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Total HD Disc Format From Warner Bros. Combines Blu-ray, HD DVD Into One Disc

This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.
This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

Time Warner's Warner Bros. plans to announce a high definition disc at CES that combines both the Blu-ray and HD DVD formats. In other words, the disc—called Total HD—will come with both Blu-ray and HD DVD formated content on it. A little confusing? You bet. And given that companies like LG are starting to announce players that can play both rival high def formats, one might question the necessity of introducing yet another disc format, even if it's supposed to be a uniter and not a divider. Right now, the Total HD disc won't have standard def content on it, but Time Warner has filed patents indicating that it could do so at a later date.

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Let's see, another high def format disc to confuse consumers with. Sounds like a good idea.

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New Disc May Sway DVD Wars [New York Times]

Image via Crutchfield Advisor

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DISCUSSION

It's really pretty simple: the platter on an HD-DVD is at .6mm of depth (same as a DVD), while the platter on a BluRay disc is at .1mm (this is also why I'm concerned about BDs scratch resistance).

All they have to do is make the BD layer semi-transparent but still reflective enough to be read in a BD player, and an HD-DVD laser will simply pass through the BD layer and reflect back from the HD-DVD layer.

And this isn't a "new" format. It's simply a disc that contains both existing formats. Problem is, many of the studios are firmly in one camp, so many movies are only released in either BD or HD-DVD.

The war won't end until hybrid players come out. Hybrid discs really mean little.