Well, there'll be no universal High Definition DVD replacement:
|Unified DVD dead - report|
Correspondents in Tokyo
AUGUST 23, 2005
GROUPS pushing competing technologies for next-generation DVDs have given up developing a unified format.
For three years, the two groups, headed by Toshiba and Sony, have pushed to have their respective technology standards adopted to gain dominance in the multibillion-dollar markets for DVD players, PC drives and optical discs.
Toshiba, along with NEC and Sanyo, has been promoting HD DVD, while Sony and Matsushita, the maker of Panasonic brand products, have been developing a technology known as Blu-ray.
The two groups have held negotiations on unifying their formats to persuade consumers to shift to advanced discs and to promote growth in the industry.
But negotiations fell through as neither side yielded, and time ran out to develop a format before the launch of new products from both groups, Japan's Yomiuri newspaper has reported.
"Late August is the practical time limit (to unify formats)," Yoshihide Fujii, Toshiba's corporate senior vice president, was quoted as saying in the paper.
A Toshiba spokeswoman said Mr Fujii meant that the company needed to start developing software by late August for its HD DVD-based players, scheduled for release at the end of 2005.
A Sony spokesman said it has become harder to unify formats after failing to reach an agreement in negotiations in May.
Both officials agreed, however, that a unified format is still a possibility. They said a single format would be the best way, and added they would release their products as scheduled.
Sony plans to put a Blu-ray disc drive in its new PlayStation game console next year.
Sony's Blu-ray technology is also backed by Dell and Samsung.
At the core of both formats are blue lasers, which have a shorter wavelength than red lasers used in current DVD equipment, allowing discs to store data at higher densities needed for high-definition movies and television.
Toshiba's then president, Tadashi Okamura, had said in May producers of next-generation optical discs would eventually use one format, although products based on the two competing standards may be around for a limited time.