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Print 56 comment(s) - last by Zoomer.. on Oct 15 at 10:41 AM

Hybrid players due early next year

With no foreseeable happy ending to the HD-DVD/Blu-ray format war, NEC has done us all a favor today by shipping a chip that is compatible with both formats.

According to Reuters, "the chips go on sale for 10,000 yen ($84), roughly the same price as NEC Electronics' chips which read only Blu-ray or only HD DVD formats." Players incorporating the new chip will be available sometime early 2007, reports AkibaNews.

While we now have silicon to rule both formats, the optical pick-up lens capable of reading both HD-DVD and Blu-ray is still currently in development. Until such a hybrid pick-up becomes reality, dual-players must utilize two separate lenses, which no doubt drives up costs.

A NEC spokesperson commented that a hybrid chip and optical pick-up would likely make up more than half of the cost of a player.

Developments to bridge the gap between the two warring formats isn't exclusive to hardware. Warner recently filed a patent outlining plans of a hybrid-disc that will be compatible with both HD-DVD and Blu-ray by means of layering one format on top of the other.



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RE: oh please
By Soviet Robot on 10/10/2006 11:31:53 PM , Rating: -1
A stupid two bit bet with your little friends is your only reason to support HD DVD?

IMO technology wise, Blu Ray is superior, but Sony and the studios are ****ing it. Same with HD DVD.


RE: oh please
By Howard on 10/10/2006 11:34:34 PM , Rating: 1
I support HD-DVD only because Sony is behind Blu-Ray. How's that?


RE: oh please
By RyanM on 10/11/06, Rating: 0
RE: oh please
By EclipsedAurora on 10/11/06, Rating: -1
RE: oh please
By BladeVenom on 10/11/2006 1:14:06 AM , Rating: 1
Maybe on paper Blu-ray is better, but reality so far favors HD-DVD. All the HD-DVD discs have been 30GB, Blu-Ray 25GB. All the HD-DVD movies have used the superior H.264 codec, while most of the Blu-ray movies are using the old MPEG-2. HD-DVD has mandatory managed copy while with Blu-ray it is up to the movie studios if you can make a copy. I don't hold out much hope that the movie studios are going to support copying if they don't have to. Price is also clearly on the side of HD-DVD.

To sum it up, HD-DVD movies look better, they're cheaper, and more useful.


RE: oh please
By JNo on 10/11/2006 3:36:22 AM , Rating: 1
And the minimum supported audio formats on HD-DVD are actually higher than those of blu-ray. And HD-DVD players are on the market now but blu-ray aren't. And blu-ray is reported to have manufacturing and operating bugs. Apart from the *potential* size difference (and hey, we all know Sony's track record of delivering to promises...) I don't know why people keep thinking blu-ray is better - it's just marketing hype....


RE: oh please
By Visual on 10/11/2006 6:13:37 AM , Rating: 1
why is it still last year where you live?


RE: oh please
By probedb on 10/11/2006 6:06:36 AM , Rating: 2
You also missed that most BR audio formats are standard DD, while HD-DVD gets DD+, TrueHD etc.


RE: oh please
By r0y on 10/11/2006 6:59:59 AM , Rating: 1
From wikipedia, original source is included:

"For audio, BD-ROM players are required to support Dolby Digital AC-3, DTS, and linear PCM (up to 7.1 channels). Dolby Digital Plus, and lossless formats Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD are player optional. BD-ROM titles must use one of mandatory audiotracks for the primary soundtrack (linear PCM 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS 5.1.). A secondary audiotrack, if present, may use any of the mandatory or optional codecs.[8] For lossless audio in movies in the PCM, Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD formats, Blu-ray Discs support encoding in up to 24-bit/192 kHz for up to six channels, or up to eight channels of up to 24-bit/96 kHz encoding.[9] For reference, even new big-budget Hollywood films are mastered in only 24-bit/48 kHz, with 16-bit/48 kHz being common for ordinary films."
http://www.blu-raydisc.com/assets/downloadablefile...

So I think you are mistaken.


RE: oh please
By zombiexl on 10/11/2006 8:42:58 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
by r0y on October 11, 2006 at 6:59 AM
....
So I think you are mistaken.


Actually the poster made the comment that MOST are DD. This wikipedia thing does not dispute that at all. It actually shows that they are only required to support DD, DTS and PCM 5.1 and that lossless is optional.

While I dont know for sure how this differs from HD-DVD's requirements (because honestly I dont care) it is you who is wrong. Next time you may want to read the wiki before you post something that refutes your own point.



RE: oh please
By NainoKami on 10/11/2006 9:11:20 AM , Rating: 2
Just a note: PCM is lossless as it isn't compressed at all.

And for comparison with the earlier post (and really as a reply to it) about blu-ray, here is the info about HD-DVD from wikipedia (emphasis is mine):
"HD DVD can be mastered with up to 7.1 channel surround sound using the linear (uncompressed) PCM, Dolby Digital and DTS formats also used on DVDs. In addition, it also supports Dolby Digital Plus and the lossless formats Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD. Currently, most DVD movies are made with 5.1 channels of surround sound. There are relatively few titles that offer 6.1 channels of surround sound. On HD DVD the Dolby formats are mandatory, meaning that a Dolby Digital or Dolby Digital Plus track may be used as the sole soundtrack on a disc , because every player will have a decoder that can process any of these bitstreams.[6] For lossless audio in movies in the PCM, Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD formats, HD DVD discs support encoding in up to 24-bit/192 kHz for two channels, or up to eight channels of up to 24-bit/96 kHz encoding.[7] For reference, even new big-budget Hollywood films are mastered in only 24-bit/48 kHz, with 16-bit/48 kHz being common for ordinary films."

This in my eyes looks like they are quite equal in the audio department because they both have the option of only including the "good old" Dolby Digital (AC3), which is lossy as hell.


RE: oh please
By EclipsedAurora on 10/11/2006 2:00:36 PM , Rating: 2
Please shut up and stop misleading the public.

Most BD titles offers 8 channel UNCOMPRESSED 24bit/96KHz audio track, another feature that can't be realized in crappie HD-DVD format


RE: oh please
By Trisped on 10/11/2006 2:10:25 PM , Rating: 2
Thats funny, I remember reading an article on DailyTech that said they had bumbed up the supported codecs to 8.1. Not sure what the sample rate was, but 24bit/96KHz seems to be the bottom line as of late.

And no, just like less then 50% of ALL DVDs support 5.1, the same is true of 7.1 on new formats. Yes, I think they all require 5.1 min now, but most tv shows (all that I know of) are stereo or mono, so they get no boost with 5.1 Many Movies don't seem to be getting the full 5.1 treatment either. Unless they are targeted at the HT enthusist, why waste the money?


RE: oh please
By NainoKami on 10/11/2006 9:15:46 AM , Rating: 2
You are truly mistaken as HD-DVD does not get DD+ by default. They share pretty much the same "limitation"/"options".

From wikipedia (emphasis is mine):
HD DVD can be mastered with up to 7.1 channel surround sound using the linear (uncompressed) PCM, Dolby Digital and DTS formats also used on DVDs. In addition, it also supports Dolby Digital Plus and the lossless formats Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD. Currently, most DVD movies are made with 5.1 channels of surround sound. There are relatively few titles that offer 6.1 channels of surround sound. On HD DVD the Dolby formats are mandatory, meaning that a Dolby Digital or Dolby Digital Plus track may be used as the sole soundtrack on a disc , because every player will have a decoder that can process any of these bitstreams.[6] For lossless audio in movies in the PCM, Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD formats, HD DVD discs support encoding in up to 24-bit/192 kHz for two channels, or up to eight channels of up to 24-bit/96 kHz encoding.[7] For reference, even new big-budget Hollywood films are mastered in only 24-bit/48 kHz, with 16-bit/48 kHz being common for ordinary films.


RE: oh please
By EclipsedAurora on 10/11/2006 2:01:52 PM , Rating: 2
Please shut up and stop misleading the public.

Most BD titles offers 8 channel UNCOMPRESSED 24bit/96KHz audio track, another feature that can't be realized in crappie HD-DVD format


RE: oh please
By michal1980 on 10/11/06, Rating: -1
RE: oh please
By tdream on 10/11/2006 8:57:17 AM , Rating: 2
You could also look at it from HD DVD's point of view and say that the x360 already has a huge gamer base and those people who already bought the 360 only have to pay an extra $199 for HD-DVD usage, so compare that to $500 and your argument is losing strength.

I can see both formats succeeding and eventually all the manufacturers stuck in the middle of the format war will make their drives compatible with both formats, for the sake of profits. No one format will put the other out of business.


RE: oh please
By BladeVenom on 10/11/2006 9:13:48 AM , Rating: 2
It wasn't just Toshiba; it has the support of the DVD Forum, and the majority of its over 230 members.

Toshiba and MS aren't the only ones putting out HD DVD players. RCA has players out, and more companies will soon follow.

HD DVD has good study backing. "HD DVD is currently exclusively backed by Universal Studios and The Weinstein Company (through Genius Products) and is non-exclusively backed by Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., New Line, HBO, DreamWorks, Image Entertainment, Magnolia Pictures, Brentwood Home Video, Warner Music Group, Ryko, Goldhil Entertainment, and Studio Canal." -wikipedia

Click is the first Blu-Ray movie to use a double layered disk, all the rest are using single. So you're going to get Blu-ray for one movie, when all the other movies out so far look better with HD DVD.


RE: oh please
By Helbore on 10/11/2006 11:01:26 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, HD-DVD was ratified by the DVD forum, so was supported by the majority of the industry. Originally, even Sony supported it, but pulled ouot in favor of a proprietry format, much like they did with DVD-Audio.

The driving reason is that Sony owned the CD format and lived off the immense income generated by the royalties and wants to maintain this control with all future formats. Just look at how many Sony-proprietry formats have existed (and had ridiculous price tags compared to the competition)

Oh and Blu-Ray is 25GB per layer. Most Blu-Ray discs to date have only been single layer. Click is the first dual-layer disc so far.

Personally, I was a supporter of Blu-Ray for a long time, a it did have better specs on paper. However, the final results, so far, have not been favourable for Sony and if I were to purchase now (which I won't) I would be choosing HD-DVD.


RE: oh please
By EclipsedAurora on 10/11/2006 2:10:13 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry

It is the R&D power of Sony is so amazing
Sony owns far more patents then TOshiba at least.

And u've forgot Philips, the CD/DVD/BluRay co-inventor as well.


RE: oh please
By zombiexl on 10/11/2006 9:49:33 PM , Rating: 2
You forgot that Sony also has far more failed proprietary formats.

BR is great for storage but the price is insane.. I havent seen a BR player below $980, but I can pickup an HD-DVD player for under $500 and get better quality in the earlier movies released, I'm sure BR is catching u now.

In any case I wouldnt spend even $500 on either format this early in the game and since I already own 2 - 360's I dont have to.

Before you try to label me as anti-sony, most of my AV stuff is still Sony (not sure why though)...


RE: oh please
By r0y on 10/11/2006 6:56:04 AM , Rating: 2
Regarding size of BDROM discs. I do not think you are using a fair comparison. A HD-DVD disc with 30GB of storage is utilizing 2 layers. The corresponding BDROM disc would have 50GB of storage. Thats another 20GB for higher bitrate (better video quality since both use the same types of codecs) or additional extra material for game/movies.

Sony will have a huge advantage once PS3 starts to hit the market. Anyway thats my 5 cent.


RE: oh please
By gsellis on 10/11/2006 7:49:20 AM , Rating: 2
I really would not factor the PS3 into Blu Ray's success. The PS2 was not the reason for DVD success. With the much higher price per unit above the PS2 and still being 6 months away, the player market may beat it.

We are in the early adopter part of the marketing curve. Anyone making a player is hoping on maximizing revenue buy grabbing as much profit above marginal revenue as they can (the HP model). After about 3 mfgrs get into shipping, we will see the price on players plummet.

The success of the NEC chip is in question though. From reports, Sony is not permitting Blu-Ray to be played in a player that will play HD-DVD.


RE: oh please
By michal1980 on 10/11/06, Rating: 0
RE: oh please
By OrSin on 10/11/2006 9:24:37 AM , Rating: 2
You are kidding yourself. They hate Sony even more over at AVS. I ahve been going thier for over 6 years and Sony has went from greatness to pure crap.

As far as HD-DVD or BLueray I'm all for HD. Sony could not even put out BLueplay for thier laptop that could play the dvd they had out. Thats insane. Sorry but BLue is just not a ready yet. In about 1 year thier players should be good but but that time you have $100 HD-DVD burns for the PC out.

Blue will never be as PC friendly as HD-DVD, so I dont care if they can got o 50GB over HD 30GB. I want a standard that I can use.


RE: oh please
By michal1980 on 10/11/06, Rating: 0
RE: oh please
By zombiexl on 10/11/2006 9:55:14 PM , Rating: 2
I'd agree that SXRD does look good, even if its just a sony name on another technology.

But heres a good one for you. A friend of mine bought an SXRD 1080p with HDMI, etc right before the HD formats copy protection info was released (so months after sony knew) and now he has a 4500 tv that doesn't support HDCP. I mean it's not like Sony didnt know they were going to need it for BR, so why even put out a 1080p without HDCP?


RE: oh please
By michal1980 on 10/12/06, Rating: 0
RE: oh please
By Zoomer on 10/15/2006 10:41:09 AM , Rating: 2
They put it out because people will buy it. Some may not even need HDCP.


RE: oh please
By UserDoesNotExist on 10/11/2006 9:33:56 AM , Rating: 2
OK then. Millions of gamers have 360s right now. Not preorders that are going to be sold on eBay, physical units in their home AV setup. In order to play HD-DVDs, all they'll need to do is buy the $200 HD-DVD drive. If they want to play Blu-ray, they'll need to somehow buy the $600 drive known as the PS3 (scratch that, the $2000 drive known as "PS3 from eBay").

Furthermore, the average Joe looking for a cheap HD player this Christmas will, due to the fact that standalone players are more expensive, either try to buy a PS3 or a 360 with a HD-DVD. The average Joe will be able to buy a 360 and the drive. The average Joe will not be able to buy a PS3.

Does this mean HD-DVD will win? I dunno. Will the future turn out in the way that I've outlined? I dunno. I think they're likely scenarios, but I'm no expert. I personally think that lower-than-expected sales will drive the two camps to dialog and allow hybrid players. But just because the PS3 is coming out doesn't mean that Blu-ray will win.

Also, in response to what everyone's saying that this is "Sony versus Toshiba", copied straight from Wikipedia (these are all partial lists, mind you, the full lists are much longer):

HD DVD is promoted by Toshiba, NEC, Sanyo, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Intel, Universal Studios, The Weinstein Company, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., New Line, HBO, DreamWorks, Image Entertainment, Magnolia Pictures, Brentwood Home Video, Warner Music Group, Ryko, Goldhil Entertainment, and Studio Canal.

Blu-ray is promoted by Apple Computer, Dell, Hewlett Packard, Hitachi, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Pioneer Corporation, Royal Philips Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sharp Corporation, Sony Corporation, TDK Corporation, Thomson, Twentieth Century Fox, Walt Disney Pictures, and Warner Home Video Inc.

So Blu-ray doesn't "just" belong to Sony and HD-DVD doesn't "just" belong to Toshiba.


RE: oh please
By michal1980 on 10/11/06, Rating: 0
RE: oh please
By zombiexl on 10/11/2006 10:00:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Just like hd-dvd has some support (honeslty compare the full lists, and Blu-ray has greater support)


I think HD-DVD has more $$ behind it, just off the top of my head M$ is worth about 10x what sony is worth.

No matter how many companies are behind each standard its really M$ + Toshiba vs Sony. Sony has the most to lose assuming BR might (just possibly) fail.


RE: oh please
By nerdboy on 10/11/2006 12:24:04 PM , Rating: 2
Blue ray can actually hold up to 8 layers with 25GBs a on each layer. not only 25GB


RE: oh please
By EclipsedAurora on 10/11/2006 2:05:51 PM , Rating: 2
Oh yes....On paper HD-DVD use H.264.

But don't you know that current high-bitrate MPEG2 can have better quality than even same bitrate H.264/VC-1?

All becox the current generation H.264 codec is not mature enough to unlock the full potential of the compression format. That's nth different from 320kbps mp3 beating 320kbps AAC in audio compression codec world.

Do u know the professional Sony prodisc format HD video camera used in studios and TV stations use MPEG2 as high quality SP mode, while crappie H.264 as low quality LP mode?


RE: oh please
By retrospooty on 10/11/2006 8:40:24 AM , Rating: 2
Sony ***cks everything they touch it was them who sent this whole thing in to a quagmire.


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