The HD DVD Promotion Group today announced that momentum is building for the launch of HD DVD. Several key manufacturers in the disc replication and equipment industry simultaneously confirmed the manufacturability of HD DVD discs at high volumes and provided tangible data to prove feasible and realistic production. They are poised to mass produce HD DVD discs, which will deliver a wide variety of options for high definition content later this year.
Major international disc replication equipment manufacturers have already started to sell their replication machines. The new HD DVD/DVD compatible lines are an advantage for disc manufacturers, as they ensure a smooth transition to the production of HD DVDs from the present DVD standard.
While production cycle times for standard DVD discs are 2.4 to 2.6 seconds, the compatible lines achieved a 2.8-second cycle time for a dual-layer 30GB HD DVD-ROM disc, which will become more efficient with continued production. Production yields, a major variable in disc cost, have already reached 90 to 95% — almost the same as that of standard DVDs.
“HD DVD is the practical disc technology for the future. The existing 0.6mm disc structure has already proven a huge success with consumers,” said Shiroharu Kawasaki, President and CEO of Memory-Tech.
All HD DVD discs share the same basic structure as current DVDs: two 0.6-mm thick discs bonded back-to-back, the same fundamental structure used in the production of more than 1000 DVD disc replication lines around the world. From these existing DVD lines, 3.2 billion discs were produced in 2004 worldwide. By adopting the same proven structure and material as current DVDs, an HD DVD disc can be produced without incurring significant additional cost.
HD DVD offers a variety of discs, including: a 15GB single-layer, single-sided disc and a 30GB dual-layer, single-sided ROM disc, both approved and standardized by the DVD Forum (an international association of hardware manufacturers, software firms, content providers and other users of DVDs). Toshiba also recently announced a high capacity triple-layer, single-sided 45GB ROM disc, and a hybrid (double-sided, dual-layer) ROM disc with 30GB of high-definition content on one side and 8.5GB of standard-definition on the other. Manufacturability for these new discs has been verified as well by key disc replicators.
Earlier this year, several Hollywood motion picture studios announced plans to issue a broad range of new releases and catalog titles on HD DVD beginning in Q4 2005.