Considering the steel-cage death match being waged by the competing high-definition DVD formats, a single disc that combines both the HD-DVD and Blu-ray formats would seem like a major breakthrough. At least, that's what Warner Brothers, the Time Warner
Engineers at the studio have filed a patent for a triple-layer disc that would house not only the competing hi-def formats, but a regular DVD track as well. While consumers patiently wait for a standard to emerge -- or more affordable players and discs, at least -- the rapid pace of technology only increases the chances that new developments will make the current competing standards of hi-def disc obsolete.
Another problem facing Warner Brothers' proposed triple-layer disc is that it would undoubtedly be more expensive than the already cost-heavy Blu-ray or HD-DVD disc, since it would have to pay royalties to both formats for inclusion. Cost is one of the factors holding back development of these next-generation DVD formats.
Given the corporate prestige that Sony
Movies are increasingly shot in a high-definition format, and many new televisions today come with integrated hi-def tuners. Come March 2007, the FCC has mandated that all televisions must contain the-next generation ATSE tuner, which will supplant the previous NTSC tuners. That means the need for DVDs may quickly be supplanted by cable-based video-on-demand services.
For companies like recent Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick Dolby Labs
DVDs are a mature market, no longer expected to enjoy their previous exponential growth. The new technology, though comparatively expensive, could help boost sales of new equipment, which would go right to the top line of Dolby and competitors like DTS
Whether we'll actually ever see mass production of either high-definition format, or whether one of the formats becomes this generation's Betamax, some companies will still earn a profit from it all. They're the ones at which investors should probably look more closely.
Further highly defined Foolishness:
- More Delay for Blu-ray
- Are You Ready for High-Definition?
- Will Blu-ray Prove Red-Hot?
- HD-DVD Gets a Boost
Dolby Labs, Time Warner, and Disney are recommendations of Motley Fool Stock Advisor. A 30-day guest pass gets you a high-resolution view of all the selections, which are currently beating the market by 40 percentage points!