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Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD Not Over Yet 305

samkass writes "Here is a good summary of the latest technical wheeling-and-dealing between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. Among things that were new to me: the addition of a "red" 9GB HD format to Blu-Ray that would make initial Blu-Ray content (that fits) even cheaper than HD-DVD. Also, more discussion about managed copy (AACS, BD Plus, and ROM Mark) and iHD (HD-DVD) vs BD-J/Java (Blu-Ray)."
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Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD Not Over Yet

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:13PM (#14035283)
    Isn't Blu-Ray Sony's technology? Does it come with a free rootkit?
    • Do you mean LGPL'ed [] rootkit? ;)
    • Actually, it will just piggyback off the built-in rootkit in Vista [].
    • Actually... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CarpetShark ( 865376 )
      Actually it is associated with some nasty DRM. But the alternative, HD-DVD, is the one Microsoft REALLY wants to use instead. I'd almost take Sony's offering based on that alone. Luckily, Blu-Ray is also technically superior.
  • by unik ( 929502 ) <> on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:14PM (#14035286)
    Sounds like a good text-based game..
  • by vitalyb ( 752663 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:15PM (#14035298) Homepage
    I'll be damned it I buy with my own money a device that decides where, how and in what way I watch the media I buy with my other money. Get me a DRM-Free device and I'll rush to buy it.
    • by CaymanIslandCarpedie ( 868408 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:28PM (#14035422) Journal
      That is the main reason, I'm leaning toward HD-DVD. Blu-Ray seems much better in many ways, but with one of HD-DVD's core mandates is it must allow copying and streaming to other devices it makes me a bit more comfortable. Blu-ray only mentions such things in passing and half-heartedly at best. The recent Sony rootkit actions certainly don't make me any more comfortable with thier Blu-ray either!
      • by ILikeRed ( 141848 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:53PM (#14035667) Journal
        HD-DVD contains Microsoft's DRM software (iHD) (not that Blueray is any better, although their DRM software uses Java)... so you are saying you trust Microsoft to allow you fair use rights?

        This is what the fighting is about - these companies could care less about the formats, and very little about the final cost per disk, this is a fight to see who gets to provide the DRM software on your media.

        • AFAIK, iHD and B/Java are not DRM, but rather a system for playing menus. The DVD system is kinda cool, but I can not wait for what cool things people will do with it once they get a turing-complete system in there.

          But yes, both discs will include pretty much the same DRM. And until it is going to be cracked, I will not be able to play it. And yes, I will have the *-R version of one of those drives for backups.

        • Although certainly Microsoft hasn't proven themselves consumer friendly, you have to remember in this case Microsoft's interest is in making this format available for use and streaming by their Media Center PCs. They are doing it for their own reasons, not to protect consumers, but in this their goals are much more closely aligned with mine than Sony's. Sony has proven itself to be one of the most computer interoperability unfriendly companies in exsistence over and over again. They would be perfectly happy
          • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) * on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @04:01PM (#14037366)
            Read the article, Blu-Ray allows just as much freedom in copying media (which is to say a vrey protected version of same).

            Consider that Apple and Sony and HP and Dell are all in the Blu-Ray consortium, whereas over on the HD-DVD side there's Microsoft and... I'm not sure who else but not many other major tech companies. Which format do you think is going to be more able to allow copying between many different devices from different manufacturers (again all protected of course) instead of just between different Microsoft products?

            If your idea of freedom is being able to buy whatever form of Microsoft box you like to play media - count me out!

            I'm sure neither of course will let you play media on Linux, so to say you prefer one over the other is to proclaim allegence to only one particular brand of salt to the exclusion of all others.
        • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @01:41PM (#14036141)
          Microsoft and Intel think that media centre type devices are big money. They want consumers copying media around to different devices because they want to be the ones providing the devices and software. Nothing would make them happier than for you to have a media centre PC in each room and a server in the closet.

          Also they have no vested intrest in DRM past making the media companies happy. Microsoft owns no record labels or studios I'm aware of. They make software, not media. So it's in their intrests to make the consumers as happy as possible, while still appeasing the media companies. Happy consumers buy more Microsoft toys. Sony's intrest is in screwing consumers so they make the most money on their media.
          • Hey brainiac, Sony makes consumer devices AS WELL AS movies. Don't you think they'd have just as much an interest in making conumers happy from that end, so they would actually buy Sony equipment?

            Did you not even know that the Blu-Ray consortium includes Apple, Dell, and HP? I don't recall any of them making media either. Would not your same arguments apply equally to them?

            Lastly remember that Microsofts interests are not making the conumer happy, they are in forcing the consumer to buy Microsoft gear.
      • HD-DVD mandates a copy be allowed, but the price of that copy is up to the content owner.

        BLU-RAY leaves it to the content owner to decide whether or not copying will be allowed (and at what price).

        Sounds the same to me ($1k per copy is about the same as no copying allowed)
    • Get me a DRM-Free device and I'll rush to buy it.

      The hardware manufacturers would love to do just that (with the possible exception of Sony, who is a 7-headed Hydra). Problem is, they have the content industries leaning on them saying "We'll be damned if we entrust our content to a device that doesn't decide how, where, and in what way people watch the media we sell them."

      Sure, they've made out okay over the past 30-40 years of a marketplace that has easy home duplication of music and movies, but that isn'
  • by rob_squared ( 821479 ) <.moc.derauqs-bor. .ta. .bor.> on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:15PM (#14035300)
    What would porn choose?
    • by l33t-gu3lph1t3 ( 567059 ) <> on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:36PM (#14035502) Homepage
      High-Definition video is not kind to the porn industry. Porn makers found that when they went from VHS to DVD, the increased on-screen detail forced them to use softer lights and better filters, and more makeup for the actresses. High-definition really brings out the detail in the flesh, which, unfortunately for porn, means that the viewer gets to see that the pornstarlet isn't all that good looking. To be honest the only porn genre that benefits from HDTV is amateur porn - where people only care about realism, and not softened, impossible beauty. While VHS offered portability and privacy, and DVDs offered random-access and lower production costs, HD-DVD and Bluray offer no tangible benefits to the porn industry.
    • "What would porn choose?"

      The internet. This isn't one of those scenarios where porn is going to make a hero out of either format.
  • by bodger_uk ( 882864 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:16PM (#14035308)
    From TFA: Some analysts who have been following the saga have already predicted a winner. Ted Schadler, vice president at Forrester Research, released a report that proclaimed, "Blu-ray Will Win a Pyrrhic Victory Over HD-DVD." Schadler says he's long believed that Blu-ray held the edge due to its superior capacity and the fact that Sony's PlayStation 3 will play Blu-ray movie discs. Oh really, and MS support via the 360 for HD-DVD won't have a cancelling effect on this? Oh and Warner will release content on both formats? Well, there's a surprise! Did anyone expect them to pick a side and alienate a potential market? Hmm, slightly cynical today methinks!!
    • by ergo98 ( 9391 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:29PM (#14035432) Homepage Journal
      Oh really, and MS support via the 360 for HD-DVD won't have a cancelling effect on this?

      This keeps getting stated on here, and it is entirely untrue. People are confused because Microsoft tepidly put their backing behind HD-DVD, yet the Xbox360 actually uses neither - it is standard old school 9GB DVD.
    • Well, that's not TFA. That's one source quoted by TFA. Without reading the research that Schadler used to come to his conclusion, I won't dispute it.

      "Schadler says he's long believed that Blu-ray held the edge due to its superior capacity and the fact that Sony's PlayStation 3 will play Blu-ray movie discs. Oh really, and MS support via the 360 for HD-DVD won't have a cancelling effect on this?"

      Well, it depends. -(some number) +(some other number) != 0.
      Perhaps more people will be purchasing movies t
    • by Golias ( 176380 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:32PM (#14035460)
      "Blu-ray Will Win a Pyrrhic Victory Over HD-DVD."

      So, they will win the platform war, but so many Sony employees will be killed in the process that it will be judged to have not been worth it?

      Bold prediction there.
  • by NigelJohnstone ( 242811 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:16PM (#14035309)
    "The resulting disc will be encoded with a high-definition video codec, and though it will be a red-laser disc (not a blue-laser disc as used by the other formats within the Blu-ray Disc specifications), it will only play back in Blu-ray Disc players and recorders. Even though vendors will be able to manufacture the disc on existing DVD production lines, it is clearly not the same as an HD-DVD. (One of HD-DVD's strengths is its purported ability to be produced at a low cost on existing, albeit modified, DVD production lines)."

    If it's existing DVD production, is it readable by *existing* DVD players like those in a computer. In other words can I get a codec and play it in a PC, (even if I need to update the DVD firmware to do it)?
    Sure the codec means it won't immediately be playable on the DivX/MPEG4/DVD boxes, but can it play on a PC?

    If they can do that, that would be a HD-DVD killer.

    • At 9GB the short answer is no. Most likly the laser spacings will be tighter, this adjustment can be done easily on the production lines, but much more difficult to do on the average player.
    • If it's existing DVD production, is it readable by *existing* DVD players like those in a computer. In other words can I get a codec and play it in a PC, (even if I need to update the DVD firmware to do it)? Sure the codec means it won't immediately be playable on the DivX/MPEG4/DVD boxes, but can it play on a PC? If they can do that, that would be a HD-DVD killer.

      The number of people that enjoy watching DVDs on their computer is only slightly larger than the number of people with HTPCs... The bump rece

      • by NigelJohnstone ( 242811 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:31PM (#14035450)
        "The number of people that enjoy watching DVDs on their computer is only slightly larger than the number of people with HTPCs"

        If its basically a DVD compatible thing that PCs can play with a codec/firmware tweak, then it is only a matter of time before the dirt cheap $50 DIVX/MPEG4/DVD players add support as a firmware change.
        That market is huge, just look in an electrical store and they stack those buggers on pallets for volume sale.

        That's what I'm thinking there, that this disk could become the volume market item, playing on computers and slightly more modern DVD(+mpeg4+divx) players together with PCs, and if you then go out and buy a HD TV, you get the high definition version too without upgrading your DVD's which would be another plus.

        • If its basically a DVD compatible thing that PCs can play with a codec/firmware tweak, then it is only a matter of time before the dirt cheap $50 DIVX/MPEG4/DVD players add support as a firmware change.

          There are two problems with that:

          No amount of firmware will upgrade an old Sigma or MediaTek chip to decode HD H.264. The chips are not powerful enough, period.

          A licensed Blu-ray player must play every Blu-ray disc, even the blue-laser ones.
    • If it's existing DVD production, is it readable by *existing* DVD players like those in a computer.
      No, that's why it's a Blu-Ray format!

      The data structure will be different - different encryption (CSS is so thoroughly cracked that they won't use it any more) and possibly even a different track layout. It will use the red laser that the Blu-Ray drive uses to read old DVDs, that's just about the only thing that it has in common with DVDs.
  • Content? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SillySnake ( 727102 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:16PM (#14035310)
    Every article about HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray makes arguments about content.. This one even quotes:
    "Assuming equal pricing and availability of hardware"
    The thing is, I don't forsee it being equal availability of hardware.. I don't know how many PS2s have been sold, or were sold within three months of release, but I'm sure it was a lot larger number than the number of early adoptors that would run out and buy a brand new HD-DVD player.
    I guess my point is, if there are for sure going to be millions of Blu-ray players in houses all over the US, and there's no such assurance about HD-DVD players, I can't see places stocking shelves full of HD-DVDs.
    • Content is Crap. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Znork ( 31774 )
      And physical medias as distribution method are on their way out. As such, the whole 'war' pretty much becomes irrelevant; whoever will be able to offer the best price/GB and the lowest drive price will win.
  • Yes, it is. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:17PM (#14035313)
    The contest is over. Precisely because it won't *really* matter. While all these corporations squabble endlessly over proprietary formats, hardware specs, marketing schemes, and temporary alliances, the fact is that the true future of digital content distribution WILL be online. So all this cacophony is for a temporary technology. A few people will buy some discs and fewer hardware players during a very short period. Then, it will be looked back upon as having been over before it began.

    And once that pan flashes, a few people in management are going to be revealed as dumbasses for misjudging technology.
    • Re:Yes, it is. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Xarius ( 691264 )
      Yeah, we don't have format wars online at all!

      Oh wait, ogg and mp3, avi and mpeg, gif and png, doc and pdf, need I go on?

      And I think people will prefer tangible, transferable property in the form of discs instead of one fat harddrive.

      If what you said was true, no one would have CD's or cassettes, we'd just use radio.
    • by WidescreenFreak ( 830043 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @01:02PM (#14035746) Homepage Journal
      While all these corporations squabble endlessly over proprietary formats, hardware specs, marketing schemes, and temporary alliances, the fact is that the true future of digital content distribution WILL be online.

      Not likely. Perhaps when FIOS becomes commonplace and available to every person on the face of the planet, but there is no chance that the mainstream user will accept on-line access as the only way to gain video in the near future.

      A two-hour movie in really good, MPEG-2 quality takes up approximately 7-8 GB, depending on audio options. Even with a 6 Gb cable connection, that takes roughly three hours to download. (For those who hadn't noticed, that means that it would take longer to download than to watch, so streaming at full quality is not an option.)

      Now, bring in HD. About 75 minutes of HD-quality material takes roughly the same amount of space. Expand that to a 2-hour movie and you're looking at anywhere between 12-14 GB of data. That same 6 Gb cable connection would take about six hours to download that movie. In the same amount of time, I could have run to the nearest BR/HD-DVD rental store, watched the movie -- possibly twice -- and returned it. This of course assumes that your "unlimited use" ISP doesn't then knock your ass down for using up "too much" of your "unlimited use" bandwidth after downloading three or four HD movies. And don't even THINK about doing streaming HD unless you've got some enormous network pipe to your house!

      Even discounting the fact that every house will NOT be connected via FIOS (or even broadband) in the coming years, thus requiring a physical medium in order to watch the video content, people want a physical medium without restrictive DRM. That has been proven time and time again. The recent Sony debacle should be proof enough of that. People are obviously buying physical discs even though the music is available on-line.

      Video games are also sold on-line by a lot of different vendors for a discounted price, yet boxed media are still preferred. Why? Because there is a comfort factor in having the disc in your hands, not worrying about if your computer is connected to the Internet in order to install and play it. There's also no concern about downloading it again or having to authenticate it again (for the most part), and so on.

      Ah, so then comes the argument about backing the movies or games off to another medium in the event of a recovery or for backup purposes. Oh, wait. We can't use that argument because there is no need for physical media if everything is distributed on-line! You said so yourself.

      On-line definitely has its place. The success of iTunes and the recent announcements by major networks to have their shows distributed electronically is definitely a step toawrds on-line distribution. But unless you plan on every house in the world having a dedicated DS3 connection, the notion that all material - particiularly HD - will be distributed exclusively through digital means is preposterous at best and will likely not come in any of our lifetimes. I guess that you also expect people to have multi-terrabyte storage for each system as well. After all, all of that content has to be stored somewhere when it's downloaded. Or did you actually expect people to be on-line for every movie that they want to watch? Well, I guess that makes a market for automotive broadband on the newest Winnebago line, doesn't it?

      Oh, and by the way -- ALL technology is "temporary" because new technology is always evolving from old technology. So, your statement about "temporary technology" alone is fallacious.

      In the meantime, please let us know what it is that you have been smoking because it seems like it's some really good shit. The fact that you've been modded as "Insightful" is staggering - or else it's indicative that mod points shouldn't be handed out as much as they are.
    • show me an ISP that can feasibly deliver 30-50gb of data in less than 2-3 days to EVERY one of its clients at ANY time, and your argument will have merit.

      The truth is that the world can't support online distribution yet, and it will only be around when the whole HD/BluRay has been decided, and they're looking at the next gen format.
    • the true future of digital content distribution WILL be online. So all this cacophony is for a temporary technology.

      Not for HD content. How many people have both the bandwidth and the patience to actually download 20 GB of content? Certainly not enough to win the war. That's why you see PC makers whimpering for this Managed Content-- discs are the only viable distribution device for the next decade, and if they can't get that content to the computer Vista isn't really relevant.

      And of course, provider

    • All estimates are that it will be about 10 years before there's any broadband availability in my area. So what you're saying is: why would I buy a lousy old-technology disc when I could watch any movie I wanted simply by clicking "download" and waiting 3 weeks?
    • Re:Yes, it is. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ktappe ( 747125 )

      the fact is that the true future of digital content distribution WILL be online

      You're overlooking portability. All those parents who bought minivans with DVD players in them to keep the kids quiet during the 2 hour drive to grandma's house will want their movies on a portable disc, not accessible via ethernet or intermittent Wi-Fi. Ditto for commuters on trains or cross-country airline passengers; you want the movie in a physical, portable format without being online. Thus, it wouldn't seem that online d

  • by scronline ( 829910 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:17PM (#14035315) Homepage
    Anything that supports Sony's Blu-Ray will not be supported by me personally, or grudgingly from my company. When you can't trust your supplier's scruples, you can't sell their products to the end user.

    So, personally, anything using Blu-Ray will not be purchased by me.

    Company wise, Blu-Ray will only be used at the express request from the customer.
    • Oh, and the folks behind HD-DVD are *SO* much more honest and ethical.

      Not that I like Sony or anything. Basically, I despise them. But, quite frankly, I despise MS a lot more. At least Sony has to actually compete, whereas MS just throws its 800 lbs around to get its way. Every single new product they put out, they burn billions of dollars in an attempt to corner the market. Year after year, they just burn cash by the billions, not even looking ahead to profitability, just intent on cornering the ent

    • This is where I stand on Blu-Ray too, pretty much. I'm not unwilling to forgive Sony, so maybe I'll use their products again at some point, but until they show a grasp on the idea that backstabbing their customers is a bad idea, I'm having as little to do with them as possible.
    • The sad thing is that Sony supported BlueRay uses Java, where as HD-DVD uses Microsoft's special DRM software. (Thus most of the fighting.) I hope China / Taiwan (or anyone else) comes out with a format that is just data... that is something I would buy.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:18PM (#14035322)
    I don't care! I don't care if BluRay is technologically superior to HD-DVD. I don't care if I can fit a whole extra GB on one type of disk, or if the other uses a slightly higher laser frequency, or if one can be be-rewritten 2billion times instead of "only" 1.7billion. Don't give a shit, thanks anyway!

    Just agree on a fucking format and stick with it. I won't be buying anything; either BluRay or HD-DVD, until one format is clearly ahead. That means you; every single one of you petty little bastards, will lose out. Just like you all lost on on DVD writer format wars. Do I care what the difference is between DVD-R & DVD+R? Have I ever even seen a DVD-RAM disc? Fuck no, I just want to write a DVD that can be read in other drives. How much R&D did you all waste? How much additonal design is required to acomodate all these different standards? How many sales oppurtunities have been wasted because you've confused the market?

    Same thing here. Now get on with it.
    • again, unlike the old VHS vs Betamax days, this is not a war. there doesnt have to be a winner this time because all of these things are the same size. who won the dvd format war? +r or -r? ahh thats right, they both won and every drive sold now includes both technologies.

      who will win? all of the technology companies. who will lose? us poor suckers who have no choice but to buy a drive that supports all formats.
      • who will lose? us poor suckers who have no choice but to buy a drive that supports all formats.

        doesnt seem like such a bad thing to me. Im not really sure this is a winners/losers zero sum game. This is competition, and the market will decide.
      • who won the dvd format war? +r or -r? ahh thats right, they both won and every drive sold now includes both technologies.

        Actually you are a bit off here. You see, go to the store and you will probably find a few more spaces of +R then -R. You know who might truly have won the battle, +R because they decided to implement dual-layer burning while -R decided it was unnecessary. For people who honestly believe in making perfect backup copies of their movies, +R actually did win the "war".

        The only way th
      • they both won and every drive sold now includes both technologies. [emphasis added]

        When there were two competiting standards some equipment did not include both. I agree with the GP's advice of sitting back and waiting until a clear victor emerges. It it turns out to be a DVD+-R thing, I'll at least not have any equipment that only supports one standard.
      • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @01:47PM (#14036187)
        VHS, by a resounding, total victory. This despite the fact that neraly all broadcast material was produced on the professional Betacam format. So why'd +- both survive where there was only one video format? Compatibility. It is trivial to build drives that can write both + and - disks, in fact I can't find one that won't write both any more. Also, both read in almost all drives. There are some that have problems with one or the other, but it's pretty rare. So, that being the case, consumers don't give a shit. They'll just buy whatever is cheap and/or convenient.

        Not the case with HD-DVD and Blu-ray. They aren't compatible and it looks like no plans to make it so. So you need one player for one, a different one for the other. History has shown that shit won't fly. People will buy one format, not two. So there's very likely to be a winner and a loser in this format war unless dual HD-DVD/Blu-ray players come out.
  • Crack that firmware! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dachannien ( 617929 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:23PM (#14035374)
    Given Sony's track record, [] I wonder if we'll find, for example, LAME binaries in the firmware of their Blu-Ray drives.

    One irony, though, is that the DMCA would prevent software authors from accessing the firmware to make the determination as to whether their own copyrights were being violated.

    • Or, even more likely, Vista's NGSCB [] will allow Sony to hide their code inside the secure computing base, where normal users won't be able to access it. And authors will absolutely have to violate the DMCA to look inside it.

      It's kind of ironic that MS is wagging their finger at Sony now, because when Vista comes out, Microsoft is going to build that feature in standard (eg. in order to view a certain piece of enthralling media, you have to let some super-secret code run on your computer, with the OS doing

  • by vishmaster ( 684012 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:24PM (#14035376)
    All this has happened before and will happen again.. []
    • To me it sounds more like what happend to DAT: Digital Audio Tape

      Before it was to be used for backups, it was supposed to come out also as the digital replacement for cassette tapes. The copy protection took so long to be agreed upon that when it came out, so did CDs and CDs were better to boot.

      I think that by the time this format war is over, everybody else will be using the internet to get movies. Physical formats won't matter except for data backup.
  • by topical_surfactant ( 906185 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:24PM (#14035381)
    And thus, it will never be popular, no matter how much data you can fit on the disc.

    You can't polish a turd, no matter how big and blue it is.

  • oh well (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Janek Kozicki ( 722688 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:24PM (#14035383) Journal
    it's the porn industry that will decide anyway. not m$ or *cough* sony.
  • What I don't want is any nudging toward a technology by the government. It's bad enough that we all sort of settle on one technlogy or format for years, and since eventually everyone has that capability, switching to something dramatically superior very rarely happens. On the other hand, the existing technlogy in this instance is good enough at least for existing applications (who needs 10.1 channels of sound?) so there is a small enough motive in the masses to pay up for what may prove to be improvements b
  • by hal2814 ( 725639 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:32PM (#14035456)
    More like Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD Hasn't Started Yet. I have yet to see a single Blu-Ray or HD-DVD player for sale. How can a format war be over before it starts?
  • The same thing will probably happen as it did with DVD-r and DVR+R, both format will stay around long enough that the hardware will start supporting both disc, and be backwards compatible. Unlike VHS and Betamax, the physical media is the same size. Someone will invent the laser that can do both such as cd-r and DVD-R. Like now no one cares if it's DVD-R and DVD+R
  • 1. A deathmatch between the two parties. The last one standing wins.
    2. Give both formats to porn producers. Whichever one they choose wins.

    Simple isn't it?
  • If red blu ray can only hold 9GB (I'll assume for the whole disc) then there's not much difference in it's capacity compared to the current dvd format. Switching the color of the laser makes for higher density of data stored. So if that's the case why not stick with current dvd formats adjusted for using a blue laser. Or perhaps they think were all going to jump up and replace our entire DVD library's and equipment just for a better picture.
  • More draconian DRM (Score:5, Interesting)

    by l33t-gu3lph1t3 ( 567059 ) <> on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:41PM (#14035544) Homepage
    If Sony's new tech patent that allows discs to "lock in" to the first device they play on makes it into Bluray, you can bet your ass I'll be buying HD-DVD. While one could argue "but PS3 is going to be bluray!" I'll argue back that PS3 isn't looking all that hot these days. Personally, I'll be buying the format whose copy-protection is most flawed. I intend to keep my movies for longer than 5 years, and I don't think the solution to bit-rot is to buy the damn discs again in 10 years.
  • Is anbody else's head spinning in this kludge of alphabet soup?
  • by joelito_pr ( 931211 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:46PM (#14035603)
    I for one welcome our new DRMed smurf colored overlords :)
  • by digitaldc ( 879047 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:46PM (#14035609)
    You take the blue laser and the story ends. You wake in your bed and you believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red laser and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the data pits go.

    The bottom line is which format holds more data, is cheaper and is consumer-friendly, IMHO.
    From [] and []

    ---How much data can you fit on a Blu-ray disc?
    A single-layer disc can fit 23.3GB, 25GB or 27GB.
    A dual-layer disc can fit 46.6GB, 50GB or 54GB.
    HD-DVD can hold 15, 30, 32GB

    ---How much video can you record on a Blu-ray disc?
    Over 2 hours of high-definition television (HDTV) on a 25GB disc. About 13 hours of standard-definition television (SDTV) on a 25GB disc.
    HD-DVD can hold 4hrs HDTV on 15GB disc, 8hrs HDTV on 30GB disc

    ---How fast can you read/write data on a Blu-ray disc?
    According to the Blu-ray Disc specification, 1x speed is defined as 36Mbps.
    HD-DVD speed is 36.55Mbps
  • Its irrelevant (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CDPatten ( 907182 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:47PM (#14035612) Homepage
    The next generation of home movie watching is not going to be disc based. It will be streamed through the internet or by your tv provider. The advantages are clear (if you want me to list more I will, just let me know), and the Content Makers prefer this method. For the end-user, its easier, faster, and they don't have to worry about movies getting scratched, lost, stolen, whatever.

    These new discs only "use" at the end of the day will be for computer storage, but flash drives are about to hit 100gig, so even for that use the new generation discs will be irrelevant.

    Just remember you heard it here first. These discs won't gain the type of saturation that DVD and VHS have had. These both will have market share more like beta. The true winners will be companies like Verizon and SBC who are brining fiber to everyone's door. Comcast also has a pretty sweet strategy for delivering content on demand.
  • End of story.

    Enough about DRM, Rootkits and bad "netizenships". Sony has got to go if this how the "play ball"

    HD-DVD all the way!
  • by YoYoY ( 899475 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:51PM (#14035646)
    It seems to me that the touted benefits of either system (at least as far as films go) are outweighed by the drawbacks: using the carrot of high definition content to distract the consumer while both standards beat us all with the stick of DRM and inflated costs (you think that Blu-Ray or HD-DVD discs will be sold at the same price as DVDs????).

    The only reason that I can see for upgrading (not that we will have the choice) would be if either standard better consumer value:

    No more £60 box-sets (you'd never pay that for one disc - I reckon publishers will use the excuse of high definition etc to continue using multiple discs to cover TV series)

    Use some of the spare capacity on the discs to back-up the data in other areas (hopefully making them more durable / resistant to scratches - no more skipping discs!)

    I'm not against Blu-Ray or HD-DVD per se, as far as I'm concerned technology progression is a great thing, I just can't help thinking that either format will fail to benefit consumers as fully as it might. Also, will either standard be available (soon) in an R/W format?

  • Hi,

    we here at WB figured it would be in our best interest to produce DVD materials for you, the consumer at poor quality. We sat down, read over the specs for what HD quality MPEG-2 should be, and decided to aim low. Like bottom of the barrel.

    So, no fear from us, you'll get the same first gen crap from us that you did with DVD. We feel that it's important here at WB to "test" the waters with low quality media. Better us to make you, the paying consumer, the guinea pig than produce something correctly th
  • by op12 ( 830015 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:58PM (#14035715) Homepage
    Sounds like something 3D is afoot.
  • won't bother (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jilles ( 20976 )
    For me digital content distributed any other way then through a network is a thing of the past. My standard dsl connection is perfectly capable of streaming HD video content. A single consumer grade harddisk is capable of storing hundreds of hours of HD video. But why store stuff clientside at all? Just stream the content to my tv when I want to watch it.

    • A single consumer grade harddisk is capable of storing hundreds of hours of HD video.

      Hundreds of hours? Did 10 TERAbyte consumer grade harddrives become so common overnight and I've missed it? You don't seem to have any idea how much space video content takes, let alone HD video content. 1080i HDTV is 1920 × 1080, which means it is 6 times higher the resolution of DVD discs (720 × 480).

      A single-layer DVD can store 4.7 Gbyte with typical data rates for DVD movies ranging from 3 to 10 Mbit/s. Can

  • Maybe someone will do for movies what itunes and MP3s have done for music.

    From an efficiency point of view it doesn't seem to make sense to keep hauling stuff around on funny plastic discs. Perhaps in a few years from now both Blu-ray and HD-DVD will be irrelevant.

  • AKA a standard DVD with h.264 to allow HD content?

    Is this really anything new? I mean, Microsoft has been putting HD content onto standard DVDs for a while now, using MPEG-4 instead of h.264.
  • by zeke2.0 ( 921786 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @01:15PM (#14035871)
    I favor the boycott approach to both formats for now.
    There are several formats that can be used to create HD content on existing DVD disks.
    Windows HiDef Media
    Quicktime (via h.264/mpeg4)
    H.264 (mpeg4)
    H.264 is the future of HD broadcast and you can fit an entire 2 hour HD (720p or 1080i/p) movie on existing DVD disks with room to spare
    JVC already has a player out that plays all these formats including m2t files (HDV in mpeg2 format)using existing DVD writable formats.
    We should simply bypass Sony and Toshiba and finally use our PCs and home theater servers the way we want to.
    And it would all be legal.

    Funny thing is, for once, MS is on our side, even if it's for the wrong reasons.
    here is the link to the jvc SRDVD-100U ature_id=01&tree=&itempath=&model_id=MDL101546 []

    Has built in ethernet and streaming capabilities (movies, audio...). Pretty cool, but may be to expensive to some.
  • by pegr ( 46683 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @01:50PM (#14036224) Homepage Journal
    So what is the attraction of high-density video disks? HD content, of course... But where has HD content gone so far? Basically nowhere... Why? Competing standards, conflicting hardware, confusing specs... All for content that's better than conventional content, but not to the degree to really capture any significant market. So why is this?

    It's all about TV, right? I don't know about you, but for me, I'm watching less TV, not more. HD quality doesn't really make the material any better. Why would I care if a crappy program looks better?

    My prediction? Both formats will fall on disinterested comsumers, simply because they really don't care that much about HD. When the industry shakes out to the point that HD gear is as easy to use as conventional, then maybe this stuff will get a foothold. Until then, most consumers don't want to go through the hassle of HD, even if it means that their movies look better.

    Can't imagine why I think this? Consider the DVD-Audio market and you'll see the same issue. CD's are "good enough". Why mess with DVD-Audio? (Fold in some DRM nonsense, and it looks even bleaker for HD...)

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) * on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @02:03PM (#14036336)
    A lot of the article is about how HP is pushing for Blu-Ray to drop the Java based menu system and go with iHD (Microsoft's menu format), in addition to making sure Blu-Ray supports managed copy (which someone later in the article claims it does already and extra layers will not prevent that from working).

    While it's not much of a surprise to see HP licking Microsofts boots and demanding people use the MS menu standard, I am surprised that anyone in the Blu-Ray consortium would take them very seriously. In terms of support for the format the people that really matter are the studios as they are the ones that will be providing content compelling enough to make or break the system.

    Now Warner Brothers arguing for support of the BD-9 disc - that I could see happening, and would probably help the format gain a little adoption in the short term. I think though in the long term it will slow adoption because too many studios will be tempted to put out overly-compressed releases on BD-9 and not a higher quality feed that needs the storage capacity of the larger BD-25 discs. People will not buy into HD-DVD or Blu-Ray if the benefits are perceived as marginal.

    Blu-Ray still has a giant ace in the hole with the PS3 supporting the format, millions of people suddenly having Blu-Ray players will not hurt much at all! And since HD-DVD has pretty much decided to sit out this Christmas season I just can't see HD-DVD player sales ramping up fast ebough to get even close to the volume of PS3 launch day.
  • It doesn't matter. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Phreakiture ( 547094 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @03:10PM (#14036904) Homepage

    People are happy with DVD, and will be for a while yet. I think that this storm will blow over before people become unhappy with DVD. Many do not even realise that their DVDs that they are watching on their HD TVs aren't HD, because they are better than analogue SD.

    That said, I will consider HD-DVD or Blu-Ray only when it appears that there is a clear winner, and it is compatible with my TV. Compatible means that it either puts out a 1080i analogue signal on component jacks, or that I am ready to replace my TV for some other reason.

    On another front, I noticed that there is now a HD version of Divx ;-). It is capable of storing an HD movie in DVD-sized files.

Things equal to nothing else are equal to each other.