Company Unveils Backwards Compatible Blu-ray and DVD Disc

Dennis Faas's picture

Interested in taking advantage of your that expensive high definition TV by watching movies in the increasingly popular high-def Blu-ray movie format, but still not sure if it's worth buying a player that can't display your massive collection of standard DVD discs? An answer may be on the way from Infinity Storage Media, which has released the first hybrid Blu-ray/DVD disc in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Although it limped out of the gates in its race against HD-DVD several years ago (primarily because its competitor's hardware offerings were much cheaper), by gobbling up the majority of major movie studios Blu-ray became champion of the format war earlier this year.

However, despite its impressive visuals and huge storage capacity, Blu-ray hasn't exactly taken off. Progress remains only satisfactory, primarily because most consumers don't want to buy a new, expensive player that is not necessarily backwards compatible with standard DVDs.

Infinity Storage Media's hybrid media offering boasts a storage capacity of 33.5 GB and, most importantly, is compatible with most old DVD players and the new-fangled Blu-ray variety. The solution is in the disc itself; Infinity's technology simply layers one format over the other on the same side of the disc -- kind of like a layered holiday cake.

An initial Blu-ray layer of 25 GB is followed by two layers comprising the standard DVD capability. The blue laser accesses the top layer but not the lower levels, while the red laser penetrates deep within the disc. This makes it possible for a player's lasers to penetrate the disc and retrieve information whether it's HD DVD or not. (Source:

Infinity reports that tests have showed a 99 per cent compatibility rate.

Although Infinity's idea is certainly a welcome concept, it is not a new one; four years ago JVC released a similar prototype. Even so, only Infinity has taken the concept all the way to the production stage, which at this time is limited to Japan. Let's hope we see more of this technology as Japanese and American movie fans continue to make the shift to Blu-ray. (Source:

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