The new format is expected to offer approximately the same video quality as the Blu-ray or the HD DVD. However, the price associated with the products based on the new format will be significantly trimmed.

According to Japanese media reports, Toshiba will start to retail players featuring the new technology withing the next six months. The machines, sources claim, will be compatible with current DVDs.

The HD DVD was formally pronounced dead this February, after it lost the backing of almost all the major Hollywood studios. No studios meant no content and thus, no way consumers would ever find the format worth investing in.

Since then, the Blu-ray has dominated the next-gen market, but failed to make significant progress due to its high price. A cheaper alternative with almost the same video quality might have a chance against the Sony-developed format, if its backers find the right answer to the following questions:

1. Who will be providing the content?
2. Will the new format be a more appealing alternative to both standard DVDs and online rentals?