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.