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 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
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.

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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