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DVD Forum approves twin rewriteable HD DVD formats

HD DVD-RW now HD DVD-RAM, HD DVD-RR now HD DVD-RW

Re-recordable HD DVD discs will be branded 'HD DVD-RW', the DVD Forum confirmed at its most recent steering committe last week.

But in a move which would seem to be calculated to win support from as many firms as possible, the Forum also said re-writeable discs will be branded 'HD DVD-RAM'. They were originally supposed to be called 'HD DVD-RW'.

DVD-RAM has been very popular in Japan, but largely failed to make much of an impression elsewhere. Indeed, the format's availability around the world is largely because of its support in DVD+RW and DVD-RW drives. But DVD-RAM is backed by some big Japanese consumer electronics companies, many of them DVD Forum members, and the trade body clearly wants them on-side when the world goes HD.

That begs the question: how does re-recordable differ from re-writeable? Alas the Forum provided no clear guidance. The disc that was formerly called HD DVD-RW is largely founded on DVD-RAM, whereas the format that will now be known as HD DVD-RW is more basic and, we understand, more suitable for a dual-layer version.

The organisation did say it has adopted 'HD DVD-R DL' as the formal name for dual-layer recordable (ie. write once) discs. ®

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