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Toshiba Has No Plans to Revive DVD Format Talks
Jun 8, 2005
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Toshiba Corp. doesn't plan to approach a group led by Sony Corp. to resume stalled talks on unifying the format for next-generation DVDs, Toshiba's vice president said.

"We won't talk from our side," Toshiba Corporate senior vice president Yoshihide Fujii said at the firm's Tokyo headquarters. Mr. Fujii is head of Toshiba's digital consumer goods business and is the company's point man on the DVD format talks with the Sony-led group.

Toshiba is promoting the "HD DVD" as the high-definition successor to the current generation of DVDs, while the Sony-led group is promoting a separate format called "Blu-ray Disc."

The two sides began talks earlier this year on unifying the next-generation DVD format to avoid problems such as having incompatible new DVD products based on the different formats, but talks broke down.

Mr. Fujii's comment suggests the two sides are unlikely to reach an agreement before Toshiba's planned HD DVD hardware launch from late this year. After marketing HD DVD players in the October-December period, Toshiba aims to launch HD DVD recorders next spring.

The structure of the HD DVD and Blu-ray discs is completely different. An HD DVD disc is made by back-to-back bonding of two 0.6-mm thick substrates, the same structure as the current DVD discs. A Blu-ray disc is made of a 0.1-mm optical cover layer and a 1.1-mm substrate.

A Toshiba spokesman said his company asked the Blu-ray side to give "a convincing explanation" with some data to show the advantage of using the 0.1-mm optical cover layer, but it hasn't received a clear answer yet. Given this, "the 0.1-mm format seems impossible" now, Mr. Fujii said.

Still, Toshiba remains open to any talks on standardizing these formats because the company believes that doing so would be the best answer for all involved, the spokesman said. (MarketWatch)

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