Title brings Japan 2nd-generation dual-layer DVD format

TOKYO — Time Warner Japan Entertainment will bring its second-generation dual-layer DVD to Japan in April with the release of the movie “Contact.” The dual-layer DVD already is on the market in the U.S.

“Contact” on DVD will hit the Japanese market April 3 and will be sold by Warner Home Video of Japan for 3,400 yen ($27.20), a spokesman said. It will be released the same day to video stores for rental.

The spokesman did not say how many more dual-layer DVDs Warner Video plans to release in Japan in the near future.

Time Warner’s dual-layer DVD can store 8.5 gigabytes of data, which is about four hours of video programming. The company’s single-layered DVD holds about 2¼ hours.

To provide smooth playback, the disc is scanned from the center to the outside on the first layer and then scanning starts on the outer tracks of the second layer and then back to the center.

Warner Home Video has about 100 titles available on the Japanese market and it is participating in the first nationwide DVD rental system set up by the nation’s largest video rental chain, Culture Convenience Club, or Tsutaya.

Tsutaya started its DVD rental network Dec. 19 and expects to expand nationwide to the chain’s 940 stores by the end of spring.

At the end of 1997, there were about 600 DVD titles on the market in Japan.

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