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Matsushita To Toshiba: DVD Fight Is Over

David Utter
Expert Author
Published: 2005-05-19

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The president of Matsushita, which supports Sony and its Blu-ray technology, tells rival Toshiba to back down in talks.

Over the past three years, Sony and Toshiba, and electronics industry supporters on either side, have battled over the next-generation format of DVDs.

The most significant change will be the color of the laser used to read DVDs, from red to blue. Blue has a shorter wavelength than red; this is important to outside interests like the movie industry. A blue laser allows for greater data storage on a DVD.

That storage increase means Hollywood can plan on releasing movies made in all-digital high-definition (HD) format. HD movies will need a larger storage capacity to carry all the extra information a DVD player will need to render the movie in all of its digital glory.

Sony has championed its Blu-ray technology, which can store up to 50GB of information on a single disc. Toshiba says its HD DVD format, which holds slightly less than Blu-ray discs, will be a less expensive transition because its structure is closer to that of current DVDs.

Since both camps see their standard as the best for the market, they have been trying to enlist supporters from throughout the movie and high-tech electronics industries. The winner will dominate the markets for DVD players and PC drives for years.

One potential compromise rumored in recent weeks would have Sony's Blu-ray become the standard, and Toshiba would make the software allowing devices to playback those DVDs as well as manage the digital rights of each disc. Toshiba has denied a compromise is in reach.

Both sides risk angering consumers by releasing competing devices. Toshiba will begin selling HD DVD players later this year, with some movie titles already announced for the format. Sony's PlayStation 3 will launch in early 2006 with Blu-ray support.

According to Reuters, Matsushita president Kunio Nakamura told reporters in Tokyo that while the talks continue, Matsushita and Sony will not budge from their positions supporting Blu-ray.

"The talks continue, they have not collapsed. But Matsushita and Sony have not changed their stance. We are waiting for Toshiba's decision."



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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

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