CES: Sonic pledges Blu-ray, HD DVD support

Sonic Solutions on Wednesday announced plans to support both the Blu-ray and HD DVD data recording standards in its consumer applications, including those published by its recently acquired Roxio business unit. Roxio makes software for the Macintosh including Toast, Jam and Popcorn.

Blu-ray is an emerging DVD format that can hold up to 25GB of data on a single-layer disc. Today's single-layer discs can hold a maximum of about 4.7GB, though dual-layer discs with double that capacity are gaining traction. Blu-ray, not to be outdone, has a double-layer 50GB format, and Sony has demonstrated an 8-layer format that can hold up to 200GB per disc.

Blu-Ray, along with rival HD DVD, are the two major standards competing for the next generation of DVD devices. Both formats have been developed as consumers and content creators have sought to cram ever-more complex information and rich media content onto optical storage media. The Blu-Ray Disc Association (BDA) is the industry group promoting the format. Members include Dell, Hitachi, Panasonic parent company Matsushita, Pioneer, Philips, Sony and others.

HD DVD's initially approved format can't hold quite as much -- 15GB for a single-layer disc and 30GB for a dual-layer disc. But it has its own backers, including Toshiba, NEC, Sanyo and others. The first HD DVD drives are expected to begin shipping by the end of the first calendar quarter of 2005.

Sonic said that it plans to release "next generation" data recording applications in the summer of 2005.

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