The battle between Blu-ray and HD-DVD may be short lived, as an even better format is likely to enter the scene before the decade is out, according to industry watchers.
While Blu-ray backers Sony, Dell, and Apple consider whether a compromise is possible with the HD-DVD camp, supported by Toshiba, and many of the movie studios, including Viacom Universal, and New Line Cinema, work has already started on a system that will be able to get even more data on a single DVD, writes Motley Fool.
HD-DVD media will have a capacity of 30GB. An advantage of the HD-DVD format is that it is based on current manufacturing technologies so that production will not require any significant expenditures for equipment.
Blu-ray has a larger capacity of 50GB. The disadvantage is it will require manufacturers to spend considerable sums of money up front.
On both Blu-ray and HD-DVD discs, data is packed more tightly than on a standard DVD which has a capacity of 4.7GB.
The data can be packed more tightly thanks to different coloured lasers. The spacing between adjacent bits of data is determined by the wavelength (or colour) of the laser used to read the data.
The Fool explains that when CDs were first introduced, the lasers that were available operated in the infrared at 780 nanometers. Sony and Nichia have made lasers that operate at 405-nanometer and can therefore be focused to a smaller spot - meaning that the data can be packed more tightly. These lasers are violet in colour – hence Blu-ray.
But there is a technology in the pipeline that could pack even more data onto a DVD. The Fool writes: " Perhaps by the middle of the next decade Blu-ray or HD-DVD will be old-fashioned, and we will be looking toward the next big thing."
This next big thing is holographic data storage. The Fool explains that this technology makes it possible to store more than one pattern at the same location on the disc just by slightly changing the angle at which the reference beam hits the disc. So more information can be stored at the same location on the disc.
This technology is being developed by InPhase and allows one million bits of data to be read in one flash of the laser, explains The Fool.