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Green Light for HD-DVD

Started by Gregg Lengling, Monday Mar 01, 2004, 09:31:37 am

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Gregg Lengling

HD-DVD is ahead by a nose in its race against Blu-ray. On Wednesday, February 25, the 20-member steering committee of the DVD Forum voted to approve technology developed by Toshiba and NEC for use in the coming generation of high density/high definition DVD recorders.

The committee approved a read-only version of the system in November. The latest vote removes one of the last hurdles to commercial product development; Toshiba and NEC said they would probably introduce HD-DVD recorders for consumers sometime next year.

The two partners are contending with a rival format called Blu-ray, backed by a 12-member consortium led by Sony Corporation, Matsushita Electric Industrial Company and Hewlett-Packard. Both teams have developed prototype discs and recorders, but the Blu-ray group hasn't won approval by the DVD Forum. Both formats claim the ability to capture data-intense high-definition television programming on standard optical discs. HD-DVD won approval by the Forum's steering committee because it would require less retooling by manufacturers. The Blu-ray group is a splinter faction within the DVD Forum, and hasn't submitted its format for approval.

It appears that Microsoft will have its finger in every HD-DVD pie. On Friday, February 27, the DVD Forum steering committee voted for preliminary approval to include Microsoft's video compression technology in specifications for HD-DVD playback. Microsoft's VC-9, the decoding technology in Windows Media Video, will probably be included in the final HD-DVD specification, as well as the company's two other video technologies, H.264 and MPEG-2. Final approval should come within 60 days as licensing agreements are ironed out.
Gregg R. Lengling, W9DHI
Living the life with a 65" Aquos
glengling at milwaukeehdtv dot org  {fart}