Technology Points Way to Future High-Definition DVD

24 February, 1997

TOKYO--The Research and Development Center at Toshiba Corporation today underlined the immense potential of DVD technology by demonstrating an experimentally fabricated high-definition DVD system, that can store and play movie theater-level images with a 12cm optical disc with a 15-gigabyte capacity.

DVD is a revolutionary high-density storage media that will drive and help shape development of multimedia, the digital convergence of computers, communications and visual information. In consumer applications, the DVD-video player is an emerging new product that can play back movies with superb picture quality. In computer applications, DVD-ROM is poised to become a mainstream high-density data storage media. The standard DVD disc of 12 cm diameter contains 4.7GB of information, around 7 times as much as CD.

Future generation of higher-definition DVD products, that will build on DVD's current capacities, will require breakthroughs in a number of key technologies, such as manufacturing technology for larger-capacity, higher-density discs; efficient compression (encoding) of richer image data; a short wavelength semiconductor laser and high-precision servo-control technology to read signals from a higher-density disc; real-time decoding of very large data signals read from the disc, and significant cost reduction of these technologies for commercialization. Toshiba's experimental system represents the first step to investigate these essential technologies.

Features of the Experimental System:

The 15GB double-sided disc used in the experimental system has a capacity approximately 1.6 times that of current DVD. This was obtained by using Toshiba's cutting-edge capabilities in optical disc technology to enhance the resist and cutting process of the high-density master disc. The combination of the increased capacity and the state-of-the-art image processing technology allows the system to store and play 133-minute of high-definition images at an average image compression rate of 14Mbps, 4 times that of current DVD.

Practical high-definition DVD will follow format standardization, achievement of economic products, wider diffusion of high-resolution TV monitors and further technological development. To unlock DVD's tremendous potential, Toshiba is developing disc manufacturing technology for an ultra-large-capacity 15GB-per-side disc, high-speed image-processing technology, blue semiconductor laser technology, and the semiconductors required to bring these technologies together in consumer products.

The test system will be demonstrated at Tomorrow 21, an exhibition of Toshiba technology, to be held in Tokyo from March 4 to 9, 1997.

Outline of the Experimental System

Disc capacity 7.5GB per side, 15 GB per disc
Data transfer rate 26.58Mbps
MPEG-2 System Rate maximum 25Mbps
Image storage time 133 minutes on both sides
at an average image compression rate of 14Mbps
Reproduced image 1,125 scanning lines
Laser wavelength 532nm
(green Second Harmonics Generation (SHG) laser)

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