Thomson to back Blu-ray, HD-DVD formats

Thomson, one of the core backers of the Blu-ray Disc format for high-definition video discs, plans to offer players supporting the rival HD-DVD format and disc duplication services for both formats, it said Friday.

The company is one of Europe's largest electronics brands and a founding member of the consortium that is promoting the Blu-ray Disc format. The format and its competitor offer several times the storage capacity of current DVDs and are being positioned to succeed DVD for the storage of high-definition video.

"We're a founding member (of the Blu-ray Disc Association) so we are involved with that format but we are a little more advanced on the HD-DVD (disc production) front," said Monica Coull, a spokeswoman for Thomson. Thomson offers disc reproduction services through its Technicolor business.

"We'll be ready with the HD-DVD at the end of 2005. For Blu-ray, I don't think the time frame is as advanced," she said.

Thomson's announcement marks the first time that a Blu-ray Disc board member has announced plans to support HD-DVD and adds another layer of complexity to the battle between the two standards.

Blu-ray Disc counts 15 major backers on its board and offers single-layer discs of 25G-byte capacity and dual-layer discs of double that. HD-DVD has a lesser number of electronics companies behind the format and its discs are lower capacity at around 15G bytes for a single-layer disc.

HD-DVD players for movies are likely to be on the market before the end of 2005 before comparable Blu-ray Disc movie players, according to current commercialization plans. Disc production costs for HD-DVD are likely to be lower, say disc makers.

To date HD-DVD has picked up support from four major content producers: Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Studios, Universal Pictures and New Line Cinema. Until last week the only major movie studio to announce support for Blu-ray Disc was Sony's Sony Pictures unit. Earlier last week The Walt Disney Co. and its Buena Vista Home Entertainment division threw their weight behind the format.

In addition to Thomson, the other Blu-ray Disc board members are Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi, Koninklijke Philips Electronics, LG Electronics, Mitsubishi Electric, Matsushita Electric Industrial (Panasonic), Pioneer, Samsung Electronics, Sharp, Sony, TDK, Twentieth Century Fox and Walt Disney Pictures and Television.

The largest companies behind HD-DVD are Toshiba, NEC and Sanyo Electric and it's also backed by the DVD Forum.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?