Mon, Nov 22, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Battle of next-generation DVD formats heats up

AFP , Tokyo

"Manufacturers are eagerly seeking their allies in major Hollywood studios because the quality and the quantity of content is the key to next-generation discs gaining popularity," said technology expert Akihisa Ishizuka of the MM Research Institute in Tokyo.

"Hollywood movie-makers' decision will have a great deal of impact," he said.

Still, even if the format war is resolved, next-generation DVDs could be prohibitively expensive. Price estimates for next-generation players go into the thousands of US dollars, making it a high-end product purchase much like the increasingly popular flatscreen TVs.

"Even if the commercialization comes next summer, it will not be an immediate big hit as it will be very expensive at the beginning," said Takashi Esaka, a clerk at a Tokyo electronics store.

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