Warner patents hybrid DVD, Blu-ray, HD DVD discs


— 10:57 AM on September 18, 2006

Manufacturers are taking their time to create hybrid HD DVD and Blu-ray players, but Warner has decided to tackle the high-definition format interoperability problem from a different angle. The company has filed a patent for hybrid media that can combine HD DVD, Blu-ray, and standard DVD on a single disc. To achieve this feat, the hybrid media superimposes HD DVD and Blu-ray layers. The Blu-ray layer acts as a see-through mirror, reflecting enough light to be read by a Blu-ray player but letting enough light through for an HD DVD player to see the HD DVD layer beneath it. Finally, a couple of DVD layers can be added on the other side of the disc.

The New Scientist says triple-format discs will cost more to produce than single-format discs, but that they should still be cheaper than releasing a different disc for each format. The hybrid media also allows different permutations of format layers, for example two HD DVD layers on one side and two Blu-ray layers on the other. Thanks to Engadget for the tip.

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