Unified DVD Format On Rocks

Sony, Toshiba Throw In Towel On Unified DVD FormatSony and Toshiba have failed to agree on a unified format for next-generation DVDs, according to a Japanese newspaper report today.

For three years, pressure groups led by Sony and Toshiba have jostled to have their respective technologies adopted as standard for next-gen DVD players, PC drives and optical discs.

Both formats are based around blue lasers, which have a shorter wavelength than red lasers used in current DVD equipment.

This allows discs to store data at higher densities, providing enough storage capacity for high-definition movies and television.

Toshiba teamed up with NEC and Sanyo to promote the HD DVD standard, while Sony and Matsushita (makers of Panasonic products) have been pushing a rival Blu-ray technology.

Sony, Toshiba Throw In Towel On Unified DVD FormatJapan’s Yomiuri newspaper has reported that the two companies have now abandoned their efforts to develop a unified format, with negotiations falling through after both sides refused to budge.

It was hoped that the Japanese technology giants may have worked together to develop a new format before the launch of new products, but time appears to have run out.

Sony, Toshiba Throw In Towel On Unified DVD FormatThe newspaper report hasn’t been verified by either firm, although both have said that they have not ruled out the possibility of further talks at some point.

In the meantime, both companies will continue the development of products utilising the rival DVD formats.

Sony has announced that it intends to put a Blu-ray disc drive in its new PlayStation game console next year. Their Blu-ray technology is also backed by industry big boys Dell and Samsung.

Although pundits are predicting that producers of next-generation optical discs would eventually use one format, it looks like products based on the two competing standards will be around for a short while, potentially punishing earlier adopters and holding back consumer growth.

Sony, Toshiba May Create Universal Blu-Ray/HD DVD Standard (April 2005)