The time has come for Toshiba and Nec, the main backers of HD-DVD
format to announce they’re ready for write-once HD-DVD-R disc
Their discs can store 15 GB of data, and should be available for
the consumers in the first half of the next year, by the same
time that HD-DVD recorders and PC drives will be also on the
As we all know, HD-DVD fights in a tight competition with Blu-ray
for the “format of the future” title, that also means a
multibillion dollar market as a price for the winner.
Similar blue laser technology stays at the core of both formats,
as the blue laser has a shorter wavelength than the red lasers
used in current DVD equipment, allowing discs to store data at
higher densities needed for high-definition TV and movies.
The advantage that HD-DVD-R disc has over its main competitor,
the Blu-ray disc is it has the same disc structure as the
classic DVD and thus can be manufactured by using the same
production lines. This, for the DVD manufacturers, means they
can start HD-DVD-R mass production at full speed, right away,
with not much additional cost. A replacement stamper is needed
of course and the old dye must be replaced with blue-light
sensitive, resin dye. The new dye was developed in a joint
project of Hayashibara Biochemical Laboratories, Mitsubishi
Kagaku Media/Verbatim and Toshiba Corporation.
But at the same time, Blu-ray competitor has its own advantages,
like superior storing capacity. Toshiba claims it works at this
aspect also, but moving from single-layer discs that are written
at 1x speed, to dual-layer 30GB discs could take several years,
its spokespersons said. Toshiba promised to introduce 20GB
HD-DVD-RW discs by this time next year.
So far, the Blu-ray Disc Association and the HD DVD Promotion
Group have refused to compromise to a unified hybrid format for
the future DVD.