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Warner makes HD Hybrid disc a possibility?

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 19 Sep 2006 18:49 User comments (12)

Warner makes HD Hybrid disc a possibility? According to patent discovered by New Scientist, Warner has been brainstorming on the possibility of a hybrid disc that could store HD DVD and Blu-Ray data on one side and DVD data on the other (possibly also CD data). The only hybrid discs that have been produced so far are HD DVD / DVD discs. While the manufacturing processes of HD DVD and DVD are similar, Blu-ray requires new equipment to produce.
HD DVD discs' data layer is 0.6mm from the surface whereas it is only 0.1mm for Blu-ray. Both formats utilise a 405nm blue laser. According to the patent, which several top Warner executives as the inventors, "a dual disc may also be formed with two high-capacity data layers, one conforming to the HD DVD format and the other conforming to the BD [Blu-ray disc] format."

This is made possible by the use of semireflective coatings to allow the two layers to coexist on a single side. The Blu-ray data layer would work like a two-way mirror in that it would reflect enough light for Blu-ray playback, but would also let enough light through for HD DVD playback. The greater depth of HD DVD's data layer makes this possible.

A DVD disc, like HD DVD, has a data layer at 0.6mm but uses a red laser at 650nm. For DVD data to also be stored on the same disc it would have to be on the opposite side of the Blu-ray / HD DVD side. Obviously such a disc would cost more to produce than a standard HD disc (while also putting aside legal complications and otherwise) but it could possibly make the DVD format war easier for the average confused consumer.

Of course, there are downsides to this method. The main downside would be that each HD format would only have one layer on the disc, that's 25GB Blu-ray data and 15GB HD DVD. Then when you consider the capacity that HD content demands, studios would find themselves having to release some movie titles with multiple discs just like DVD. Besides a hybrid disc option, another possibility is a player that can read both formats. Technology that could bring these players to the market has already been demonstrated.

New Scientist

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12 user comments

120.9.2006 5:17

Sounds great. Just kinda wonder about $$$$$

220.9.2006 7:46

Whoever invents this will be a rich man indeed. I'll buy two just for the sake of DVD collecting.

320.9.2006 12:02

well; that's a step in the right direct at least for getting a unified disc (or format;)

420.9.2006 14:34

I dont care about this.

520.9.2006 14:47

suspension for 2 days. Come on guys, we have been warning about news comments for too long now. If people don't care about a news article, then don't take the time to comment unless you have a real comment ok?

620.9.2006 15:18

this would solve so many problems and disputes. i am curious how burning on blank discs would work. would there also be an all in one disc reader/burner?

720.9.2006 15:54

Great article Dela. I didn't think it was possible. I'm all for a DualDisc format, but unfortunately it has failed with SACD and DVD-A (DualDisc). I think we have a better chance of HD DVD or BD winning the high def disc war than we do this disc succeeding. If it does, than it will probably be short term.

820.9.2006 22:03

Nice but would their be enough room for 2 high def movies and 1 DVD movie 0-o

921.9.2006 13:02

great idea

1021.9.2006 21:31

How about Blu-ray one side and HD-DVD on the other side, that way what ever kind of player you have you can still watch a hd movie. forget incorporating dvd onto a hd disc, lets just concentrate on high def for right now and these formats.

1121.9.2006 21:42

jamestony they can stick a DVD layer on the HD DVD side rather easily so its not a super waste.

1222.9.2006 5:52

It's an easily made disc I suspect. Making the readers at a reasonable cost (given how much they currently are on their own) would be a challenge, but if they can pull it off, kudos to them.

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