Thursday, August 03, 2006

Some Interesting History Lesson...

Did you know that Toshiba may have already planned its development of HD DVD when DVD format was just gaining wide acceptance back in 1997?

I was surfing through the Internet looking for information on the history of DVD... and I came across something interesting - an old (1997) press release from Toshiba Corp (Japan). The press release detailed the demonstration of an experimentally fabricated high-definition DVD system, that can store and play movie theater-level images with a 12cm optical disc with a 15-gigabyte capacity (A dual-sided disc with 7.5 GB per side) to underline the immense potential of DVD technology.

"The 15GB double-sided disc used in the experimental system has a capacity approximately 1.6 times that of current DVD. This was obtained by using Toshiba's cutting-edge capabilities in optical disc technology to enhance the resist and cutting process of the high-density master disc. The combination of the increased capacity and the state-of-the-art image processing technology allows the system to store and play 133-minute of high-definition images at an average image compression rate of 14Mbps, 4 times that of current DVD."

And the press release went on to state Toshiba's stand on the development of high-definition DVD back in the year 1997:

"Practical high-definition DVD will follow format standardization, achievement of economic products, wider diffusion of high-resolution TV monitors and further technological development. To unlock DVD's tremendous potential, Toshiba is developing disc manufacturing technology for an ultra-large-capacity 15GB-per-side disc, high-speed image-processing technology, blue semiconductor laser technology, and the semiconductors required to bring these technologies together in consumer products."

So, HD DVD's first incarnation may have started back in February 1997, way before the Advanced Optical Disc (AOD) (as its previously called) was first proposed to the DVD Forum by Toshiba and NEC. Otherwise, it might have been a boring speculation on my part...

Anyway, the full press release is available here.

And by the way, back to the current reality, Warner Home Video will release The Lake House on HD DVD / DVD Combo Format disc on September 26. It will be priced at $39.99 SRP and will include Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio on top of the Dolby Digital-Plus 5.1 fare. This has been updated in my HD DVD Release List which can be accessed by clicking the link on the right side of this blog.


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