The home electronics industry is again in the midst of a frenetic and aggressive format war. The protagonists are the two competing high definition DVD formats that are trying to dominate the market – HD DVD and Blu Ray. I myself do not want to get embroiled in the middle of these format wars because I have no intention of buying an expensive piece of first generation equipment that could later on prove to be the loser in these wars – of course, the loser ends up with a very expensive piece of paperweight. And I think I’m not alone in sitting on the fence for this particular competition.But a new patent application could change this impasse overnight. The new application is for a disc that could play the two competing formats and was filed by three Warner Bros. employees, with two of the applicants being engineers for the company.
The supposed “multi layer dual optical disk” will have one layer of data in the standard CD or DVD format, a second layer, on the other hand, can play one high capacity format and a third layer carries the competing high capacity format.
Blu-Ray, which is being championed by Sony Corp., and HD DVD, which is supported by Toshiba, both work using a blue – indigo laser but they are not compatible with each other. These new generation of DVDs can store more information and thus have far more superior video and audio quality compared to the “old” DVD format.
This impasse is actually forcing consumers to pick one or the other. A bad situation that analysts say will alienate the market and actually be detrimental to growth.