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Is "3X DVD" HD DVD's secret weapon against Blu-ray?

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While the Blu-ray camp is busy claiming victory, recently HD DVD supporters seem to be circling the wagons around an old friend, the -- 'til now -- unused 3X DVD technology. HD DVD has always claimed it holds a price advantage over Blu-ray, by way of offering low cost upgrades for existing DVD manufacturing processes. The 3X DVD spec takes that a step further, while it's a part of the HD DVD format and apparently only compatible with HD DVD players, the discs themselves are physically exactly the same as standard red-laser DVDs. Throw in a software upgrade to support high definition content, HD DVD's UDF 2.5 file structure and AACS and you have a way to deliver HDTV content on a 9.4 GB DVD. By using newer encoding technologies like MPEG-4 and VC-1 and/or lowering the resolution to say, 720p, full length movies easily fit on a standard DVD. Eclipse Data Technologies, a supplier of HD DVD mastering equipment just announced it is offering free upgrades to its customers in order to support 3X DVD manufacturing. This was followed today by DCA Inc. announcing it has mastered the first 3X DVD disc, and that several manufacturers are looking at it as a possible low cost path into HD video. 3X DVD's potential to allow for noticeably lower-priced HD content to come to market is definitely there, but it still remains to be seen if this, like combo DVD/HD DVDs and Total Hi-Def discs will find a home and support in the marketplace.

Read - First 3X DVD-ROM Disc Cut with DCA Equipment
Read - Eclipse Provides Free HD DVD Upgrade to Replication Facilities

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