Double or Nothing

When the first CDs were released in the mid-80s they were touted as the solution to all the problems with cassette tapes - with enduring sound quality, more storage space and ease of use. Then the DVD arrived, which offered consumers cinema quality images in their own homes and was a further improvement on the CD. For some time now, these two formats have co-existed and forcing most homes to buy both CDs and DVD players.

Yet perhaps a way has been found to combine the best of both worlds. Meet the DualDisc. On one side, it's a CD which can be played in most standard CD players. On the other side, it's a DVD, which will work in all standard DVD devices.

Dual Disc
Dual Disc

Up till now, the use of this technology has centred on releasing DualDiscs with CD albums on one side and music videos on the DVD side. Retailer Target are offering such a service right now. But we see much potential here and manufacturers may one day bundle both movies and the accompanying soundtrack on the one disc, saving fans the hassle of purchasing both separately.

However, before you rush out to buy one, there a few things you should note. Firstly, the CD side of the DualDisc does not conform to traditional CD standards, and many manufacturers have issued warnings against using them. Secondly, DualDiscs are slight thicker than normal CDs and may not be compatible with all players, notably in-car units. Having said all that, this seems to be an early iteration of evolving technology - and it's consumers who will ultimately come out on top.

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Nigel Freitas

Good Gear Guide

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