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One multi-format... player... to rule them all

It looks like another manufacturer of optical media players will be launching multi-format devices which will play and record to both Blu-ray and HD-DVD as well as standard DVD and CD formats.

Ricoh has just announced at Interopto 2006 that it is developing a set top Blu-ray and HD-DVD hybrid player which we should expect to see on store shelves by the end of 2007 followed by a recording device.

There aren't many details on the final products themselves besides some snapshots of information on the optics Ricoh will be using in the players and drives which are capable of reading BD, HD-DVD, DVD, and CD optical media formats.

Recently Ricoh also announced that it had developed a component which would allow devices to read both types of high-density media which would lead to the development of hybrid Blu-ray/HD-DVD players.

Ricoh is not the first to announce a hybrid product for the new high-density media formats though. Many companies have decided to form joint ventures to combine Blu-ray and HD-DVD technologies to produce products which will allow consumers to play content off both formats which will eliminate costly purchases on the consumer side. LG Electronics has also dropped plans for a standalone Blu-ray player in hopes of unifying both standards in a single package. Technical and pricing information for Ricoh's upcoming product has not yet been announced but we will keep you updated as it becomes available.

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RE: By the end of...2007?
By phatboye on 7/12/2006 10:44:10 PM , Rating: 2
the real reason to get blu ray over hd-dvd is not the extra capacity but the ability to show movies in 1080p which, from what i'm told, won't be avalable on hd-dvd.

Someone correct me if i'm wrong.

RE: By the end of...2007?
By masher2 on 7/12/2006 10:56:13 PM , Rating: 2
> "Someone correct me if i'm wrong."

Partially. The initial Toshiba player doesn't output 1080p, because the standard wasn't finalized in time. However, all HD-DVD movies (if telecined) are recorded in 1080p24, just as are Blu Rays...and future players (and possibly the original Toshiba player, through a firmware release) will output 1080p.

In any case, the furor over 1080p vs 1080i is a bit overblown. Your average Joe can't tell the difference at all...and a digital set receiving 1080i60 can convert it to it to progressive format with -zero- loss of image quality.

RE: By the end of...2007?
By namechamps on 7/13/2006 3:39:13 AM , Rating: 2
Dont believe everything marketing people tell you.

There are only two players out right now
Toshiba HD-A1 (HD-DVD)
Samsung Something (BluRay)

Both formats store the movie at 1080P24 thats 1080P 24 frames/sec.
Both use the exact same decoder chip and it is 1080i. For marketing the samsung the de-interlaces the picture back to 1080P before it sends it to your set so:

DISK (1080P) ----> DECODER (1080I)

DISK (1080P) ----> DECODER (1080I) ----> ENCODER (1080P)

The problem is that the encoder is not as good as those found in high end TV hence it introduces artifacts.

Even those people who know what they are doing set the samsung to 1080i for output and for even better quality use component. Not to say the Toshiba is perfect but the Samsung is just plain garbage with a lot of marketing and twice the price.

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