First discovered over at Tech Report a little earlier, it appears a third contender is looking to enter the high-definition video disc market dubbed "3X DVD".
This newcomer to the HD scene isn't an entirely new format. Instead, 3X DVD is more like the high-definition disc equivalent of a riced-out Honda Civic. It's a standard dual-layer, red laser DVD with the same 9.4GB capacity as existing discs, but it has support for the same UDF 2.5 file system, AACS copy protection, and high definition content as HD DVD.
Sounds kinda neat, until you realise it still requires a costly HD DVD player to play it back, somewhat defeating the purpose.
More info on it over at Arstechnica.
Doug Carson & Associates (DCA), makers of DVD mastering software, announced today that the first 3X DVD-ROM disc was officially mastered over the weekend, a move that some think will allow HD DVD to become more popular and possibly even win the ongoing "format war" with Blu-ray. The disc is a standard, red-laser DVD disc, but will carry higher-def content on it than standard DVDs and is only playable on HD DVD players. The disc will still support HD DVD's UDF 2.5 file structure as well as AACS copy protection.
Also part of the 3X HD DVD news was Eclipse Data Technology's announcement that the company would offer free upgrades that would allow for the mastering of 3X HD DVD discs to replication facilities using their encoding hardware. "As interest for the 3X DVD format grows, we want to give our customers a low cost way to experiment and learn the process," said Eclipse's VP of sales and marketing, Bob Edmonds. DCA also acknowledges that several manufacturers are looking at the new 3X format "as a low cost entry into the HD video market."