According to reports, the 51GB version displayed at CES is officially approved by DVD forum

HD-DVD reaches new high

According to reports, the DVD forum has approved a triple-layer 51GB version of its HD-DVD format – however the group has not yet officially confirmed this.

However, EngadgetHD’s Ryan Block did warn: "this might mean consumers will need new players to read 51GB HD-DVDs, which could potentially damage the format more than help it."

The news comes on the same day that China announced its intentions to enter the high-definition format wars with a slightly modified version of HD-DVD.

The format, which the newly formed China High Definition DVD Industry Association (CHDA) – composed of globally recognised manufacturers as well as the DVD forum itself, uses China’s encoding standard, AVS – a variant of MPEG2 and one that is technically better than it in many respects.

Its other major difference though is that it includes highly advanced technology that its backers claim significantly cut down on piracy – however, eyes are likely to be peeled closely to ensure that it isn’t being used for other more sinister reasons.

The news is likely to be welcomed widely by HD-DVD’s supporters. One group that won’t be welcoming the news is the Blu-ray association. This is the latest blow for the group and one that will significant hurt its chances of winning the format race.

Analysts are widely suggesting that the move will benefit HD-DVDs production and economies of scale so much that it could mean that consumers begin seeing sub-£100 HD-DVD players within a year.

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