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Toshiba DVD ready for bigger discs

Toshiba manufactures a prototype, next-generation DVD player that points toward future devices that have higher data capacity than current players.

Toshiba has manufactured a prototype, next-generation DVD player that points toward future devices that have higher data capacity than current players.

DVDs currently store about 4.7GB of data on one side, more than enough for a two-hour movie with extra multimedia features. CDs max out at around 650MB.

The new Toshiba prototype player can handle 7.5GB of data per side, 60 percent more than current players and discs, according to a report in the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Japan's largest business daily.

Moreover, based on improvement in chip technology and compression technologies, the prototype player can deliver very high-resolution images, according to the report.

Also, the data transfer rate for the prototype is 14 mbps, about 4 times the speed of current designs.

However, more powerful chips must be marketed and a commercially viable blue laser device is also necessary in order to release a model in the marketplace, probably in the year 2000, Toshiba said.

The company hopes to increase DVD's data storage capacity to 15GB per side.