Blu-ray camp responds to 51GB HD DVD claims

BDA pours scorn on new HD DVD discs

The Blu-ray Disc Association has responded to claims that the HD DVD Promotional Group is to release triple-layer 51GB HD DVD discs. Frank Simonis, chairman of the BDA, told Tech.co.uk that he is not surprised by the announcement and that the HD DVD Group is reacting to the market instead of leading it.

Simonis indicated a belief that the HD DVD Group's BD-trumping 51GB disc announcement is purely a publicity stunt.

Publicity stunt?

"I'm not surprised at all," he told us. "But we believe they are very much in a reactive mood. Based on their format one would expect that a triple layer disc is three times a HD DVD single layer adding up to 45 GB. Now suddenly they change it to 51GB for promotional reasons.

"Secondly I have not heard anything about a production line for this odd format. When are they going to start making these discs?"

Simonis also said that the BDA is dubious as to whether existing HD DVD players will be able to read these new 3-layer discs which have 2GB per layer more than the original format.

"You better ask them," he said, "I question it, however, very much."

Tech.co.uk asked Simonis whether the 51GB HD DVD disc proposal is a threat to the Blu-ray format which has a maximum dual-layer capacity of 50GB.

"BD 50GB production is running already for some time on high volume with a two layer concept. There are currently lots of companies producing BD products compatible with 50GB capacity. No news yet from the HD DVD production lines."

The HD DVD Promotional Group, however, assures us that this disc is legit. And unofficial whispers coming out of the HD DVD camp suggest that existing HD DVD players will be able to use the new discs - possibly after a firmware upgrade. More news when we get it.