Toshiba HD DVD Format Details Emerge

As Toshiba's coming HD DVD disk format gets closer to clashing head-on with Sony's incompatible Blu-ray disk, more details are emerging about each of their differences, which are considerable. In various published reports on HD-DVD's specs prior to its expected November rollout in the United States, there alrea
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As Toshiba's coming HD DVD disk format gets closer to clashing head-on with Sony's incompatible Blu-ray disk, more details are emerging about each of their differences, which are considerable. In various published reports on HD-DVD's specs prior to its expected November rollout in the United States, there already seems to be growing evidence that Hollywood will go the cautious route on both formats, to no one's surprise. For example, less than a hundred titles (mostly motion pictures) reportedly will greet new HD DVD consumers when the new HD players are introduced for the holiday selling season.

Consumers at various demos can readily tell the difference between standard DVD video and the HD kind. (This would be a good thing.) Whether large numbers, however, are ready to chuck their current players for higher-priced HD units--assuming they already have HD sets, to begin with--is a question that will begin to be answered late this year. Although the HD DVD player is backwards-compatible and will accept standard disks (so no one had to toss out their current DVD collection), only HD DVD disks will provide HD quality.

Notably, Toshiba apparently has reported its HD-DVD player will only output HD on its HDMI (high definition multimedia interface) connection. The player also will have a USB interface to allow connecting to computers for additional content and interactive options. HD DVD's content will be based on 1080p, and the HD-DVD disk will come in 3 storage sizes: 15GB, 30GB, and 45GB (single, dual or triple layer).

And there will be a fourth variety which contains a standard SD-DVD version of the featured content on the reverse side of the disk, allowing retailers to sell the same type of disks to all consumers--and encouraging consumers (perhaps unknowingly) to begin building an HD DVD library even before they have all the necessary new equipment.