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In an attempt to avoid a conflict of high definition DVD formats that can potentially jeopardize sales of next-generation DVDs and supporting hardware, the DVD Forum and Blu-ray Disc Association are about to agree on key components of their standards which can eventually lead to emergence of players that can sport both HD DVD and BD discs, something impossible today.

“According to sources close to the DVD Forum and the Blu-ray Disc Association, the groups are on the verge of agreeing on a higher-level protocol and interactive layers as well as the physical formats of the incompatible standards,” EETimes web-site reported.

A compromise would allow movie studios to make a single title in one HD format and compile it later for either platform. Such a move also means consumer electronics manufacturers would have to spend less time developing dual-format software and hardware for new HD DVD players.

Blu-ray, also known as Blu-ray Disc (BD) is the name of a next-generation optical disc format jointly developed by thirteen leading consumer electronics and PC companies, such as Dell, Hitachi, HP, LG, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, TDK and Thomson. The format was developed to enable recording, rewriting and playback of high-definition television (HDTV). Blu-ray makes it possible to record over 2 hours of HDTV, or more than 13 hours of SDTV on a 27GB disc. There are also plans for higher capacity discs that are expected to hold up to 54GB of data.

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 can store up to 15GB of data on one layer. HD DVD players and HD DVD video software are expected to come to market in late 2005. The development of HD DVD is headed by NEC and Toshiba. An advantage HD DVD player offer over the BD is backward compatibility with conventional DVDs.

Sony said in March, 2005, it looked forward to negotiate with the DVD Forum over standardization of next-gen disc formats.

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