Toshiba: DVD Forum Hasn't Yet Approved Final 51 GB HD DVD After All

In a statement to BetaNews this afternoon, a Toshiba spokesperson said that only a preliminary version of Toshiba's 51 GB three-layer, single-sided HD DVD format had been approved by the DVD Forum, caretaker of HD DVD.

As it turned out, and as Toshiba's spokespersons may have only just now realized, the DVD Forum signed off on a preliminary specification, which may have been confused for the final specification because its version number is 1.9.

"We understand that the preliminary version (1.9) of the physical specifications for the triple-layer 51 GB HD DVD-ROM disc has been approved," said Toshiba's spokesperson today.

The spokesperson then added that it has not yet been determined whether current HD DVD players or recorders will be able to use the new format, which the headline of an official Toshiba statement given to BetaNews today is now calling "Trip-Layer." "Toshiba will study the performance of current HD DVD player/recorders with the disc after the standard receives final approval by the DVD Forum."

That last part is a pretty clear indication that final approval was not granted, contrary to our earlier report based on industry news that cited sources with a stake in the format.

The formal Toshiba statement reads as follows: "We welcome the DVD Forum Steering Committee's decision to approve the preliminary version (Version 1.9) of the physical specifications for the triple-layer 51 GB HD DVD-ROM disc. This decision reinforces the fact that HD DVD is capable of offering a range of capacities due to the flexible nature of the format and provides studios with even greater options for creating high definition content. With extended capacities, studios can meet their future needs for releases that may require more storage."

Toshiba's admission today is the first genuine admission from the company that work on engineering the final "Trip-Layer" format has actually not been completed, as was previously believed.

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