Toshiba announces 45GB next-gen DVD

Toshiba announced on Tuesday the development of a higher-capacity HD DVD disc. HD DVD is the format the electronics maker is promoting as the next-generation DVD disc format. Previous versions of the format allowed for the storage of up to 30GB, but the latest version can read into a third layer on an HD DVD disc so it can hold up to 45GB of data. The 45GB version of the disc is a read-only version. Toshiba also announced a double-sided, dual-layer, hybrid read-only disc storing up to 30GB on the HD DVD side of the disc and 8.5GB on the standard DVD dual-layer side of the disc.

So, they’re trying to address the capacity angle by adding layers. I wonder if this will be required for the first players, or if there’ll be the risk of early decks not handling this evolution. Of course, Sony has already said they expect to commercialize a 100GB BD (4 layer) in a couple of years, and have shown 200GB (8 layer) discs in the lab.

As for the dual-sided HD-DVD/DVD – There is a BD/DVD as well – but you don’t have to flip it. The BD layers are ‘in front’ of the DVD layers and the DVD red laser just reads through the BD layers. So studios still get to print on one side. Studios and consumers alike never cared for dual-sided DVDs, I don’t see why dual-sided hybrids would be popular.

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MegaZone is the Editor of Gizmo Lovers and the chief contributor. He's been online since 1989 and active in several generations of 'social media' - mailing lists, USENet groups, web forums, and since 2003, blogging.    MegaZone has a presence on several social platforms: Google+ / Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / LiveJournal / Web.    You can also follow Gizmo Lovers on other sites: Blog / Google+ / Facebook / Twitter.
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  • gweepprefect

    That they are still warring this late in the game sucks for us.

    Stupid dick waving contest, if you ask me. It’s going to blow up in their faces and both formats will die, because a huge portion of the population will not care, and will be content with SD DVDs.

  • univinus

    yeah, this seems like an odd announcement if they’re finalising an agreement for that compromise format you posted about earlier. wtf are toshiba thinking? blu-ray still kills them in the capacity stakes.

    bloody hell, just when i thought i could relax.

  • megazone

    I think that if there is a war, it will suck all around – but BD will win. Because of all the reasons I’ve mentioned in the past – in summary:
    1. PlayStation3
    2. MUCH wider industry backing.
    3. PlayStation3
    4. Sony owns Sony Pictures and MGM – you won’t see HD-DVD from them, just BD.
    5. PlayStation3
    6. HD-DVD is pushing DVD to its limits, BD has a ton of growth room, so the longer a war limits adoption the more time BD has to out-pace HD-DVD.

    And yeah, I think the PS3 is the key difference. The PS2 dramatically boosted DVD adoption. When there was talk of the XBox 360 supported HD-DVD I was a little concerned, but it is normal DVD media. The PS3 will put BD into millions of homes, totally apart for other player sales.

  • gweepprefect

    You’re probably right. The PS3 will probably factor in heavily. I just hope BD isn’t just treated as a game-only format by people. I guess if movie content is available – and most importantly – affordable, people might buy it.

    Then again, they might not. If it won’t work on their buddy’s DVD player, they might just opt to purchase a DVD. Sony would be foolish to stop supplying its catalog on DVD, so it might leave consumers in a pinch.

    But, even if optical HD content is initially slow to take off, sneaking those BD-capable PS3′s into homes might be a great way to win the war long-term.

    I mostly want the war to settle before release so I can buy one of the damn players and some content when they first hit the shelves, and not have to have to wait out a format war.

  • megazone

    Yeah, it’d make me hesitate too. Format wars are always ugly – Beta vs. VHS, DAT vs. DCC vs. MiniDisk… The latter is an interesting example. None of the three managed to grab enough marketshare to mainstream – and the war dragged on long enough for CD-R to become commercially viable for consumers. Minidisk is the only one that’s managed to remain in any consumer format really.

    I think that Sony will release BD movies from Sony Pictures and MGM, if nothing else. Just like they’re the first to back UMD for the PSP, of course. And they can always make the dual-format discs that are BD/DVD so it will play on the friend’s DVD player.