In the latest in the next generation DVD format war, Toshiba is still sticking to its guns and backing its HD-DVD format. The company has confirmed that it will begin volume production of a write-once HD-DVD-R disc that can store 15GB of data at the start of next year. This will coincide with the release of HD-DVD recorders and PC drives from the company, it has been confirmed.

The HD-DVD-R discs, which have about three times the storage capacity of today's DVD-R discs, should give consumers who want to record and store content on the HD-DVD format an alternative to the 20GB HD-DVD-RW discs that will also be in shops about the same time, according to Toshiba.

HD-DVD's backers had already discussed the development of the HD-DVD-RW discs, which can be rewritten many times, but had not talked about a write-once technology until this week. The companies would not discuss pricing, but the write-once discs are expected to offer a cheaper alternative to rewritable discs for customers who buy HD-DVD equipment.

The HD-DVD-R specification still needs to be finalized by the DVD Forum, the standards body for the DVD format, but this should happen within the next two months.