Japanese electronics firms abandon unifying standards for next-generation DVDs
Two groups of Japanese major electronics companies have abandoned unifying their standards for next-generation DVDs, industry sources said Tuesday.
A group led by Toshiba Corp. and the other comprising of Sony Corp. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., among other firms, have failed to reach agreement on the standards for their larger-capacity, next-generation DVDs.
As a result, DVD systems with two incompatible standards will coexist, like VHS and Beta systems for videotape recorders, which will inconvenience consumers.
In late February, Toshiba, which prefers the HD-DVD standard, and Sony and Matsushita, which are in favor of the Blue-Ray Disc standard, began negotiations on a single standard for their next-generation DVDs.
At one point, they agreed in principle to work out a third DVD standard by combining the advantages of both systems. However, the talks came to a standstill in mid-May after they failed to narrow their differences over expenses and the gap between Hollywood film production companies over the standards.
The group backing the HD-DVD standard that includes Sanyo Electric Co. and NEC Corp. is set to hand over devices used to transform movie films into DVDs to film producers in Hollywood in September.
Companies backing the Blue-Ray Disc standard, including Sharp Corp., have stepped up production of next-generation DVDs such as trial operations of their production lines.
Film production firms in Hollywood are also split over standards for next-generation DVDs. Warner, Paramount and Universal back the HD-DVD standard while Disney, MGM, Sony Pictures and 20th Century Fox have sided with the Blue-Ray Disc system. (Mainichi)
August 23, 2005