No wonder Toshiba said nothing about the 51GB disc at CEDIA last week: development on the 51GB disc is not far enough along to warrant that kind of announcement!
It all started with a report at Screen Digest. The story spread quickly from there, but was finally squashed yesterday when we learned that the August 31 milestone was only approval for a preliminary version 1.9 of the spec, and not approval of the final (which would have implied it was much more ready for production).
In an update at Beta News, we hear that a Toshiba spokesperson basically confirms that version 1.9 is just a preliminary spec and that there’s still more testing involved. The official statement is:
We welcome the DVD Forum Steering Committee’s decision to approve the prelminary version (Version 1.9) of the physical specifications for the triple-layer 51GB HD DVD-ROM disc. This decision reinforces the fact that HD DVD is capable of offering a range of capacities due to the flexible nature of the format and provides studios with even greater options for creating high definition content. With extended capacities, studios can meet their future needs for releases that may require more storage.
The end result is this: there’s a 51GB design that’s more likely to be compatible with HD DVD players than an older 45GB design. Since we can’t predict the future, it’s best to stop right there and wait for official news about its progress from the source itself.