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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 stevecat002 on 10/11/2006 1:24:16 PM , Rating: 2
Just to go back to the betamax vs. vhs format war....people back in the 80's did not have HiDef TV's or care about the technology as much - they wanted a solution to play videos on when they wanted - VHS did that for less, yes. So it won.

Today, people are spending upwards of $5000 on their TV and they are becoming more and more technically literate. Why would they then choose the lesser of two formats. It costs a little more than HD-DVD (in fact, possibly twice as much), but when you've just dropped $5000 for a TV - why cheap out for your video player? It makes no sense.

I think that the betamax / vhs format war cannot be compared to the Blu-Ray / HD-DVD format war simply because the TV's that display the image WILL take advantage of a higher resolution - in the 80's there was one resolution and one type of TV, video was in its early years - it was a BRAND new concept - to play videos on your TV at the touch of a button. Today, that is not the case, we have had 20 years of getting used to playing movies off of VHS, VCD and DVD. Something that further defines teh Blu-Ray / HD-DVD battle.

Further to point out - why did DVD become the popular format as VCD fell to the wayside? I can guarantee you that CD's were cheaper to produce than DVD's when the DVD came out and yet, DVD became the popular format - an example of the more expensive format winning (because of QUALITY). See a parallel there? I do.

Just some food for thought.

"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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