Toshiba Corp. and NEC Corp. said Friday that the DVD Forum, an international association of electronics makers and movie studios, has approved the two Japanese companies' standard for next-generation DVDs. The move gives Toshiba and NEC a leg up on a rival standard based on the Blu-ray disc format, which has a larger recording capacity, advocated by Sony Corp., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., which makes the Panasonic brand, and Philips Electronics NV of the Netherlands.

Next-generation DVDs will be able to record five times the amount of information of current DVDs. A DVD today can record about two hours of conventional analog TV programming while the next-generation digital video disc format can record more than two hours of digital TV programming. The Blu-ray format discs can handle more than three hours of digital programming.

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