In addition to the great benefit we as consumers will see from a dual-mode optical drive for the competing technologes of Blu-ray and HD DVD, we may also see another big benefit from the media companies in the form of a dual mode disc. Warner Brothers is pushing a disc they are calling “Total HD” at CES, which will be capable of having duplicate media in multiple formats. Thus, you could have a movie released on one disc that will function in both a Blu-ray only and HD DVD only player without the customer needing to care or worry about compatibility. Their reasons for doing this are clear:
Executives at Time Warner and its Hollywood subsidiary hope to spur sales of new DVD players and movies by gaining the support of retailers and cajoling rival studios into making their film and television libraries available in both formats on a single disc.
Wouldn't it be quite funny if this “war” between the two technologies tapered out into nothing simple because the hardware manufacturers and media companies trying to make sales didn't put up with it. Fascinating. This could also benefit retailers as well, who would have to rely less on stocking two types of formats right next to each other. Cost, of course, isn't being made known just yet. I imagine a “Total” disc will be quite a bit more expensive.