Ever since the Blu-ray HDTV DVD format barged into the market right on the heels of Toshiba’s introduction of the HD-DVD format the prevailing wisdom in the home entertainment electronics industry has been that only one of these two formats would be able to survive the inevitable format war between them. The inescapable logic of the fact that in order for only one to survive, the other has to perish has led many consumers to put off the purchase of any high def DVD technology at all because of the aversion to being left with obsolete and therefore useless technology.The possibility of being left with the embarrassment and lost money of having purchased a losing technology is not without precedent. In fact, one of the reasons why consumers have been so reluctant to purchase either an HD-DVD player or a Blu-ray player is because many of them still have memories of the war between the VHS and Betamax video cassette formats back in the early nineteen eighties. Eight track tapes provide another cautionary tale.There is one fundamental difference between the current high def DVD format war and the video cassette and audio cassette format wars: Betamax was a different size and shape than VHS and eight track tapes were shaped differently from the winning audio cassette format, while the diameter and thickness of Blu-ray discs and HD-DVD’s are identical. This means that while those warring magnetic tape formats weren’t physically capable of being played on the same cassette deck, there’s absolutely now reason why you can’t at least load Blu-ray discs and HD-DVD’s into the same drive.The fact that Blu-ray discs and HD-DVD’s have identical dimensions (and dimensions that are identical to CD’s and conventional DVD’s as well) has prompted some companies to find ways to work around their incompatibilities. For example, Warner Brothers has come up with a way to print a movie in Blu-ray format on one side of a disc and the same movie in HD-DVD format on the other side of the same disc. If this format becomes mainstream, consumers will be able to buy high def DVD’s regardless of which type of player they have and without paying any attention to which format they’re buying.LG and Samsung have also come up with a way to work around the incompatibilities by producing a device that can read discs in both formats. These dual disc format high def DVD players cost a little bit more than normal high def DVD players, but take care of all of the compatibility concerns.These technological developments have prompted the industry to rethink the wisdom that only one format can survive. Rather than assuming that one format will go extinct, many sales projections take into account the possibility that both will be around for a long time. If this is the case it will be because these other technologies that bridge the gap between the two formats have thrived and been embraced by consumers. And as far as Toshiba and Sony go, while neither will dominate the high def DVD market the way they both hoped they would, they should take some solace that neither will end up losing completely either.