Toshiba Lines up Hybrid DVD Format Player

Toshiba's hybrid player will read standard DVD content from top layer and HD-DVD content from the second layer.

Toshiba and Memory-Tech have announced that they have jointly developed a dual-layer ROM (read-only) disc that can store content in both the HD-DVD and DVD formats.

The newly developed ROM disc has a single-sided, dual-layer structure. The upper layer, closer to the optical head, stores data in the DVD format, and the lower layer stores HD-DVD data. The DVD layer has a 4.7GB capacity, satisfying the specification of current DVD discs, while the HD-DVD layer can store up to 15GB. The DVD layer can be played back on DVD players that are currently available, while consumers who purchase a new HD-DVD player will be able to enjoy the HD content on the second layer.

The news is another boost to the HD-DVD, following the recent announcement that four major Hollywood Studios, Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, New Line Cinema, and Warner Bros, are backing HD-DVD. However, the list of companies backing the rival Blu-ray format is impressive; including support from IT manufactures Dell and HP. Blu-ray also has the advantage of being a format that’s actually up and running, with players already on sale in Japan. It certainly seems that though this is another format war that’s set to run and run.