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Hi-Def Rivals Sony, NEC Forge Optical Disc Venture

17 Nov, 2005 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Sony Corp., backer of next generation DVD format Blu-ray Disc, and rival HD DVD supporter NEC Corp., today announced they have inked a “memorandum of understanding” to establish a joint venture in the creation of optical disc drives.

The unnamed new global company, slated to debut April 1, 2006, would combine NEC's strength in large-scale integration technology with Sony's expertise in optical pickups.

It is unclear how this might affect ongoing differences between Blu-ray and HD DVD and their separate drives to market.

In statement, Toshiba Corp., primary backer of HD DVD, said NEC's decision to work with Sony didn't change its support for HD DVD.

“We do not expect this announcement to have any impact on HD DVD standardization or market penetration,” said Toshiba in a statement.

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