Toshiba reconfirmed the flexibility and expandability of the HD DVD format with the announcement of a 30GB dual-layer HD DVD-R (recordable) disc that extends the capacity for a write-once next generation DVD disc. The new disc was approved as Version 1.9 at the September 14 meeting of the DVD Forum's Steering Committee and its technical information will be made available as the Version 1.9 specifications. Toshiba targets completion of Version 2.0 of the specifications book by the DVD Forum within this year, and aims to bring to market next spring an HD DVD recorder that supports the new disc.
The DVD Forum approved a 15GB single-layer HD DVD-R discs as Version 1.0 of a write-once HD DVD disc in February 2005. Toshiba continued development toward the newly announced 30GB dual-layer HD DVD-R disc, which uses a new organic dye jointly developed with a dye manufacturer.
The dual-layer HD DVD-R disc is based on the same disc structure as current DVD discs, HD DVD-ROM discs (read-only), and HD DVD-RW discs (rewritable): back-to-back bonding of two 0.6 millimeter-thick substrates. The new disc also shares key manufacturing processes with DVD-R: use of an organic dye as the data storage medium; and a spin-coating process for depositing the dye. As a result, disc manufacturers can minimize their investment in disc production equipment for dual-layer HD DVD-R by using already installed DVD-R manufacturing lines for mass production.
Toshiba and disc manufacturers will verify compatibility of dual-layer HD DVD-R discs in round robin testing at the DVD Forum, starting on October 17. Toshiba targets finalization of the specification book by the DVD Forum within the year.