The high definition disc manufacturers may be forced to reach accord sooner than anticipated if three Warner Bros. employees have their way.

They’ve filed a patent application for a disc that combines HD-DVD, Blu-ray, and either DVD or CD formats into one. Although the competing formats use the same blue laser to read data on a disc, the information for each format is stored at a different depths. Blu-ray data is written 0.1mm from the surface, while HD-DVD information is stored at a depth 0.6mm.

The inventors have used reflective film in the “multilayer dual optical disk” so that the laser can read both the top layer and see beneath to another layer. The flip side of the disc can be used to store additional information.

The application was not filed in Warner Bros name, but rather in the names of two engineers and an attorney who have all worked on the design.

Toshiba recently announced a three-layer hybrid DVD/HD-DVD disc that it hoped might bridge the gap between the current popular format and the next-generation technology.

Whether it’s better to develop a dual-format player or dual-format disc is debatable.

The news was originally reported in New Scientist magazine.

Sections TV