Optical Disc Makers Would Prefer HD DVD over Blu-Ray

Lower Transition Costs to HD DVD Spur Manufacturers to Launch HD DVD First

by Anton Shilov
08/04/2005 | 10:51 PM

Manufacturers of optical discs from   Taiwan recently indicated that they would support HD DVD standard of next-generation optical drives firstly and only afterwards would produce Blu-ray discs, if the technology is adopted widely. The reasons behind the plan are lower transition costs to the HD DVD.

CMC Magnetics and Ritek plan to start production of blue-laser HD DVD discs as early as the end of this year, while Lite-On IT and BenQ plan to offer blue-laser HD DVD drives at the end of 2005 or the first quarter of 2006, according to the companies cited by DigiTimes web-site.

While Taiwanese manufacturers do not produce the majority of optical drives in the world, other Asian-based makers from China, Korea, Malaysia and so on are also likely to adopt a standard that requires less new equipment to be re-set up or acquired. Still, given that a number of tier-one consumer electronics companies, including Hitachi, Panasonic, Sony and others, back Blu-ray technology, its market acceptance is inevitable, unless the HD DVD and Blu-ray standards are unified.

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.

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.