After HD-DVD, Toshiba battles Blu-ray once more

Speculation that new technology could be available this year

Despite copping a thumping in the recent, interminable hi-definition video format wars, rumours suggest that HD-DVD stalwart Toshiba is working on a DVD upgrade to topple Sony's victorious Blu-ray Disc.

According to rampant speculation in the Japanese press, Toshiba believes that the upgrade to existing DVD technology can match Blu-ray's video quality. The reports suggest that Toshiba's Blu-ray killing technology will be much cheaper than a Blu-ray drive and could be available in the far east later this year.

Reports say that the Toshiba DVD player will also be backwards-compatible with standard DVDs.

At this stage it's impossible to say whether Toshiba's digital media silver bullet will also be able to locate Atlantis, cure cancer and make 'Britain's Got Talent - the Live Show' an entertaining use of an evening, but it can only be a matter of time. Trouble is, if Toshiba knew it had such a wonderful technology up its sleeve, why did it persist in pushing HD-DVD long after the rest of the world had gone Blu?

Either it was dumb then, or starry-eyed now. But at least this time we impoverished punters won't be made to pay through the nose for soon-to-be obsolete technology.

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Matt Egan

PC Advisor (UK)
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