TOKYO Matsushita President Kunio Nakamura endorsed the effort to unify the next-generation DVD standard, saying Thursday (April 28) concessions from both sides on technology are possible.
"I support the unification" effort, Nakamura said during a question-and-answer session while announcing Matsushita's quarterly financial results. "We cannot compromise on the point of the 0.1 mm [cover layer]," he added.
Nakamura's comments were the first by a Japanese consumer electronics executive since statements last week by Sony executives about a possible compromise.
Momentum has been building among companies, consumers and governments to unify the rival HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc specs for next-generation DVDs. Negotiations are continuing, according to an industry source. There is general agreement on both sides that unification is critical, but compromises on narrow issues like the physical format of new disks has so far proven elusive.
Reports here suggested that Sony and Toshiba, leaders of the rival format camps, would reach an accord on a unified format by the end of April.
"There is no change in preparation for the introduction," said a spokesman of Memory-Tech Corp., a major disk replicator and backer of the HD DVD format. Toshiba plans to introduce the first HD DVD player in the fourth quarter. Hollywood studios will release at least 89 movie titles in parallel with the player introduction.
The Blu-ray Disc group has not specified the timing for introducing BD-ROMs. The HD DVD group is apparently seeking a deal before Japan's Golden Week festivities beginning Friday (April 29).
For now, the HD DVD group is preparing additional specifications to strengthen its format. The specs could be revealed after Golden Week (April 29 to May 8).