With a full slate of blockbuster DVD releases planned for the autumn season, US retailers say that they will be hard pressed to justify prime shelf space for HD DVD and Blu-ray titles, and are taking a conservative view to ordering.
Virgin buyer Chris Anstey told trade magazine Home Media Retailing “High-definition has great potential, but the format isn’t going to be huge at first, so the orders will be conservative until we see a strong customer response.”
Market leader Blockbuster says it will concentrate on offering both Blu-ray and HD DVD through its online operation, rather than in store. A strategy liked to be reflected by many.
Perhaps the revelation of a patent application by two Warner engineers to make a triple-format disc able to store both Blu-ray and HD-DVD versions of a high-def movie, along with a DVD alternative, will ultimately help ease the retail squeeze? The technology, dubbed ‘multi-layer dual optical disc,’ would store the two HD formats on one side of a disc, with the standard definition version on the flipside, and is a revision of a patent application first seen in 2005.
The rival HD formats share 405nm blue-laser technology to read discs, but advantageously locate data at different levels. BD data is written at 0.1mm from the surface while HD-DVD is written at just 0.6mm.