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HD DVD Promotion Group Formed

Tokyo — Backers of the next-generation high-definition optical disc format HD DVD announced the formation of the HD DVD Promotion Group to “promote development of HD DVD hardware and content, assure early product launches, and promote the widespread commercial dissemination of HD DVD hardware and software products in the marketplace.”

HD DVD, which is vying with Blu-ray Disc for acceptance as the high-definition optical disc standard, lists as a key attribute an identical disc structure to current DVDs — two 0.6-millimeter-thick discs bonded back to back. This is said to assure high-yield, cost-effective production of high-capacity dual-layer discs.

The HD DVD format is based on blue-laser technology, new high level data-processing techniques, and efficient video-compression technologies.

The DVD Forum, which is a specifications-setting body for the DVD format, has already approved the Version 1.0 physical specifications for the read-only HD DVD ROM and for the HD DVD Rewritable formats. The write-once HD DVD-Recordable format has been authorized as version 0.9.

The new HD DVD Promotion Group will facilitate “proactive exchanges of opinions and information among hardware and device manufacturers and content holders, and organize joint promotions of HD DVD in support of the early product dissemination and market expansion,” the Group said.

The founding Group members will establish a preparatory organization, and expect to establish the official organization in spring 2005. The Group said it extends “a widely cast invitation to join the new organization to content holders, component manufacturers and hardware manufacturers.”