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Broadcom chip could ease next-generation DVD wars

Broadcom has unveiled a new chip that can decode signals from both Blu-ray and HD DVD discs. It could be used in PCs and players to play discs from either format.

Called the BCM7411D, the chip was designed to bridge the two incompatible home video formats. Blu-ray is supported by Sony and Panasonic. HD DVD is backed by Toshiba, NEC, Intel and Microsoft.

Broadcom’s technology will allow PCs or DVD players using the chips to play video recorded with either standard.

The chip supports the H.264 and VC-1 recording standards, both of which are used by Blu-ray and HD DVD recording technology. It also supports video recorded in the HD MPEG-2 format. The company released a reference design with the BCM7411D and a companion chip that gives manufacturers a blueprint to build HD DVD players.

Goldberg said the chipset will play 100 percent of HD DVD and 100 percent of Blu-ray and all the special features that come with them.

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