51 GB HD DVD disc rivals Blu-ray capacity

Posted by Mark Raby

San Jose (CA) - Further blurring the line of which format is technically superior, Toshiba has announced that it has successfully created a triple-layer HD DVD disc that holds 51 GB of data.  It has begun the process of submitting it for regulatory approval.

Blu-ray Disc (BD) has been regarded as the winner in terms of capacity since the beginning of the next-generation format war.  However, the 51 GB HD DVD would slightly overpower BD, which currently has a maximum capacity of 50 GB.  Previously, HD DVDs were only available in 15 GB and 30 GB capacities.

Feasibility is a big question, though.  It's unclear if the addition of a third layer on an HD DVD would significantly increases mass production costs or time.

HD DVD is struggling to capture more market share after a Nielsen report showed the BDs were outpacing it by two to one.  One major advantage it touts is its combo format discs, which work in both HD DVD and regular DVD players.  However, that drives up the cost and deters some consumers.

According to media reports, Toshiba is planning to launch the new format before the end of the year.