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Sanyo joins Blu-ray disc association

HD-DVD backer quietly hedges its bets

Sanyo has joined the BDA (Blu-ray disc association) – the standards-setting group behind the Blu-ray optical disc format. The company says its membership hasn't changed its plan to produce disc players based on the rival HD-DVD format.

Blu-ray Disc and HD-DVD are optical disc formats that use blue lasers. They can store several times more data than conventional DVDs. Both are being positioned as high-definition replacements for DVD, and the failure of their respective backers to come up with a compromise format means they'll probably be competing with each other.

Sanyo is one of three big-name companies backing HD-DVD. The others are Toshiba and NEC. All three companies want to get hardware into US shops before the end of this year. Blu-ray has a much larger number of backers, including Sony and Panasonic, but is unlikely to get consumer movie players out until next year.

Sanyo joined the BDA because it's planning to produce components for both formats, according to a spokesman. It has been planning to produce optical pick-ups for both formats since it began researching the technology. He said the company still plans to produce consumer players based only on HD-DVD.

Sanyo joined the BDA on 29 April, but no announcement was made of its membership and it remains unlisted on the association's website at the time of writing.


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