Print 26 comment(s) - last by tophat.. on Sep 19 at 2:59 PM

Step aside hybrid players, here comes hybrid media

The high-definition optical media format war has been brewing for a while now and none of the two, Blu-ray or HD DVD, has come up ahead of the other in terms of adoption by the big name studios. NewScientistTech is reporting that a couple of engineers at Warner, Alan Bell and Lewis Ostrover have come up with the idea of a hybrid disc that will hold not only standard DVD and HD DVD content which we have seen before, but also Blu-ray content all on a single optical disc.

The way this is said to work by the two engineers is that the HD DVD format uses 0.6mm deep pits to store data while Blu-ray uses 0.1mm deep pits. If a Blu-ray layer is placed on top of an HD DVD layer, it can allow enough of the laser to shine through to read the underlying HD DVD layer but also be able to reflect enough light for a Blu-ray player to read the disc. The standard DVD layer can then be manufactured on the opposite side of the media to keep it separate because of the difference in lasers used.

Of course, the costs to manufacture such media would increase but even then it would be much more economical to produce a single triple-format disc than to press 3 types of media separately for the same content, according to NewScientistTech.

Additionally, many are announcing hybrid players to cover both HD DVD and Blu-ray while those early adopters of the idea such as LG are going back to sticking to a single format.

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By tophat on 9/18/2006 2:59:33 PM , Rating: 1
And the winner of the HD-BD format wars is...

RE: Winner
By R Nilla on 9/18/2006 3:17:14 PM , Rating: 3
HDHD - High Definition Holographic Disc

RE: Winner
By abhaxus on 9/18/2006 3:31:17 PM , Rating: 3
HDBDDVD... is it so much to ask that the format easiest to say wins? I love HDDVD but I hate trying to talk to customers about it (i work for a regional specialty retailer) because it is harder to say than blu ray :)

RE: Winner
By tophat on 9/19/2006 2:59:53 PM , Rating: 2
I guess everyone missed my point. Put simply, the media that they're introducing is independent of the format and thus bypasses all the controversy surrounding BD vs HD (not to mention backwards compatible with existing DVD players.)

I would say that idea would have a good run for at least 2-3 years (if it ever hits the market). I speculate at a minumum of 2-3 years as that's the timeframe I'm giving it before either BD or HD decides to fold. In any case, the movie studios who haven't signed on for one format over another could easily provide both formats on the same disk. This flexibility would bode well for both the movie studios as well as the consumer.

RE: Winner
By Teletran1 on 9/18/2006 3:32:36 PM , Rating: 2
by tophat on September 18, 2006 at 2:59 PM

And the winner of the HD-BD format wars is...

...greedy media companies who should of come up with a single format to begin with.

RE: Winner
By Hoser McMoose on 9/18/2006 6:10:56 PM , Rating: 2
...greedy media companies who should of come up with a single format to begin with.

Actually they're probably the biggest losers (financially) in this whole deal. They were all expecting to be reaping the higher profit margins of one of these new formats a year or two ago. All the delays and lost sales as consumer (intelligently) wait for the dust to settle is costing the media companies.

Of course, most of these companies, along with the hardware makers that are similarly suffering lost revenue, have their collective heads shoved sufficiently far up where the sun don't shine that they aren't likely to recognize this.

Wont work
By exdeath on 9/18/2006 3:52:55 PM , Rating: 2
because, and I may be wrong, there are clauses in the Blu Ray license that forbid any kind of dual format or hybrid players in order to maintain exclusivity (ie: greedy) for Blu Ray.

RE: Wont work
By FITCamaro on 9/18/2006 5:29:18 PM , Rating: 2
That sounds like the Sony we all know and love(resent).

Seriously, who cares about space on an already stamped out disc. Sure I like the idea of high capacity discs for data backup purposes, but I don't care about it in terms of wanting to be able to make 1:1 copies of movies (I buy movies that are worth seeing instead of pirating them. TV episodes are another story though).

I personally prefer HD DVD. A triple format disc would be cool but I think a dual format player might be a better way to go since the disc formats are already in production. Eventually one is going to win out and then it'll be the format everyone uses. Really the world isn't ready for either standard. Not many people are willing to pay the high upfront cost. And with the PS3 no longer being the cheap blu-ray player($600 ain't cheap no matter what other blu-ray players might cost) it was once going to be, that kills any hope of an easy victory. It'll be 2-3 years before I start moving towards high def movies even if I own an HD TV.

RE: Wont work
By Arkham1 on 9/18/2006 9:45:48 PM , Rating: 2
You prefer...? And which of the two do you own? How many movies do you have? Isn't it a bit premature for people to be talking about which they "prefer"? GMAFB. Practically speaking, these aren't even young technologies: they're embryonic.

While the PS3 will do more to advance the number of installed devices than either format's stand-alone counterparts, we have a long time ahead before we know which format--if either!--prospers or flops. I don't think anyone should count out a third option just yet.

RE: Wont work
By Strunf on 9/19/2006 6:40:14 AM , Rating: 2
$600 is cheap, the Toshiba player is like 500$ so actually the extra $100 you pay is rather worthy.

RE: Wont work
By hellokeith on 9/18/2006 6:39:43 PM , Rating: 4
Grammar troll: "none of the two, Blu-ray or HD DVD, has"
corrected : "neither of the two, Blu-ray nor HD DVD, has"

Would need to look at the details, but as I recall, the license prevents multi-format players, not necessarily multi-format discs. Ideally, the studio presses just one hybrid disc, then the customer plays that disc on their single-format player.

By DigitalFreak on 9/18/2006 3:04:12 PM , Rating: 3
It would be a much better idea to do a combo player.

RE: Why?
By johnnyMon on 9/18/2006 3:12:45 PM , Rating: 3
And even better for the two camps to get together, sign a binding agreement, and flip a coin to decide which one will become the standard.

RE: Why?
By GhandiInstinct on 9/18/2006 4:31:42 PM , Rating: 2
As a consumer and enthusiast, I vote for the higher storage capacity and higher quality.

No I do not settle for this comprimise.

Grats to Warner's engineers...

RE: Why?
By MrDiSante on 9/18/2006 6:48:56 PM , Rating: 1
As a consumer, I vote for the lower cost while having the same or higher quality.

By One43637 on 9/18/2006 2:59:43 PM , Rating: 3
good news if this works out as proposed. :)

RE: rejoice!
By rushfan2006 on 9/18/2006 3:02:32 PM , Rating: 2
...and you don't have to mortgage your home to afford them. ;)

Just merge the formats
By PitbulI on 9/18/2006 6:06:43 PM , Rating: 2
Sony isn't wanting to merge anything but they should.

The big problem is, it's almost becomming too late to merge because of both Toshiba and Sony trying to get their merged media to work on players that already are out in the consumer world and if they said they would merge, we wouldn't see anything for at least a year in terms of a merged format.

I want a merged format to happen but this will get ugly and the PS3 could decide a lot.

RE: Just merge the formats
By smokenjoe on 9/18/2006 8:04:26 PM , Rating: 3
Yes it is Sonys everyhing is Sonys fault. wile they are at it they need to pick a better looking president wile they are at it.....

Maby Hollywood needs to quit trying to control the enitre market and fight every new technogy that comes along and start working on making good movies again.

what does it matter
By Jkm3141 on 9/18/2006 8:58:04 PM , Rating: 1
Idk about you all, but I see almost no reason to run out to wally world and buy a 400$+ HD player (Blu-ray or HD-DVD) and (assuming) 40-50 dollar movies when there isnt a movie out there I want to watch. No I'm not saying movie quality has gone down, I'm saying it never came up. I find watching movies to be a complete waste of time. There's no reason for me to go out and buy HD everything (probably 3 Grand after everything (including HDTV)) when no more than 9 months ago I finally bought a DVD player for my TV. I have had a DVD player for my computer for ages cause the storage size, but not for the TV because I dont watch DVD's. Only reason I bought one then was the number of movies I watched spiked up bigtime due to a girlfriend.

RE: what does it matter
By probedb on 9/19/2006 4:52:16 AM , Rating: 2
Well don't buy one then? If you find watching movies to be such a waste of time why are you even bothered about what happens as it doesn't affect you?

Sony seem to have screwed up launching everything at the moment so we'll see how it goes :) Currently I'm looking at a HD-DVD player as at least they're region free so I can import US discs and still play all my UK DVDs and HD-DVDs.

RE: what does it matter
By rushfan2006 on 9/19/2006 12:35:31 PM , Rating: 2
I agree w/ probedb, your comment is one of the more worthless ones in a while -- if you don't like watching movies why would you give two shits about posting to an article that is obviously geared for those actually INTERESTED in the Blu-ray/HD-DVD market. Now you could go and say "well I'm interested in the media for storage/computer useage" but given this particular thread is largely about the MOVIE players your post is just oddly placed.

By vhx on 9/19/2006 4:59:21 AM , Rating: 2
I doubt any side will give up and decide on 1 specific format. Sony won't give up it's Blueray since they sunk a ton of money on the PS3 having a Blueray player, turning back now is not really an option for them. And Microsoft never gives up so that's pretty much done.

Hybrid players, burners, are probably the best option. Hybrid media is a great idea, but I doubt Microsoft or Sony will use that format. However, I think many movie companies may adopt the hybrid disk so they can sell more movies instead of putting up 2 different formats for their movies (or just commit to 1 and possibly lose some sales).

RE: Interesting.
By Strunf on 9/19/2006 6:51:35 AM , Rating: 1
I don’t understand why people even keep speaking of MS and HD-DVD... MS is a member of the HD-DVD group just like many others, it’s not like they had a say about the HD-DVD.

one format plz
By phatboye on 9/18/2006 4:54:22 PM , Rating: 2
This hybid idea seems nice but it would be so much better if the blu-ray and hddvd camps got together and agreed on a single format. The fact that there are 2 formats is only slowing down the adoption of hd media.

By ksherman on 9/19/2006 12:53:23 AM , Rating: 2
this is certainly good news. This would allow the studios to release all three formats on one disc, completly removing the player wars. It wont matter what format player you have. Kudos.

Now hopefuly this will also be economically viable for the studios to adopt.

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins
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