Three Warner Bros. employees have filed a patent for a three-layer optical disc, which could allow for a hybrid HD DVD / Blu-ray disc. In their patent application, the inventors claim that it is inauspicious to have to manufacture and dispense three different types of disc formats to satisfy consumer demand for one product - such as a motion picture. They put forward a theory of a hybrid disc that could be assembled in a wide variety of ways, and could be used in a hybrid player, which would establish the assembly of the disc and use the appropriate technology to play it.
By using reflective films, the inventors say their disc would enable the lasers to read the top layer and "see through" to the lower one if necessary. Additional information also could be stored on the other side of the disc.
Warner made the decision in October 2005 to support not just HD DVD but Blu-ray as well, and seemingly believes that the next generation DVD format war will wind up with no winners at all. Only by somehow unifying the formats will consumer confusion and dissatisfaction be avoided.
Toshiba appears to be ready to produce a three-layer hybrid disc in a joint venture with Memory-Tech, but only for HD DVD and standard DVD content.