Home Video Format War Over Before It Begins?

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CNN has posted an interesting article announcing a new DVD disk that just might end the format war as Britain-based New Medium Enterprises (NME) said on Tuesday it had solved a technical production problem that makes it possible to produce a cheap multiple-layer DVD disk containing one film in different, competing formats.

The largest reason for the new HD DVD and Blu-ray disc formats is due to the amount of space needed to hold the high-definition format. Currently a dual-layer DVD disc can hold approximately 9.4 gigabytes of information while an HD DVD disc can hold up to 15 gigabytes per layer and a Blu-ray disc can hold up to 25 gigabytes per layer meaning dual layer discs of each format can hold up to 30-50 gigabytes per disc.

The new technology provided by NME means that they have created a DVD disc format that can hold more than the current two layers DVDs hold and can do it with a higher yield than many of the DVDs coming off the manufacturing lines that are not working and have to be discarded.

NME has developed a disc that has worked successfully and has 10 layers meaning it is a DVD disc that holds up to 47 gigabytes of information, which means it can hold more information than a dual layered HD DVD. NME has also developed a player and is willing to share the technology with others.

Dutch company ODMS, one of the world’s leading makers of production lines for optical disks, confirms these reports and said it will have the first prototype production line using NME’s technology running by early 2007.

Warner Bros. is already in on the game as they have filed a patent for the application of multiple formats on a single DVD disc. NME Chief Technology Officer Eugene Levich comments on the move by Warner saying, “There’s no collision between Warner and us. They patent the application, we are patenting the technology. These are complementary patents. I’m glad it’s happened. Warner opened our eyes, because it shows they really want to do this and create multi-format, multi-layer disks.”

Who knows, it seems the format war may actually never take place.

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Weekend: Nov. 22, 2018, Nov. 25, 2018

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