TOKYO The formatting process for HD DVD inched forward this week with the approval of the HD DVD-ROM physical specification version 1.0 at at a steering committee meeting in Seattle.
Toshiba Corp. and NEC Corp. proposed HD DVD to the DVD Forum as the next-generation DVD format. HD DVD maintains the physical resemblance to present DVDs and has a 15-Gbyte capacity for read-only disks and 20 Gbytes for a recordable disks.
MPEG-2, WM9 (VC-9) and MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) were approved in version 1.0 as the video codecs for the HD DVD-ROM format. Before HD DVD-ROM players hit the market, however, the application specification must be completed, which is expected to be finalized by the end of the year.
Toshiba and NEC, the major promoters of the HD DVD format, plan to introduce HD DVD products next year is the spec gains final approval by the DVD Forum.
Matsushita will follow Sony as the second company offering a player based on Blu-ray laser, which is scheduled to hit the market in July. HD DVD standardization work has been slowed by proponents of the Blu-ray format. The rewritable format for the HD DVD spec remains at the version-0.9 stage, which was approved in February.