Doug Carson & Associates (DCA), a provide of signal processing technology for optical disc manufacturing, on Monday announced that its partner Sonopress had mastered and replicated the world’s first commercial 3x DVD-ROM discs, which allow to record high definition video content at a price lower than that of HD DVD. The content, however, may have lower quality or lack certain HD DVD features
3x DVD-ROM media is red laser media designed for playback in HD DVD players, as an alternative to blue laser media. The disc is the same as other red laser media, but it uses UDF 2.5 file format, AVC or VC-1 codecs and includes a setting instructing the HD DVD player to spin at three times the normal red laser rate to ensure that the player reads the data at a high enough speed to maintain smooth video playback.
Traditional single-layer DVDs allow consumers to watch movies in 720x480 (NTSC) or 720x576 (PAL) resolution with Dolby Digital audio. The blue-laser discs, such as Blu-ray and HD DVD, provide consumers 1920x1080 progressive (1080p) resolution as well as DTS or Dolby Digital Plus audio along with some additional interactive features. The 3x DVD-ROM can allow consumers to watch up to 1 hour 20 minutes of 1080p video encoded using AVC codec at 8Mb/s and encrypted using AACS, but with no additional interactive features.
Theoretically, the 3x DVD-ROM provides very low-cost content and requires no modernization of replication facilities. However, content providers currently charge a premium for high definition provided by Blu-ray and HD DVD and if they charge more for 3x DVD-ROM as well, this may leave customers unhappy, as the amount of content will be similar to that of DVD and not all currently use full-HD TV-sets and can distinguish between DVD and full-HD resolutions.