In a move that will keep the HD DVD v Blu-ray debate bubbling over quite nicely, Toshiba has announced that it is submitting specifications to the standard's overseer for a new 51Gb format HD DVD disc.
In a nutshell, the addition of a third layer onto the present configuration of HD DVD disc allows this increase in capacity (HD DVD currently offers single and dual-layer discs, which are capable of holding 15GB and 30GB of data, respectively), which slightly exceeds that of Blu-ray which in its present form stands at 50Gb.
Toshiba has not yet proved the technical feasibility of the new technology, but plans to release the new format towards the end of 2007.
In May 2005, Toshiba had announced plans for a 45Gb disc capacity, but in a move which has obviously been designed to steal some of Blu-ray’s thunder, their new proposals allow for a capacity which is a minuscule 1Gb bigger than its rival.
Concerns are already surfacing however that today’s HD DVD players will not be able to read the new discs. Toshiba has positioned the new discs as high-end, extended capacity option, and it is not clear at the moment whether or not new kit will be needed to play them.