by CIO Staff

NEC to Ship HD DVD, Blu-ray Dual Format Chip

Oct 11, 20062 mins
Data Center

NEC Electronics, a Japanese producer of chips, on Tuesday said it has built a dual-format chip capable of playing discs in both the HD-DVD and Blu-ray next-generation DVD formats—an announcement that could help put an end to the war between the two rivals over which will be adopted by the masses, Reuters reports.

Combined with the appropriate optical pickup technology—which doesn’t currently exist—the chip could be used in affordable players that will be able to read both HD-DVD and Blu-ray formats, according to Reuters. NEC spokesperson Hisashi Saito told Reuters the chip and optical pickup lens often make up more than half the cost of DVD players.

NEC will sell the dual-format chips for $84, roughly the same price it charges for chips that read only one next-generation DVD format, Reuters reports.

The firm plans to ship some 300,000 units per month during the year beginning in April 2007, according to Reuters.

Blu-ray and its next-generation rival DVD format, HD DVD, are locked in a head-to-head battle for supremacy in the high-definition DVD space, and many electronics firms and retailers are trying to decide on which format—if either—to throw their support behind. Some firms have already picked a format, and others say they’ll offer titles in both formats, though the associated costs will likely deter many from going that route. Toshiba developed the HD-DVD format, and Sony backs Blu-ray.

In September, three Warner Bros. staffers filed a patent application for a disc that could be written in both formats. And in August, Screen Digest, a market research firm, released a report that predicted the DVD format war would end in a draw, with the creation of some form of dual format disc and player.

Sony BDZ-V9 Blu-ray recorder
Sony BDZ-V9

In related news, Sony on Tuesday released its first 50GB Blu-ray disc, which features double the storage capacity of a normal Blu-ray disc. Sony also recently said it would release two Blu-ray recorders—the BDZ-V9 with 500GB drive and the BDZ-V7 with 250GB drive—in Japan in December.

Related Links:

  • Report: DVD Format Wars to End in Draw

  • HD DVD, Blu-ray Dual Format Disc in the Works?

  • Sony to Ship 1st 50GB Blu-ray Disc Tuesday

  • Matsushita Blu-ray Recorders to Hit Japan in Nov.

  • Sony, Blu-ray Disc Recorders, PCs to Hit Japan in Dec.

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