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.


Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links. Tell us what you think – email the Editor