Next-Generation DVD Format War Looming

After three votes and amended voting rules, the DVD Forum has finally passed a proposal for a next-generation DVD technology called HD-DVD. The DVD Forum is responsible for the DVD, DVD-R, DVD-RW, and DVD-RAM formats, and includes more than 200 companies (e.g., NEC, Philips, Sony, Toshiba). The HD-DVD format had trouble obtaining approval because many companies in the DVD Forum support a competing format called Blu-ray DVD. The approval of the HD-DVD proposal sets up a battle between technologies: Which format will become the next storage medium for high-definition video and large-capacity data? The battle is expected to cause further confusion and stunt market growth, similar to what happened during the DVD-R/W and DVD+R/W recording format battles, which has been taking place for the past few years but still hasn't found a winner. Many manufacturers have begun to support both DVD-recordable formats, but such cooperation will probably not be an option for HD-DVD and Blu-ray because of the different technology each will use. The HD-DVD format uses a violet laser-based optical disk system and can store from 15GB to 20GB per disk. The Blu-ray format uses a blue laser-based optical disk system and stores about 25GB per disk.

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