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LG's BH100 hybrid Blu-ray/HD DVD player
LG's hybrid Blu-ray HD DVD will not receive certification without support for iHD

While it's commendable that LG took the time to develop a standalone player that can playback both Blu-ray and HD DVD content, it should be noted that the company will not be able to sell the player to the public in its current form according to BetaNews. LG's BH100 player has no trouble conforming to all of the specifications of the Blu-ray disc standard, but it does not, however, conform to the iHD feature used in HD DVD discs.

iHD or "interactive High Definition" provides interactive features for HD DVDs. In other words, the BH100 will be able to play HD DVD movies just fine, but all interactive menus and special features (PIP, bookmarks, downloads/updates) will be unavailable to the customer.

Because of this omission, the BH100 will not receive certification from the DVD Forum -- and without certification, that means that the player cannot be advertised and sold as an HD DVD player.

Kevin Collins, a Microsoft representative for the HD DVD group, also made note that LG never contacted them before making their public announcement at CES. Collins also reported that the DVD Forum could possibly take legal action against LG for using the HD DVD logo when it doesn't in fact support all the features of the standard.

Considering the BH100's $1,199 USD price tag, consumers would be better off scoring a 20GB Sony PlayStation 3 for $499 and a $599 Toshiba HD-A20 to serve your 1080p Blu-ray/HD DVD passions.



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Alternative to HD-DVD and Blu-Ray
By borowki on 1/10/2007 7:24:43 PM , Rating: 3
I wonder if amid this chaos, China's EVD format mightn't emerge as the winner. Since it uses a regular DVD disc, manufacturers shouldn't have trouble pumping out boxes selling for around 50 bucks. Support for it could simply be included in any DVD drives. And existing computers can play it and burn it.

The movie studios wouldn't want to have any to do with it, of course, as it doesn't have DRM. But rampart piracy could force their hand, as happened with VideoCD in Asia.




RE: Alternative to HD-DVD and Blu-Ray
By MrDiSante on 1/10/2007 9:07:11 PM , Rating: 1
Or we could just keep using DVDs encoded with VC-1! No. It doesn't work. There's not enough space on a DVD disk.


RE: Alternative to HD-DVD and Blu-Ray
By phusg on 1/11/2007 8:01:24 AM , Rating: 2
Of course it could fit, you'd just have to lower the bitrate, the resolution or both. DVD-9s have 8.5 GB capacity, enough room for the modern codecs to give a big improvement over current MPEG-2 DVDs.


RE: Alternative to HD-DVD and Blu-Ray
By Suomynona on 1/11/2007 8:53:00 AM , Rating: 1
Lowering the bitrate or the resolution kind of defeats the purpose of an HD movie. I think EVD will be like VCD in a different way, in that it will take off in Asia but never really make it in America.


RE: Alternative to HD-DVD and Blu-Ray
By phusg on 1/11/2007 9:35:21 AM , Rating: 2
Depends what the purpose is. AFAIK it's to improve the quality of video beyond that of DVD, which is what changing from MPEG-2 to VC-1 or H.264 would do. Whether that improvement is enough is a personal choice. All I'm saying is that it is possible and it improves the video.


RE: Alternative to HD-DVD and Blu-Ray
By masher2 (blog) on 1/11/2007 9:52:30 AM , Rating: 2
> "AFAIK it's to improve the quality of video beyond that of DVD, which is what changing from MPEG-2 to VC-1 or H.264 would do. Whether that improvement is enough is a personal choice..."

Several of my friends already can't see the difference between an upconverted DVD and my HD-DVD movies. There's little chance of a standard with even less resolution than 1080p taking off.


RE: Alternative to HD-DVD and Blu-Ray
By IsDanReally on 1/11/2007 12:00:12 PM , Rating: 2
You and your friends must be watching on a pretty small or non-HD TV to not be able to see the difference. Even using my small laptop screen I can tell a huge difference, and when using the big screen TV or the HD projector even a 90 year old grandma saw the difference right away.


RE: Alternative to HD-DVD and Blu-Ray
By masher2 (blog) on 1/11/2007 1:43:31 PM , Rating: 2
> "You and your friends must be watching on a pretty small or non-HD TV..."

Either a 60" 1080p RP or a 102" 720p front projector, neither of which is "small". Perhaps you missed the part where I said "a good upscaled" DVD. Comparing the output of my upscaling Denon DVD player to the HD version of the same film played on my HD-A2, there isn't a huge difference. I can see one...but many of my friends don't.


RE: Alternative to HD-DVD and Blu-Ray
By IsDanReally on 1/11/2007 2:01:46 PM , Rating: 2
I did not miss that part :) Just that an unscaled DVD can never be as good as an HD DVD. Your friends are lucky then...they can save the money otherwise spent on a new DVD player for something else.


By hubajube on 1/11/2007 5:10:49 PM , Rating: 2
For me, the difference was night and day. Extremely obvious.


RE: Alternative to HD-DVD and Blu-Ray
By mindless1 on 1/11/2007 7:54:02 PM , Rating: 2
If they can't see the difference, it could instead suggest this format with less resolution is all the MORE viable rather than less. People see it, and see more expensive HD-DVD but can't distinguish any difference but price, which will they buy?


By masher2 (blog) on 1/11/2007 8:17:12 PM , Rating: 2
If they already can't distinguish a difference between DVD and HD-DVD, why would they buy into a format even closer to DVD? They'd just stick with DVD...which, not coincidentally, is just what they're doing.


"consumers would be better off..."
By JSK on 1/10/2007 6:44:12 PM , Rating: 3
not buying either one of these DRM infested formats and showing the media companies that they want the right of fair use...




RE: "consumers would be better off..."
By Xeronix on 1/10/2007 7:00:56 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah i agree, all customers should have the fair right to copy movies and share them to everyone else over bit torrent for free.


RE: "consumers would be better off..."
By Soviet Robot on 1/10/2007 7:22:56 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, because piracy is the only arguement for no DRM.
Last time I checked, DVD's have DRM, and it don't work because every new dvd is on teh interwebs.

Making personal copies of your 'purchased license for a movie on a piece of plastic'(known as a DVD) is perfectly legal.
However, it's perfectly legal for the studies to implement DRM.
I personally think we should be allowed to do whatever we want with our purchased product as long as its not against the law.


By Samus on 1/11/2007 1:19:37 AM , Rating: 2
i dont like drm because its inconvenient and not very portable. with my mp3's and divx's, i just drop them on any one of my computers or mobile players and off i go. with itunes or any other drm format, i need to authorize a certain device (usually limited to 3 at a time, which isn't a big deal) to play that specific file, one by one. then, to play it, i need to use proprietary software that usually sucks balls.


By therealnickdanger on 1/11/2007 10:19:47 AM , Rating: 2
Well, HD-DVD will allow for a "managed copy" so you can copy the movie to your hard drive or other means of backup, but I'm not sure how it works...

Either way, all DRM is in violation of our right to a legitimate copy.


Why not a PS3 and xbox 360?
By Behlal on 1/10/2007 6:46:42 PM , Rating: 3
I already have the HD-DVD player for my xbox 360 and the quality is very good. When the PS3 becomes more available, I will probably consider it both for gaming and Blu-Ray. That seems to be the most cost effective option, not a $599 player from Toshiba for HD-DVD.




RE: Why not a PS3 and xbox 360?
By ahodge on 1/10/2007 6:51:33 PM , Rating: 2
Check just about any local electronics store for that PS3 fix. Chances are, you'll find quite a few places have it in stock...I guess they haven't been selling very well.


RE: Why not a PS3 and xbox 360?
By AlexWade on 1/10/2007 7:44:00 PM , Rating: 2
Sony says they shipped 1,000,000. There was a Wall Street Journal article that said they only sold 400,000. Sorry, I don't have the link.

I do have some links to show how easy they are to find:
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=2768596&...
http://www.gamepro.com/news.cfm?article_id=93268
http://www.joystiq.com/2007/01/07/gamestop-pulls-o...


Should have said something else
By ET on 1/11/2007 7:32:48 AM , Rating: 5
Considering the BH100's $1,199 USD price tag, consumers would be better off scoring a 20GB Sony PlayStation 3 for $499 and a $599 Toshiba HD-A20 to serve your 1080p Blu-ray/HD DVD passions.

How about scoring a PS3 plus an Xbox 360 with HD drive? And you can add a Wii and still be below the BH100's price. Sounds like a great combination to me. :)




heh
By Visual on 1/11/2007 4:21:29 AM , Rating: 2
So much for the rumors that Sony wasn't allowing dual players. Turns out, it is Toshiba that doesn't fancy the prospect.

Certainly, while this player doesn't fully conform to the HD-DVD specs I wouldn't blame them. LG should implement iHD - and it would be a simple thing too, it's only software changes after all. But I have a feeling that there are certain licensing requirements for doing that, probably they got to pay Microsoft for it...

And it is quite obvious now, a dual player will just bury HD-DVD, and will only help Blu-ray. Still, I'd prefer not paying extra for the HD-DVD part of the player. Just bring the Blu-ray player prices down already, and have this stupid war be done with.




RE: heh
By therealnickdanger on 1/11/2007 11:41:06 AM , Rating: 2
I'd buy it even without iHD. I don't know if I'm with the majority or the minority, but I just simply don't care about extras of *any* kind. All I want is the highest quality A/V transfer of the film itself, nothing else matters. I don't need interactivity to watch, much less enjoy, a movie. Besides, this is just the first player of its kind. As if future models won't support everything?


Format war is over
By Oregonian2 on 1/12/2007 2:57:00 PM , Rating: 2
Just read an article in Google-News. The format war is over. HD-format has won. The Pron industry has declared HD format the one to back, and seeing as how they're a large percentage of the overall movie business and usually is heavy into high technology bleeding-edge sales, the winner seems to have been decided -- and interestingly Sony seems to have basically made this happen. See the article: http://tinyurl.com/yd5dz2






RE: Format war is over
By n4nln on 1/12/2007 6:31:49 PM , Rating: 2
Eschewing "adult content" was how Sony lost the Beta/VHS battle, too. It would be extremely ironic if they screw the pooch the same way again. (speaking metaphorically, of course)

-mo


PC drive?
By Visual on 1/12/2007 6:32:48 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, and there was also supposed to be a PC drive after the player, wasn't it? Atleast that doesn't need to have iHD or anything, so I guess nothing will stop that one :)

It'd be a bit funny, a combo BD/HDDVD PC drive to come to market before a simple HDDVD drive (You know, the ones that only come with a Qosmo laptop don't count. The ones for the XBOX probably should count, given they work on PCs just fine, but still they weren't intended as a PC drive.) I can totally see me buying that LG drive once it goes sub $500




"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser














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