Japan's NEC claims first disc drive to play 3-G and current DVDs.

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Allan, Feb 25, 2005.

  1. Allan

    Allan Guest


    Technology News
    Wednesday December 22, 2004

    Japanese high-tech giant NEC Corp. said it has developed the first
    disc drive that can read advanced DVDs along with current-generation
    DVDs and CDs, in a move which will intensify the battle to set the
    standard for next-generation DVDs.
    NEC's researcher Toshiaki Iwanaga displays the world's first three
    generation compatible HD-DVD drive

    NEC hopes the technology will help win converts for its
    High-Definition DVD (HD-DVD), which is also backed by Toshiba and is
    up against the Blu-Ray format of next-generation DVDs supported by

    High-tech manufacturers have struggled to make a disc drive that can
    play and record next-generation DVDs, current DVDs and CDs, but is
    also small enough to fit inside a personal computer, NEC said.

    A company spokesman said NEC had developed a prototype drive -- using
    the HD-DVD format -- and that NEC was preparing it for a commercial

    Next-generation DVD players use blue lasers which employ a shorter
    wavelength than the red light used for current DVDs and CDs, allowing
    the storage of up to six times as much data and DVD quality similar to
    high-definition television.

    The extra data space can also be used to develop more features, such
    as creating video games with the look and feel of cinema.

    "High-definition contents are increasing with the spread of high
    definition, large-screen displays and the start of digital terrestrial
    TV broadcasting," NEC said in a statement.

    "It is anticipated that the need for recording and playing back
    high-definition digital contents on optical discs in the home and on
    personal computers will continue to grow," NEC said.

    NEC said it will exhibit the prototype drive at a consumer electronics
    show in Las Vegas from January 6 to 9.

    Besides NEC and Toshiba, Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, New
    Line Cinema and Warner Brothers Studios have also expressed support
    for the HD-DVD format, which is expected to see mass-market release in
    late 2005.

    But Sony scored a victory earlier this month when entertainment
    powerhouse Disney threw its weight behind the Blu-Ray format.

    Blu-Ray and HD-DVD are not compatible, leading to expectations that
    the release of next-generation DVDs could mirror the launch of
    videocassette recorders which had duelling formats until VHS triumphed
    over Betamax.

    "Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game
    because they almost always turn out to be -- or to be indistinguishable from
    -- self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time."
    - Neil Stephenson, _Cryptonomicon_
    Allan, Feb 25, 2005
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