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Memory-Tech, Toshiba Develop New Disc To Play HD And DVD

Memory-Tech and Toshiba have jointly developed a dual-layer ROM (read-only) disc that can store content in both the HD-DVD and DVD formats.

The newly developed ROM disc has a single-sided, dual-layer structure. The upper layer, closer to the optical head, stores data in the DVD format, and the lower layer stores HD-DVD data, according to a statement announcing the breakthrough.

The DVD layer has a 4.7GB capacity, which complies with the specification of current DVD discs, while the HD-DVD layer can store 15GB capacity. The DVD layer can be played back on currently available DVD players.

The companies said the new disc can be used to produce both standard- and high-definition versions of films on a single disc. The discs can be played by consumers with only standard DVD players as well as those who adopt forthcoming players based on the HD-DVD system. Software dealers could also avoid having to stock multiple SKUs of titles for each format.

Toshiba said the new disc structure will also allow content providers to use the HD-DVD layer for a feature movie and the DVD layer to store promotional videos or audio content, including the movie sound track.

The new disc, which has the same physical structure as single-sided dual-layer DVD-ROM or HD DVD-ROM discs, is expected to have a comparable cost to manufacture as those formats. Memory-Tech will be able to produce the discs on existing manufacturing lines, which can manufacture both HD- DVD and DVD discs.

HD DVD is the next generation DVD format being standardized at the DVD Forum, which represents over 230 consumer electronics, information technology and content companies worldwide. HD-DVD players and HD-DVD video software are expected to come to market in late 2005, and will allow consumers to enjoy video content, including Hollywood movies, with crystal-clear, high-definition picture quality.