In a move that will delight Blu-ray buyers feeling the pinch, Philips, Sony and Panasonic have announced that they are simplifying the process of gaining a Blu-ray license by creating a "one-stop shop" for disc licensing.
Level playing field
By levelling out the fees needed to create both discs and hardware, it paves the way for potentially cheaper players and discs.
If the deal goes ahead – approval is needed from patent holders – hardware manufacturers would be charged $9.50 (£7) for a Blu-ray player and $14 (£10) for a Blu-ray recorder.
Disc manufacturers on the other hand would be charged 11 cents (8p) for a read-only disc, 12 cents (9p) for a recordable disc and 15 cents (11p) for a rewritable disc.
Speaking about the new US-based company, Gerald Rosenthal, former head of intellectual property at IBM and now boss of the new licensing company, said: "By establishing a new licensing entity that offers a single license for Blu-ray Disc products at attractive rates, I am confident that it will foster the growth of the Blu-ray Disc market and serve the interest of all companies participating in this market, be it as licensee or licensor."
If all goes well, the company should be up and running mid-2009.