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 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.

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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