Warner Home Video today unveiled its “Total Hi Def” disc, which plays the HD DVD format on one side and the Blu-ray Disc format on the other. DailyTech originally reported on this development prior to CES, but things were not official until Tuesday’s presentation hosted by Warner Brothers Entertainment Chairman and CEO Barry Meyer at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
Warner Brothers representatives said that discs in Total Hi Def will be available in the second half of 2007, and titles will be announced in a time frame consistent with the company’s standard trade announcements for home entertainment titles. The physical structure of the disc is the same as DVDs, HD DVD and Blu-ray discs. The Total Hi Def disc has the ability to contain both single layer and dual layers for both formats enabling either 15 GB or 30 GB on the HD DVD side and 25 GB or 50 GB on the Blu-ray side.
Until now, consumers have been forced to choose one high-definition format—not knowing if their favorite titles would be produced in their specific format or how long that specific format would survive.
“The Total Hi Def disc is about giving consumers complete choice, providing creators and artists the greatest possible distribution of their work, and helping retailers thrive in the marketplace,” said Kevin Tsujihara, President of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group. “By eliminating potential apprehension over formats, we believe this new disc could help consumers fully embrace the greatest home entertainment experience available.”
The Total Hi Def disc would also simplify point of sale issues for retailers by reducing the shelf space required to carry two versions of the same content.
“The research clearly shows that people are thrilled with high-definition devices and the stunning home entertainment experience they provide,” said Ron Sanders, President, Warner Home Video. “Now Total Hi Def provides the complete package with all the benefits of HD DVD and Blu-ray on a single disc.”
Sanders emphasized to the media after the announcement that a small increase in cost would pay for the licensing fees for both HD DVD and Blu-ray formats, but Warner will not be charging a fee for its method.