Toshiba Developing 45GB HD-DVD Disc

Despite reports in a Japanese newspaper stating that Toshiba and Sony may be close to deal that would standardize on Blu-ray for next-generation DVDs, Toshiba has announced the development of a higher capacity disc in its competing format, HD-DVD. The 45GB capacity would eliminate Blu-ray's size advantage.

Blu-ray offers a 50-gigabyte disc capacity and proponents boast that it is intended primarily for video purposes. Original HD-DVD discs had two layers of data: one in the old DVD format and a second that holds 15 gigabytes.

Supporters of HD-DVD note its backwards compatibility, but Blu-ray's immense capacity has garnered more interest in the marketplace.

The new HD-DVD format would support three separate layers of data on a disc, with each layer holding 15GB. Toshiba also announced a new dual-layer disc that holds 30GB on one side and 8.5GB in the original DVD format on the other.

The competing high-definition DVD formats has caused a rift in the movie industry. Movie studios Walt Disney and Twentieth Century Fox have pledged support for Blu-ray, while others including Warner Bros. will utilize HD-DVD. HD-DVD discs are expected to reach the market first.

Software companies such as Microsoft and Apple, meanwhile, will win no matter what DVD format comes out on top. Video codecs from both companies will be supported by both Blu-ray and HD-DVD, and Microsoft recently announced that Warner Bros. Studios will use its VC-1 codec for its HD-DVD movie titles.

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