U.S.-based computer makers Hewlett-Packard (H-P) and Dell have said they would support a new DVD standard that is being promoted by 10 electronics companies.
The personal computer makers said they would support the so-called Blu-ray DVD technology, which is said to have a much higher storage capacity, allowing for recording of up to 4 hours of high-definition television on a single disc.
The technology is based on blue lasers, which have a shorter wavelength than the current red lasers, allowing for a thinner light beam that can reportedly read and write smaller bits of information on a disc.
"H-P believes Blu-ray Disc is the most consumer-friendly technology choice for the next generation of removable storage," John Romano, senior vice president at H-P, said in a statement.
Gerry Smith, vice president of Peripheral Development and Procurement at Dell, said the technology was an obvious choice given the additional storage capacity offered and the broad support from consumer electronics and PC manufacturers and large entertainment companies.
Among the 10 companies promoting Blu-Ray are Hitachi, LG Electronics, Philips Electronics, Sony, and Thomson.
Blu-ray is competing with another new blue laser-based DVD technology from Japanese companies Toshiba and NEC. In November, the rival technology won the support of the DVD Forum, an alliance of some 220 DVD companies, including electronics and media firms.
Crucial in the blue laser battle will be the support of the Hollywood movie studios, which are expected to adopt just one standard for pre-recorded (read-only) blue laser DVDs.
"The BD-ROM (read-only) format, developed in collaboration with Hollywood studios and the IT industry, is expected to be available early 2004, allowing for BD-ROM products to be available by the end of 2005," the Blu-ray group said. (Reuters)
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