Japanese consumer electronics maker Sanyo Electric Co. has joined a group of companies led by Sony Corp. to develop recordable high-definition DVD disks, but will also remain allied Toshiba's group.
Sanyo's decision to help both the Sony-led group and Toshiba adds uncertainty to the race to develop a global standard for next-generation optical disks, which are expected to offer sharper images than current DVDs.
Sony leads a group promoting the Blu-ray Disc format, while Japan's Toshiba Corp. leads a rival group that backs the HD-DVD format.
Sanyo quietly joined the Blu-ray Disc side, while retaining its ties to the HD-DVD group, Kyodo news agency quoted the company's officials saying. Sanyo said it plans to have a DVD player compatible with the HD-DVD format on store shelves later this year.
The news follows Toshiba's announcement last week that it is preparing to mass produce recordable high-definition DVDs with a 15-G storage capacity. Hitachi Maxell Ltd. and Mitsubishi Kagaku plan to market the new discs next spring, when Toshiba is scheduled to launch the new DVD recorders.
Sanyo reportedly plans to make a key part of the machines that reads the discs for both formats. (AP)
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