HD-DVD

It's still too early to call a winner in the ongoing battle between Blu-ray and HD-DVD over which format will emerge as the high-def successor to the regular DVD, but Toshiba, NEC, and the other companies pushing the HD-DVD have been showing that there's still some fight left in them. Last week they scored the support of four major movie studios who said they would commit to releasing HD-DVD versions of their movies before the end of next year. Now this week Toshiba and Memory-Tech Corp. are hitting back on the technical side, announcing a new dual-layer HD-DVD that could store both a standard definition version of a film for playback on a regular DVD player and a high-definition version of a film for playback on a newer HD-DVD player (many high-fidelity DVD-Audio discs already do something similar). Maybe not as huge a deal as it sounds, since both HD-DVD and Blu-ray players will probably be backwards-compatible with current DVDs, but this does mean you could buy an HD-DVD movie and not have to worry about being able to play it at your friend's house or on an older DVD player in another room in your house.

[Thanks, Craig]