What's Next For Next Generation DVDs?

The war over the next generation of DVDs might be reaching an impasse, without one clear winner. Julia Boorstin closed out “Power Lunch” with the details on the DVD format war.

HD DVD and Blue-ray Disc have been squaring off in a Beta-Max vs. VHS style battle to see which format will be the future of the DVD. But Warner Bros. (a division of Time Warner ) is introducing “Total HD,” a single disc that plays both hi-def formats. The disc – an attempt to the answer consumers' question: “HD DVD or Blue-ray?” – is set to premiere next week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Brian Cooley of cnet.com says Total HD could work as a pressure valve for the DVD market, with trickle down effects that may benefit retailers and consumers alike.

But Total HD is far from a total solution. Warner Bros. already distributes DVDs in both formats, but Sony , which exclusively backs the Blue-ray format, is unlikely to compromise on a new dual-format disc.

A format-neutral player is another potential solution in production by both LG Electronics and Hewlett-Packard . But it also doesn’t solve the long-term problem of having 2 coexisting formats – a headache for consumers and retailers alike.