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DVD Truce Between Blu-Ray and HD-DVD?

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the put-down-your-guns dept.

Media 255

An anonymous reader writes " Reuters is reporting that Toshiba and Sony are in talks about reconciling the two next-generation DVD formats. Ideas floated in the article include a unified DVD arch which could use "Blu-ray's disc structure and HD DVD software technology" (Sony's idea) or "HD DVD disc structure and employing Sony's multi-layer data-recording technology" (Toshiba's idea)"

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255 comments

Props to GNAA (-1, Offtopic)

bethane (686358) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303640)

lol @ #buttes, jewcentral

Does format matter? (5, Insightful)

pholower (739868) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303648)

This article although informative, didn't do the best job in technical explanations, that is when I spotted the following line... A PC maker, for example, would not have to equip its computers with hard drives compatible with both formats.

I didn't realize the hard drive had to be made to be compatible. I guess speed could somehow come into play, but no, never mind, they don't know what they are talking about.

"It could take both camps some time to develop products based on a new standard, which leaves the risk of development delays for Sony's next-generation game console," Goldman Sachs analyst Yuji Fujimori wrote in a note to clients.

Does this really matter? Couldn't Sony still release their next PlayStation with BlueRay discs as their format? I mean, they did use UMD for the PSP, and they isn't a common format. If you know more about this let me know, but this to me would mean it could prevent more illegal copying of game discs.

Re:Does format matter? (4, Interesting)

grungebox (578982) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303676)

Does this really matter? Couldn't Sony still release their next PlayStation with BlueRay discs as their format? I mean, they did use UMD for the PSP, and they isn't a common format. If you know more about this let me know, but this to me would mean it could prevent more illegal copying of game discs.

My guess would be that they want a BlueRay more widely accepted for their broader media goals, like movies and music and so forth. UMD doesn't really have that much market potential in those areas, I guess. This is pure speculation, but it's a possible answer to your question.

Re:Does format matter? (4, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303682)

Sony wants their console to be compatible with popular media formats so they can sell more of them. Also, the PS2 helped expand the installed base of DVD players among gamers; The PS3 can help expand the installed base of (insert next-generation video standard here) among gamers, as well. That helps the format succeed. Also, it helps the PS3 succeed, because people who might not have bought one will buy it because it's a video player AND a game console - just like the PS2.

Too bad they didn't put VideoCD support in the PS, although I hear that you can get a plug-in module to do that (and play mp3s.)

Re:Does format matter? (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303754)

"...A PC maker, for example, would not have to equip its computers with hard drives compatible with both formats."

I didn't realize the hard drive had to be made to be compatible. I guess speed could somehow come into play, but no, never mind, they don't know what they are talking about.

Since when does that stop anyone from doing a thorough analysis? Unless they're implying, to allow PC's to have a DVD drive would require the installation, on the HD, of some DRM thingy, which would sit not at all well with myself or pretty much anyone else who understands the implication.

Re:Does format matter? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12303994)

This matters very much for Sony. The PS2 wasn't such a big deal in North America because we mostly owned DVD players when it came out. Not so in Asia where DVD penetration was very low before the PS2. Then Sony came out with a top-notch game machine that was also a DVD player for the same price as a DVD player. They immediately had penetration in most Asian households.

They want to repeat this success, but this time they want to rule North America as well. So it is of absolutely critical importance to them that the PS3 contain whatever the nextgen DVD format is, and that it be one of the very first to market.

Re:Does format matter? (1)

Queer Boy (451309) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303998)

I bought my PS2 because at the time, PSones were $100 and DVD players were $200. I wanted a DVD player and hadn't had a PlayStation in a little while (my first-gen PSX broke and I was in the Dreamcast camp).

I would buy a PS3 solely if it played PS2 games and had HD DVD support.

lolinternet (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12303651)

IN BEFORE GOLDMINE

Re:lolinternet (0, Offtopic)

MondoMor (262881) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303693)

gb2fyad

no wait stay

Re:lolinternet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12303993)

no u

smart move (5, Insightful)

blackomegax (807080) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303654)

well, it looks like they got smart all of a sudden, because, unlike dvd+ and dvd- R and RW...bluray and HDdvd are so far apart you practically need 2 drives for total support..

not to mention the COST of bluray media...yeouch.

Re:smart move (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303771)

well, it looks like they got smart all of a sudden, because, unlike dvd+ and dvd- R and RW...bluray and HDdvd are so far apart you practically need 2 drives for total support..

Or one seriously impaired drive, with lots of extra firmware and complex read/write heads, clunky and slow... eeewwww...

not to mention the COST of bluray media...yeouch.

You mistook someone for a charity?

Are we learning yet? (5, Insightful)

kc01 (772943) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303656)

Good deal- Perhaps Sony's learned lessons from "Beta" and "Memory Stick".

Without standards, there's no volume.

Re:Are we learning yet? (2, Informative)

grungebox (578982) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303708)

Perhaps Sony's learned lessons from "Beta" and "Memory Stick".

Beta, yes. Memory Stick? Last I heard they were sticking to their guns, mostly because I think their memory-stick-requiring products like digital cameras, digital video cameras, and the PSP, use them. Doesn't mean memory sticks don't suck, just that Sony hasn't backtracked on the memory stick yet.

Re:Are we learning yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12303965)

I think sony keeps puting out proprietary stuff in hopes to someday have one of their products become the "standard". Along with the two items you mentioned there is also ATRAC and the Minidisc both of which have never cought on (at least here in the US they haven't).

cost?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12303657)

I prefer which ever one will be cheaper ... interesting to see which group will end up with more clout in the negotiation

Re:cost?? (1)

necronom426 (755113) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303898)

Really?

I prefer whichever is the best (usually the most expensive). I've always been like that. Sometimes it's also the most popular, and sometimes it isn't, but as long as I'm happy I don't really mind.

I got a C64 (instead of a Spectrum), an Amiga (instead of an ST), a Betamax (instead of VHS), a widescreen TV (instead of a 3:4 one), surround sound (instead of stereo), Opera web browser (instead of IE), etc.

In the end, if the cheaper option doesn't do what you want, then you have wasted your money. If you get the best and pay a bit more, you have something that has given you more value for money. That's the way I see it anyway.

---
Help me get a free Opera licence. Click here [opera.com] . It just takes you to their site - nothing nasty. Close the page after that.

Re:cost?? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12303980)

"Opera web browser (instead of IE)"

Ummm, why don't you use a Mac if you want the best of everything?

It's about time (5, Interesting)

ghingy (877502) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303659)

Finally these guys have decided to put their egos aside and work on a compromise. If they had thought about this in the first place, imagine how much money these corporation would save on wasted R&D.

Wasted R&D? (5, Insightful)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303707)

Even if they end up using a hybrid of the two, the R&D isn't wasted. Along the way, both companies have learned a lot, including finding out a lot of things that *didn't* work.

A lot of R&D is failing and figuring out why.

It's not like we're talking about Xerox PARC, where Corporate wasted the opporunity to commercialize the wonderful things which were developed. A compromise on the new DVD format will still bring both companies/consortia licensing revenue.

Which, of course, begs the obvious question -- if they're both contributing IP, will they both be charging royalties and price the technology too high?

Re:It's about time (1)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303734)

That wasted R&D, as you put it, might seem like a waste now, but who knows, they may have come up with something unusable currently, but invaluable in the future... R&D doesn't have to apply to the exact product you are currently working on... I'm reaping the benefits of R&D done for a product not even related to what I'm currently working on... It's not wasted... AND it remains the property of the respective company. Plus it's a tax writeoff (at least in Canada).

+1 DUMBASS (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12303742)

Interesting? What retarded mod calls this interesting?

So two competing formats waged a war, and now they're talking about finding what the best of each of the formats is and merging them. And this mortard thinks it would have been better if they just accepted whatever they thought up first? Whatever.

Fucking retards. I am convinced that most "moderators" on Slashdot are retarded monkeys with brain cancer.

Re:It's about time (1)

Reignking (832642) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303775)

I disagree. This article was in the WSJ days ago, and this is simply seen as a last-ditch effort to come to a compromise. I don't think they are anywhere near an agreement, and time is running out. The WSJ mentioned getting these new DVD on the market for Christmas 2005.

From the article: While a final deal is still far from certain

Re:It's about time (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303784)

Finally these guys have decided to put their egos aside and work on a compromise. If they had thought about this in the first place, imagine how much money these corporation would save on wasted R&D.

I doubt it had anything to do with ego as Toshiba is planning on debuting their technology at the end of the year anyway in PCs.

Those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it... Sony probably realized that it was going to lose the battle if Toshiba got their stuff to market in 2005 and it was successful. If you can't beat them, join them.

Re:It's about time (1)

Mr Smidge (668120) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303950)

The BBC also has an article [bbc.co.uk] about this.

Do you think that perhaps "HD-DVD software technology" includes this ghastly mechanism of rendering chosen player models/brands useless? I hope they haven't teamed up to ensure that such a disgraceful system isn't pushed onto us.

Then again, perhaps this collaboration will present some of the companies coming up with the decision that it isn't such a good idea.

We can only hope not. If a DRM system like that gets pushed onto us, I'm not going to be happy.

Good. (0, Redundant)

FlyByPC (841016) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303673)

The last thing the industry needs is another VHS-vs-Betamax war...

The age old question. (4, Funny)

rmarll (161697) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303675)

You got your chocolate in my peanutbutter.

You got your peanutbutter on my chocolate.

Re:The age old question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12303743)

Hey, that sounds pretty tasty! You just gave me an idea for a new candybar.

Re:The age old question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12303752)

two great tastes that taste great together

Umm, dat's not a question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12303761)

Subject sez it all - dat's

not a question.

bzzzt!

Analogy as analysis (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303792)

Together they taste like crap.

I don't know anything about the format structure, but I think it's important to consider the price of production in relation to the real applicability of the benefits of either drive.

http://forum.ecoustics.com/bbs/messages/34579/1290 58.html

Of course, this may turn out like "640k should be enough for anybody" if we go with HD DVD... =/

Re:The age old question. (1)

GrBear (63712) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303961)

You got your peanutbutter on my chocolate.

Woah, for a minute there I thought that was pornographic!

Too late? (5, Insightful)

mrRay720 (874710) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303679)

So they've got to:

Sort out the details
Get out a new spec
Prototypes
Verification
etc. etc.
All before the impending releases of if nothing else the PS3 and XBox2, never mind the PC & TV players?

Why do I get the feeling that this is a token gesture never intended to resolve the disputes, but instead to allow them to look back later and say "well we TRIED to get a common format but everyone else was in too much of a hurry!" If they were really serious about a common format, they would have done it long before now.

Deceipt at it's best!

Re:Too late? (1)

jeff_schiller (877821) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303706)

Yep, I'll agree with that. The article states that the new formats are coming out by end of year, so at 7-months and counting this is a token gesture at best.

Re:Too late? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12303791)

So after years in development, a few months before hardware release when the OEMs probably already have sample hardware sorted, the suddenly think "OMG WTF THERE'S A COMPETING STANDARD!!!!!!!11111111" and try to make friends? No way. This smells planned

Collusion to defraud is my guess, too.

Re:Too late? (2, Insightful)

Mandoric (55703) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303900)

XBox 2's already confirmed for plain DVD-ROM; given Sony's insistence on Blu-Ray hardware with HD-DVD software for any compromise, one can assume that the PS3 will ship with the physical drive it's always been planned for, and differ only in firmware and player app if a deal is made.

Of course, given that the XBox 2 will begin its lifespan with multiple versions (with hard drive and without) and Sony chose a new CEO from the evil^Wmusic side of the business while simultaneously demoting Kutaragi, it's possible that later packages (for XBox) or corporate skulduggery (for PS) could lead to a change---this change would just, in either case, be a poor business decision.

FrankenDVD... (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303683)

FrankenDVD... it was born on a cold slab of stone, when Drs. Sony and Toshiba concurred. Hundreds knew better, thousands said it was unnatural and against nature, millions didn't care as long as they could watch Star Wars: Episode VII, Revenge of the Return of the Imperial Jedi Sith...

See villagers...

See Torches...

See lightning flash and hear thunder roll...

See the monster fill a small screen near you

Scream in terror as you re-purchase all your DVD collection, while in a dark sinister lab, the next format is considered...

RATED: R

Re:FrankenDVD... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12303694)

This comment and yours will be modded down.

Re:FrankenDVD... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12303713)

KRYTEN: Frankenstein was the creator, not the monster. It's a common misconception, held by all truly stupid people.

Sorry, was that rated R+ or R- ? (4, Funny)

Myriad (89793) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303956)

RATED: R

Sorry, just to clarify... was that R+ or R-?

Blockwars [blockwars.com] : Multiplayer Tetris like game

Re:FrankenDVD... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12304007)

Scream in terror as you re-purchase all your DVD collection
That is hilarious.

Re:FrankenDVD... (2, Funny)

tm2b (42473) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304038)

I'm pretty sure that should have started with:

IN A WORLD...

Finally, (1)

darthgnu (866920) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303689)

My DVD burning buying descision will turn out to be simpler. I have hesitated in the past because of the price and the 15 current "standards". Cheers to Sony and Toshiba !

Isn't this collusion? (4, Insightful)

DoorFrame (22108) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303690)

I clearly do not fully understand how anti-monopoly laws work, but aren't competing companies prohibited from doing exactly this? Instead of each company selling it's product and letting the market decide which is better, they're working together to restrain the industry and keeping products that might benefit the consumer off the market. Isn't that collusion? Isn't it illegal?

Someone please explain why it's not, I really would appreciate it (not kidding here, genuinely cuious).

Re:Isn't this collusion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12303721)

there are no laws that i know of that require a company to use any technology is researches/creates.
as long as there is the slightest hint of the customer/consumer being the reason to work togather, it is usually enough.
the idea that one format instead of two will make things cheaper and easier for everyone(according to the reports) is enough in this case.

Re:Isn't this collusion? (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303730)

Working together to create a standard definatly isn't collusion. Working together to set prices is.

Re:Isn't this collusion? (1)

DeathFlame (839265) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303731)

Your not allowed to price fix.

Your allowed to share, or develop technology together.

Re:Isn't this collusion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12303797)

Your not allowed to use the wrong your, either.

Re:Isn't this collusion? (1)

HTL2001 (836298) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303767)

they are agreeing to make a standard by merging the 2 types of disks, so they will have a standard and volume sales

last I checked, more than 1 company sold CD-R's. basicly this is what they want to do with the new DVD's, they want it so not just 1 company can make them (and therefore use them, ==more volume)

This is not collusion (5, Informative)

ekuns (695444) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303793)

Collusion is illegal when companies are working together to keep another company's product off the market by predatory pricing, for example. But when two companies (or consortiums) work together to choose a common standard, that is just plain good sense. The companies are wisely (I hope) seeing that the market will not welcome competing standards, and that the market (and thus their pocketbooks) are bettered by there being exactly one new DVD standard. There is no illegal activity here because no-one is being prevented from doing anything and they are not controlling prices by choosing to implement a common standard. There is no anti-competitive behavior.

Now, if the companies fixed the pricing of this standard and refused to allow anyone to undercut the pricing and used their size in the marketplace to control the availability and cost of the new DVD players, that could be collusion. If they were somehow working together (like a cartel) to prevent another company from competing in the marketspace, that might be collusion. (Depending on the tactics, etc.) However, just agreeing on a common standard does not collusion make.

Re:This is not collusion (2, Insightful)

MarkGriz (520778) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303922)

"However, just agreeing on a common standard does not collusion make."

Right. The first step is to hammer out the details of the DVD format.

Fixing the prices on the DVDs will have to wait until next year.

Re:Isn't this collusion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12303820)

You're free to make up your own disc format and sell it too. Hey, just like UMD!

Re:Isn't this collusion? (2, Informative)

Mycroft_VIII (572950) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303874)

I can't speak athouratatively (IANAL, etc.), and most certainly not about non-US laws, but as I understand it monopolies are allowed (in some cases at least), they just fall under much tighter rules and such when they occure.
Microsoft didn't get in trouble for being a monopoly, but doing illeagle things with thier monopoly derived powers.
Plus I don't think this is a monopoly situation in any case, it's more of a standard format that everyone can compete under. For example no-one seriously complains about the keyboard monopoly, yet 'multi-media' buttons aside most keyboards follow the same general qwerty layout with the row of function keys at the top, the arrow keys in the lower right and the numpad in the far right and so on.
They only way this could be a monopoly is if only ONE source to aquire the disk's and players existed.

Mycroft

On the contrary... (0)

jpardey (569633) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303691)

...the fighting between the HD-ray and the Blue-DVD camps will be more fierece than ever.

The best hybrid (3, Insightful)

silid (733394) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303696)

why not just use Blu-Ray technolgy and HD-DVD name (silid's idea)

Lets have one technology and an agreed royalty share - an effective buy-out. At least this way it will save millions in marketing in a format war, and both groups get a degree of guarenteed success.

and more importantly will allow me to enjoy the format sooner as i won't have to wait for winner.

A solution for the HD-DVD naming confusion (1)

Vroem (731860) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303712)

Will we also see a specification for the new audio and video formats on the old DVD discs?

That seems to be the meaning [apple.com] that apple gives to the term "HD DVD". Which is why I never liked the brand HD-DVD for a new otical format.

Re:A solution for the HD-DVD naming confusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12303815)

Apple used the official HD-DVD logo in their NAB presentation of the new DVD Studio Pro. It's not naming confusion, they meant the AOD/HD-DVD.

And the snail wins!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12303722)

I dont think either is going to agree to use the other's structure. So they're going to end up degrading their technology to the DVD structure. this sucks...

n-squared? (2, Funny)

stevenharman (841350) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303729)

Uh, wait... so we just went from 2 competing formats (Blu-Ray and HD DVD) to 4 (Blu-Ray, HD DVD, Blu-Ray+HD DVD, and HD DVD+Blu-Ray)? Thats an n-squared rate of growth. Surely someone could come up with something more efficient, along the lines of nLog(n) perhaps?

Re:n-squared? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12303759)

backsubstitute n... it's bad

Re:n-squared? (2, Funny)

omegacentrix (473330) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303798)

I guess I'm just being picky about it, but from two data points you can't possibly determine n-squared or n*ln n rate of growth. Heck this could simply be linear... pretty soon we'll have Purple-Ray, Gamma-Ray, and maybe even the Death-Ray. =)

A better idea! (4, Funny)

erroneus (253617) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303738)

Let's have representatives from each side to fight it out to the death! I haven't seen a good death match in a very long time.

Blu-Ray all the way! (1, Interesting)

TheCamper (827137) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303740)

I'm in favor of all out Blu-Ray. Blu-Ray is an actual technology to fit more data onto a disk. HD DVD is simply a format. You can still store HD DVD format using Blu-Ray technology. Also, HD DVD uses red lasers, and can only store between 4 and 7 gigs per disk. Blu-Ray can store 25 gigs on a one layered disk, 50 gigs on a dual layered disk.

Re:Blu-Ray all the way! (5, Informative)

tsalem (813623) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304060)

Wrong. [wikipedia.org] It uses a blue laser, and is 15 GB for a single-sided disc and 30 for dual-sided. I agree that Blu-Ray is better, but try and get the facts straight.

They're wasting their time (3, Interesting)

w.p.richardson (218394) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303753)

These new disc formats are all dead in the long run.

Perhaps not immediately, but within a few years a system will exist which will allow the streaming of any movie ever made via broadband instantly. Why would you want to bother keeping an anachronistic collection of shiny discs, when you could have anything you want, instantly.

These format wars will all look quaint in a few years when the bandwidth for home delivery of such a system is widely available.

Not in "a few years". (3, Insightful)

James A. Y. Joyce (877365) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303781)

In order to download a movie "instantly", you need a lot of bandwidth. To download a 1Gb movie in 1 second requires an 8Gbps connection. This is not going to be available affordably to the average person within the next 10 years, at least. As is, it costs maybe $20 a month to get an 8 megabit per second connection, and everyone knows it takes a very very long time to overhaul data transmission infrastructure.

Re:Not in "a few years". (2, Insightful)

mzwaterski (802371) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303933)

Wow, you are pretty impatient if you need the movie to be there in 1 second!

Seeing as the movie is at least an hour long, why are you in such a rush? If movies could download in 1 minute, I'd be pretty satisfied. Thats only about 133 Gbps if I did my math correct for 1 GB of data.

But in reality, who needs it to be there in a minute anyway. As long as the system is decent enough to stream starting at any point in the movie you choose, you really only need to be able to download 1GB in 45 minutes (a little buffer time is always good). By my math thats about 3Mbps. HEY, I have one of those...

PS: lowercase b is bit, uppercase B is byte, your numbers would make more sense if you differentiated.

Re:Not in "a few years". (1)

thpr (786837) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303981)

I agree with your conclusion, but take issue with how you define "instantly". From a practical perspective, the tipping point is likely where you can reliably (99.9% of the time) download a movie reasonably faster than you can watch it (1.5X to 2X real speed). This allows you to pause, even fast forward to a degree without a problem.

From a deployment perspective, this is already happening with optical networks in some communitites. This is a problem in communities without pre-deployed fiber, as some companies have been adept at striking sewer lines when trying to bury the fiber. It's also really expensive to dig a ditch (think of SBC as a legal team adept at public permitting and policy that happens to sell voice services)... As you point out, it is this constraint on the speed which controls the deployment of fiber.

The solution in those areas is VDSL or some derivative that will support a very high speed connection over copper. Fiber is then run into the community, and the copper used over the last few hundred feet. (In a community like mine, there are lots of green cabinets all over the place to facilitate this - all the wires are buried)

So realistically, you need between 8Mb/s and 40Mb/s (depending on quality and compression) to stream an HD channel. Assuming deployment rate at the same pace that ADSL rolled out (not unreasonable), that means it will be about 2012 before 50% of US homes have this bandwidth... and that's over a WIRED connection. I still can't stream that into a plane, bus, or other area where carrying a small CD/DVD-sized object is trivial.

It is highly likely that there will be a significant market for "HD DVD" (whichever format wins) at least through the beginning to middle of the next decade. The challenge after that is whether quality improvement can even be perceived by people (note how monitors really slowed in development after XGA was pervasive). Of course, if you're into speculation, anything 3D could eat up a huge quantity of bandwidth and storage REALLY fast.

Re:They're wasting their time (1)

darthgnu (866920) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303786)

Yes, and where do you put your backups of your terabytes of "data" ?

Re:They're wasting their time (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303809)

And this bandwidth will come from where?
And more importantly, cost how much?

Re:They're wasting their time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12303876)

Dolts. STREAM, not download. Who needs to store anything when you just purchase the right to stream it on demand? Blockbuster & Netflicks will just have server farms holding every movie ever made in a streamable format, and some big ol' pipes. You click, and boom, yer watching your movie. Just like internet radio today. There are already services that offer this, albeit at pretty low quality. Remember, we went from 56k to 10meg lines in a pretty short time...

Re:They're wasting their time (5, Insightful)

JadeNB (784349) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303854)

Perhaps not immediately, but within a few years a system will exist which will allow the streaming of any movie ever made via broadband instantly. Why would you want to bother keeping an anachronistic collection of shiny discs, when you could have anything you want, instantly.
Because, as we've seen, the trend in streaming media is towards temporary ownership. Sure, with DVDs, my ownership options are (supposed to be) limited -- I can't copy it, &c. -- but at least I have it forever (or at least as long as the media lasts). I'm sure still more restrictions will be in place with these new discs, but, judging from the previous market failure of `temporary discs', at least I will still have them forever.

With streaming media, it seems likely that we'd see a `pay-per-view' set-up. Besides that, what about out-of-print movies? If I buy a DVD and the manufacturer stops printing those DVDs, I can still watch it -- but what if I want to stream a DVD no one wants to host? We could lose a lot of important movies this way.

Maybe for somebody with a FAST connection (1)

crovira (10242) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303883)

but for the remaining 90% of the planet, its a big deal because they won't have to be limited (or sold an unplayable disk,) by the manufacturers.

Your argument doesn't cut any ice apart from those lucky enough to have been born in the right place.

Ever try to use an appliance bought in Europe (220 volts) in America (110 volts)? How about, ever had to suport two Vvltage standards?

That's a problem for the Chinese and everybody else who works in a global marketplace. Its ineffficient and leads to duplication of resurces.

For them both, its a win because, for the consumer it means not discovering thay the shiny new disk they just paid for, that said it what ever format it was, film or other data, was actually a skeet target.

Rhapsody and CDs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12303887)

Somehow I don't think that the availability of streaming media is going to kill physical formats in the near future: maybe in 20-30 years, but neither format will be around that long, anyway.

I'm the only person I know who stopped buying CDs altogether when I started using RealRhapsody for music -- and I have wireless 802.11g both at home and at work.

And I still occasionally wish I had CDs for the car. Fiddling with the laptop at red lights is probably dangerous ;)

Re:Rhapsody and CDs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12303979)

I'm the only person I know who stopped buying CDs altogether when I started using RealRhapsody for music -- and I have wireless 802.11g both at home and at work.

Big deal. I stopped buying CDs when I learned about MP3s.

Re:They're wasting their time (1)

El (94934) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303901)

Why would you want to bother keeping an anachronistic collection of shiny discs, when you could have anything you want, instantly. Because I can watch that shiny disc practically as many times as I want without incurring any additional cost, wheras I'm sure the RIAA will find a way to ding me every time I download that movie again? To say nothing of the fact that fedexing a box of discs will probably always have more bandwidth and cheaper cost per bit than any "pipe" that streams bits to my home?

Re:They're wasting their time (2, Funny)

eggoeater (704775) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303923)

...and also in a few (more) years longhorn will be out and be so bloated it'll require the new formats to distribute it.

Re:They're wasting their time (1)

RedA$$edMonkey (688732) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303928)

1. Why would I want all my movies streamed from some MPAA pig selling me shows at $5 a pop?

2. Why would I want all my movies streamed from some illegal p2p server who will get shut down at any second and then they'll come after me next, foil hat or not.

3. We are all dead in the long run. I'd like to have a collection of these while I wait 20 years for your broadband miracle.

online content (3, Insightful)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303930)

When you get your content, or your applications, online, you are then at the mercy of:

1) He who controls where the content or apps are stored, controls YOU.
2) Your connetion (being up or down, or slow, or high latency)
3) Security issues

But, if you like all that, feel free to check out the Phantom gaming system; you'd probably like it. :)

Two companies working together? (2, Funny)

BlackMesaResearchFac (593320) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303757)

Vizzini: Inconceivable!

Re:Two companies working together? (2, Funny)

El (94934) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303932)

You use that word a lot... I do not think it means what you think it means!

Good and bad (1)

bobbis.u (703273) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303768)

Whilst I welcome this news, isn't it a bit late?

I can just imagine a last-minute solution that aims to keep the suits happy in all companies involved (so that they save face). This compromise could result in a poorly thought out and badly designed standard.

A little later, someone will release another (better) standard and we will be back to square one of having two similar but incompatible standards.

Fuck, who cares? (0)

mankey wanker (673345) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303790)

You know, we haven't even fully exploited the potential of current DVDs so I am not exactly in a hurry to have 4-5 kinds of media to juggle. I am cool with just CD-R, and DVD+R/DVD-R (I never use the "W" rewriteable media myself, it tends to be dodgy). While good DVD burners will burn either + or - variety media, soon we shall have the dual layer disks in greater profusion and that will be a new kind of media requiring new hardware. Where does it end and what's the point of it? Why should we care?

HD seems like a big ripoff to me. The benefit is just not worth the price, there are too many issues to contend with. I am still perfectly happy with my plain old DVD player and jumbo CRT type TV. I get the sharpest picture that way even if it's not 10 feet wide. Hell, I am only sitting 5-10 feet away from it anyway.

This new media shit is just that - shit.

Re:Fuck, who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12303875)

Ok, see the line under "slashdot" at the top of the screen?

"News for Nerds"

I think you pretty much proved that you are not, in fact, a nerd. I bet you even have a girlfriend thats not attached to your arm. So why don't you go away, watch your "sharp" TV, and not troll here because you aren't nerdly enough to be interested in the latest technology.

I care. (2, Interesting)

Mustang Matt (133426) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303895)

I'm not sure if you just haven't seen high resolution video or if you truly don't care, but I've seen it and I care. The fact that HD TV signal over the air is higher resolution (better quality compression) than what is on DVD bothers me.

I want to watch my movies with more definition and I realize that's not 100% reliant on the media but they will release higher def video on this new media.

Re:Fuck, who cares? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303977)

DVDs look like shit. Even in the best encoding jobs you can see artifacting. They are a small slice (about 1/4 resolution, IIRC) of full-HD video. There are actually movies that come on multiple DVDs, perhaps you've seen some of them? We've more than fully exploited the potential of current DVDs, and it's time to move on. This would not be necessary if HD had come out before DVD, but it didn't, so it is.

Me too. (1)

benow (671946) | more than 9 years ago | (#12304030)

I've a project in the line for archiving 10's of TB of data. Current solutions for accessing such a quantity of data are expensive and often without migration path. Blu-Ray/HD-DVD with >50G/disk brings all the benefits of higher data density. Less robotics, less media, quicker access, etc. In addition, other issues such as data permanance, thruput and migration paths can be rolled into the new technology. New media is important, and higher density media will become more and more important, especially with HD content rolling out, DVD-A, SACD, multi-channel video and continued digitization and archiving of existing analog data. I see multi-terabyte storage solutions becoming commonplace within 5 years, and those those currently large archives will get even bigger. Software and platforms for management of such a quantity of data are evolving and work hand-in-hand with larger density storage. It's quite important, and I'm glad to see the two main research groups pooling their talent.

Bah... (1)

rwven (663186) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303795)

I think they need to trash discs as a whole and record everything on little green holographic cubes... How stinking cool would that be. :-P Funny that i saw this done on TV like 7 years ago....and nothing has really come from it at all. Kinda makes me wonder why.

Re:Bah... (1)

netrage_is_bad (734782) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303929)

Because that is what the US government uses.

Color me skeptical (4, Interesting)

argent (18001) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303796)

They're each talking about keeping their own core hardware and layering the other's controllers and software on top of them. But of course it's the hardware that's the key piece. If they use the same core technology it doesn't matter much what the rest is: they could easily produce a dual-format drive with the rest of the differences fudged in firmware.

So it sounds like they're both saying "Be reasonable, do it my way".

The best format of all... (1)

PFritz21 (766949) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303810)

...would be one that allows me to buy a single season of a one-hour drama on 1 to 2 discs for no more that an average price of $10/disc. Maybe $15 if it's only a single disc. I don't want to spend $51 for Stargate SG-1, $75 for CSI, or $106 for Star Trek Voyager.

Not in this lifetime (5, Insightful)

mrRay720 (874710) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303865)

Prices are not even remotely linked to media costs/capacity! DVDs cost LESS to make yet sell for MORE than VHS. CDs cost LESS to make yet sold for MORE than audio tape.

If they want to charge you a lot for it, they still will. You erally think the scum will say "oh, since it all fits on one disc now instead of 4 saving us $0.40, we'll only charge you $20 instead of $100?"

HAHAHAHAHA! Not likely. Saddam becoming the next Pope was a much safer bet than that. Reality is that what you'll hear from their mouths is "BluHDRayDVD is 100x better, so we'll charge you 2x as much. You win by a factor of 50, aren't we kind?"

Re:The best format of all... (1)

MattyDK23 (819057) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303878)

...would be one that allows me to buy a single season of a one-hour drama on 1 to 2 discs for no more that an average price of $10/disc. Maybe $15 if it's only a single disc. I don't want to spend $51 for Stargate SG-1, $75 for CSI, or $106 for Star Trek Voyager.

You do realize that you're paying for the intellectual content of the show, and not the media on which it resides?

Blank DVD's are dirt cheap. Same with audio CD's. The high cost is because of the material that's on it. It's not like few DVDs cost the studios $40, and the remaining $10 is the data on the disc; quite the opposite.

Re:The best format of all... (1)

Mustang Matt (133426) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303949)

The price of boxed sets have very little to do with the cost of the media.

This can only mean one thing.. (5, Funny)

McNally (105243) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303814)

This can only mean one thing.. They've decided to join forces against their common enemy -- the consumer..

Better solution. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12303829)

Let's let the Chineese come up with a OPEN solution that doesn not belong to anyone and has no royalties attached to it.

i'm betting THAT one would be accepted by everyone within minutes.

BitTorrent: The New Standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12303866)

My new optical standard is called Bittorrent, and it works with any hardware or media :)

Re:BitTorrent: The New Standard (0, Offtopic)

damien_kane (519267) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303966)

I'm on cable internet, BitTorrent is still quite electronic (as opposed to optical) for me.

I have a compromise (1)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 9 years ago | (#12303872)

We allow them to use either DVD technology - as long as the one that's not used gets 75% of the profits.

We stay 50/50 on the storage medium - sign that into law, and see which corporation switches it's stance faster.
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