New dual-format disc tries to break format war

Warner Brothers — a major proponent of the original DVD format — plans to announce at the CES convention this week a new single-disc format that can play HD video in both the Blu-ray and HD-DVD formats.

The new dual-format disc, Total HD, is an attempt to end the format war now causing consumer resistance to both formats. Because of manufacturing complexities, however, the Total HD disc will not contain a standard DVD format version of the content.

Barry M. Meyer, chairman and chief executive of Warner Brothers, told "The New York Times" that his company came up with the Total HD disc after concluding that neither Blu-ray nor HD-DVD was going to disappear anytime soon.

The newspaper reported, however, that it’s not clear whether Warner’s Total HD disc will convince the studio executives backing one format or the other to release their content in both. Some told the newspaper they believed that releasing films in both formats would only prolong confusion and the emergence of a winning format.