HD DVD, Blu-ray and DVD all-in-one disc draws closer

The end of the HD DVD / Blu-ray format war has been declared again, but from a most unlikely source. Recently Warner patented an all-in-one disc to contain a movie in both competing formats plus DVD, and now New Medium Enterprises has followed that up by claiming it's patented a technology capable of actually manufacturing it. Making its claim even more incredible is the fact that NME is the architect of a third competing format, Versatile Multilayer Disc (VMD), that already consists of multiple DVD layers. It claims the discs will cost 9 cents apiece to make, compared to 6 cents for standard DVDs -- of course that doesn't include the potential licensing cost for three versions of a movie and three different disc formats, along with the new players NME indicates you may also need to read these multilayer discs. The company still hasn't gotten its 100GB VMD to market after many exhibitions, but with prototypes slated for availability in the first quarter of 2007, we should find out soon enough if this is just hype or if we can finally buy high-def DVDs without picking the next Beta.