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: I knew it would come to this
By mrEvil on 10/11/2006 1:05:15 PM , Rating: 2
Not exactly the whole story, but it's been repeated enough in the electronics industry that you think people would know better by now.

Anyway, Sony sued EVERYONE who were making Betamax machines and shut them all down, leaving Sony as the sole maker of any machine that could play Betamax tapes. Thus dooming the consumer market as everyone starting flooding the market with VHS tapes.

If you want another example of stupid, look at IBM and their MCA-bus architecture for computers. Superior to the PCI bus (and out before it) but IBM only licensed it to NEC. Smart move....notice how many consumer machines came out with MCA architecture.

Also, no one is going to "win" the market this Xmas. Heck, it may not even be Xmas 2007. The DVD market has just reached the saturation point and consumers are just now starting to really buy HD TV's. Why buy a product you cannot utilize?

We're not going to see $100 HD-DVD burners next year. Maybe in 2-3 years they will be near that.

Personally, my DVD collection is just fine. I do not feel the need to put my money on the roulette wheel and hope I guess right. The technology itself is not going anywhere...I just hope this time that the best technology wins, not the cheapest price.

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