Battle looms over successor standard to DVD

Two competing technologies which enable more than 20G bytes of data to be stored on each side of an optical disk are nearing commercialization, leading to fears that the industry could be split between support for one format or the other.

Toshiba Corp. and NEC Corp. have proposed their Advanced Optical Disc (AOD) technology as a standard to the DVD Forum, a consortium of 212 companies. The forum is expect to settle on full specifications for AOD by the second quarter next year, said Hideyuki Irie, a DVD Forum official.

Earlier this year, the basic specifications for an alternative high-capacity standard known as Blu-Ray were announced by nine companies: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., Royal Philips Electronics NV, Sony Corp., Hitachi Ltd., LG Electronics Inc., Pioneer Corp. Samsung Electric Co. Ltd., Sharp Corp. and Thomson Multimedia SA.

The AOD is based on a 405-nanometer-wavelength blue laser and can store up to 20G bytes of data on one side of a disc of the same size as a conventional DVD disc. AOD drives are expected to be commercially produced next year, according to Mitsumasa Fukumoto, an NEC spokesman.

Blu-Ray, which also uses a 405-nanometer blue laser, can store up to 27G bytes of data on one side or 50G bytes on two sides, and is expected to be commercialized soon but no targeted launching date is set, Sony's Tsuyoshi Sakaguchi said.

High-capacity DVD drives are expected to be in demand in Japan once high-definition broadcasting begins next year. The 20G-byte capacity is large enough to record about two hours of high-definition video.

The industry is concerned about a battle between the AOD and Blu-Ray standards in future, according to Irie.

"The forum has been trying to merge the two formats into one standard and hasn't given up on doing so, but technically speaking, it is very difficult unless each side approaches and compromises with each other," Irie said.

However, the forum sees little possibility of those approaches being made, Irie said.

The same standards issue exists in the conventional 4.7G-byte DVD world.

DVD has three main formats -- DVD-R/RW (DVD recordable/rewritable), DVD-RAM and DVD+R/RW. The first two are backed up by the DVD Forum, which also supports DVD Multi, a standard to comply DVD-R/RW and DVD-RAM. DVD+R/RW is supported by Sony Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. Mitsubishi Chemical Corp., Yamaha Corp. and Ricoh Co. Ltd.

Sony, which is also a DVD Forum member, recently unveiled a DVD-R/-RW/+R/+RW drive but not many companies from either side are planning to follow.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Kuriko Miyake

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?