http://today.reuters.com/news/articlein ... age3&sz=13
Britain-based New Medium Enterprises (NME) (NMEN.OB: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Tuesday it had solved a technical production problem that makes it possible to produce a cheap multiple-layer DVD disk containing one film in different, competing formats.
"Current technologies to create multiple layer disks mostly don't work. We've created a technology for mass production of multiple layers that does not suffer from the well known problem of low yields," said NME Chief Technology Officer Eugene Levich. A low yield means that many DVDs coming off the manufacturing lines are not working and have to be discarded.
The production costs of a multi-layer DVD using the new NME technology are estimated to be around 9 cents, compared with the 6 cents for a standard single-layer play-back DVD, according to Dutch company ODMS, one of the world's leading makers of production lines for optical disks.
This 50 percent cost increase compares favourably with the current generation of multi-layer recordable DVD disks which cost 3 to 5 times as much to produce than a single layer disk, due to low yields.
I'm guessing this is similar to NME's VMD (Versatile Multilayer Disc) technology. They've been promoting this for a number of years.
Unfortunately, it looks like we'll need special hardware if we want to read discs with more than 2 layers.
NME said it had also created new technology for the machines which have to read and write the disk, which is another bottleneck with multi-layer disks. The current generation of DVD players can read up to two layers.
NME has created DVD disks with up to 10 different layers that were still readable. It has created its own player, but it is willing to license the technology to mainstream consumer electronics companies, Levich said.