs will start rolling out towards the end of this quarter though it didn't touch upon price which has me thinking: early adopters, just how much is an extra 30 minutes worth to you...?