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Microsoft, Intel back HD DVD over Blu-ray

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the could-this-spell-the-end dept.

Television 427

raitchison writes "Reuters is reporting that after months of sitting on the fence in the battle over what will replace the venerable DVD that Microsoft and Intel have thrown their weight behind Toshiba's HD DVD over the Sony's Blu-ray. Better compatibility with existing DVD technology as well as lower cost were cited as reasons to back HD DVD. While this is undoubtedly a significant blow for Sony in their efforts to establish Blu-ray as the next standard it's not likely to be the end of Blu-ray."

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XBox vs the PS3? (5, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658676)

Better compatibility with existing DVD technology as well as lower cost were cited as reasons to back HD DVD.

Or to help their XBox sales against the PS3.

Re:XBox vs the PS3? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13658735)

Or to help their XBox sales against the PS3.

Which will just make the PS3 all that much better -- Blu-Ray is a superior format performance-wise!! I'm not trying to troll here, just pointing out that this will probably bite M$ in the a$$ if HD-DVD doesn't pan out. Of course, this does "tip the balance" toward HD-DVD.

Re:XBox vs the PS3? (5, Interesting)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658791)

Which will just make the PS3 all that much better

The XBox360 has a normal DVD player in it (not an HD-DVD, or a Blu-ray).

What Microsoft may be doing is some pre-launch neutralization of Sony's Blu-ray advantage with their PS3 - e.g. if no one is going to go to Blu-ray, then who cares if the PS3 has it? It'll become an irrelevant difference, and it will help overcome that potential hang-up users (and reviewers) might have when comparing the two consoles. I wish this wasn't the case, but I can entirely see Microsoft making this "choice" based upon such a short term gain.

Re:XBox vs the PS3? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13658904)

M$ in the a$$

You know, if you post AC you can spell out "ass" and your parents will never find out.

Re:XBox vs the PS3? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13658965)

henh henh you said ass. henh
Shutup Beavis!

Re:XBox vs the PS3? (3, Interesting)

minginqunt (225413) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658770)

XBox 360 ships with a standard-def DVD drive. Is this Microsoft's idea of "support"?

This is not an analogue to VHS vs Betamax: the discs were different size and shape, and thus a dual-format system was not possible.

Not so for next-gen DVDs. In a year, all drives will be dual-format. Wait until then. Problem solved.

Either that or the PS3 sales will have made the issue moot.

Re:XBox vs the PS3? (3, Funny)

aneurysm36 (459092) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658996)

exactly. unfortunately, BOTH formats are going to win because, as with recordable DVD formats, we're all going to have to wait for combo drives that support all formats. all the companies get their licensing fees and we, the consumers, get boned. its cool, im used to it.

Re:XBox vs the PS3? (5, Interesting)

the Hewster (734122) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658801)

Sony will support Blue Ray by shipping it with their PS3. Meanwhile, Microsoft is supporting HD DVD by _not_ including it in their XBox 360. Hmmm... I wonder what kind of support Intel is going to offer for HD DVD... Pentium 5: now with HD DVD support! Nevermind, I still put my money on Blue Ray.

Re:XBox vs the PS3? (3, Insightful)

toleraen (831634) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658900)

Or to help their XBox sales against the PS3.

How will their support for HD-DVD help them against the PS3? People aren't going to care what format their games (down the road) will come in. Besides, it seems that Holywood is supporting Blu-Ray, so people wouldn't be able to play newer movies on their xbox.

If they stuck to the same camp you would think it would make transitioning to the next generation easier. If the average consumer sees several devices with the same technology, they'd be more likely to make the switch. I purchased my PS2 way back in the day with the idea of playing DVDs from it in mind. I liked not having to buy a seperate unit. With all the HDTV support that Xbox has, why not go for the format that movie studios are looking at?

Is that really the reason? (1)

Bongoots (795869) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658679)

They said the HD DVD format would make it easier for consumers to copy high-definition movies to computer hard drives.

Or just because it's easier to do such things would make it easier to enforce DRM and security measures on users?

If you crush a much better technology and have something much lighter (I've not read into the technical details too much), would that be beneficial for locking it down later on?

Re:Is that really the reason? (1, Troll)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658755)

Or just because it's easier to do such things would make it easier to enforce DRM and security measures on users?

Of course they're making their big, benevolent public pronouncements based upon their own strategic interests. In Microsoft's case they're probably doing some short-term thinking about the xbox 360, and how they want to undermine the Bluray capabilities of the upcoming PS3. And who cares about what Intel thinks about DVD drives? Last I looked Intel had close to 0 influence or marketshare in that space. I suspect that someone at Microsoft called up Intel and called in a favour.

Re:Is that really the reason? (4, Informative)

Brahmastra (685988) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658959)

It's not like sony isn't going to have some form of DRM...
To protect high definition contents from unauthorised duplication, HD-DVD chose the successor of CSS called AACS (Advanced Access Control System), while Blu-ray invented a proprietary algorithm called BD-CPS (although Blu-ray might decide in the end to use AACS too). Quite interestingly, both technologies are very similar, proprietary ciphers and algorithms from CSS have been abandoned for state-of-the-art key exchange, symmetric/asymmetric encryption and hashing algorithms (AES, T-DES, ...).

The full article is here:
http://www.cdfreaks.com/article/186/3 [cdfreaks.com]

And now for the really important question... (5, Funny)

BladeMelbourne (518866) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658682)

So when can I buy HD DVD pr0n?

Re:And now for the really important question... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13658763)

So when can I buy HD DVD pr0n?

Cue "Blew Ray" jokes...

Re:And now for the really important question... (1)

punkass (70637) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658831)

Mod parent up...that made me chuckle out loud at work...

Re:And now for the really important question... (1)

Ionizer7 (814098) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658781)

Buy Pron? I didn't know you actually had to pay for Pron anymore.

Re:And now for the really important question... (2)

Bongoots (795869) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658799)

You must obviously already have a fast Internet connection [slashdot.org] in order to download HD-DVD porn? :p

Re:And now for the really important question... (0, Troll)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658894)

I'm sure a lot of people still do.
I think it's kinda like a music situation. You can download a lot of questionable music of poor quality, and untagged, or you can save yourself some time and purchase it online. (I like iTunes and allofmp3.com)

pr0n is somewhat different, but I think the basic principle still applies. If you want quality and orderliness, you've gots to pay for it. (though empornium does have some pretty impressive siterips)

Re:And now for the really important question... (3, Interesting)

Stripe7 (571267) | more than 8 years ago | (#13659059)

SONY lost the betamax vs VHS wars because the pr0n industry went with VHS. I think they learnt their lesson. One of the biggest sellers in the UMX format for the PSP is, pr0n! So I am pretty sure that SONY is going after the pr0n industry pretty heavilly for Blu-Ray as well.

Only the market will decide the winner (4, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658683)

I was Mr. Sony in the 90s (mini dis , vaio, etc) because I loved their technology. Now, slashdot:Microsoft::dada21:Sony.

Sony has to learn that single party closed standards won't exist for long. We won't see an open standard, but at least a consortium of different markets offers multiple profit-oriented groups some debate.

When members of a consortium debate one another, the debate is "how can I make more money?" But to make money they need not just a cost benefit, but a happy customer in the long run.

Sony alone only sees one customer base, never a good sample of need. Toshiba has two other hard hitters now, offering a larger and more varied customer base to figure out.

One scary thing: software + processor + media format giants can make the worst DRM imaginable. What if Sony pandered to Linux or OS X or just the PS3 market? Plus Sony has clout with the media distributers, whereas MS and Intel bite them in the ass because most "pirates" use MS and Intel products.

From TFA: They said the HD DVD format would make it easier for consumers to copy high-definition movies to computer hard drives. Suuuure.

TFA mentions commitments from media houses, but until I see it, I'm not believing it. If we'll have two formats, my parents will be the deciding factor, not me.

Re:Only the market will decide the winner (5, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658720)

Plus Sony has clout with the media distributers, whereas MS and Intel bite them in the ass because most "pirates" use MS and Intel products.

Pirates are going to use whatever they can crack. If Sony can successfully obtain superior distribution over the other format then there will be more crackable media available to the pirates. They aren't fickle. They will use whatever they can.

Re:Only the market will decide the winner (1)

jasongetsdown (890117) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658880)

"They aren't Fickle."

you mean they are fickle.

Re:Only the market will decide the winner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13658958)

No, I mean they aren't. Fickle means they will hop back and forth between the two depending on which is best for them. I'm saying that they are going to go after *all* formats starting with the ones that are most prevelant and easily crackable.

Re:Only the market will decide the winner (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658785)

What if Sony pandered to Linux or OS X or just the PS3 market? Plus Sony has clout with the media distributers...

Sony is a media distributer. I can't think of any reason to believe they would pander to anyone looking for DRM-free media. If anything, they're notorious for pushing their own proprietary formats.

Re:Only the market will decide the winner (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13658805)

Sony has to learn that single party closed standards won't exist for long.

Can you say....Apple!

Re:Only the market will decide the winner (1)

buraianto (841292) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658891)

If we'll have two formats, my parents will be the deciding factor...

Wow, your parents really have a lot of clout, if they can sway an entire conglomeration of industries toward one format or the other.

Or were you just trying to indicate that you live in your parents basement?

Re:Only the market will decide the winner (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658926)

My parents are cheap. They're not technically savvy. They'll choose a format that is cheap, easy to use, with access to the media they want to see.

Betamax Anyone ? (1)

MrShaggy (683273) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658686)

Seems to me that Sony did the same with Betamax. Not that tey didnt learn from their mistakes. Just how history repeats itself.

Re:Betamax Anyone ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13658767)

Sony are a lame duck when it comes to standards and formats: Betamax, Memory Stick, Minidisc. The fact that BluRay was backed by Sony was enough to kill it dead. You could knock me over with a feather at the advent of this news..

Betamax v. VHS (5, Insightful)

stinerman (812158) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658689)

I'm too young to remember that format war, but I'm not young enough to learn the lesson:

Wait until a de-facto standard has emerged. Otherwise, its a crapshoot at best.

Re:Betamax v. VHS (3, Insightful)

orderb13 (792382) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658723)

Or if you get a PS3 then you've already got one of the formats, which is why I think Sony is going to win. They are going to have a HUGE user base for BluRay after the launch the PS3 and since they've already got a number of the big movie firms on their side it seems like it should be an easy choice.

Re:Betamax v. VHS (2, Interesting)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658811)

Dual format is a possibility. Given that they'll use similar technology for tracking the disc, similar compression algorithms, and even the same frequency laser, and the basic mechanics are going to be the same - most likely including the physical disc dimensions, it shoudn't be too hard to develop a drive that works with both formats.

Re:Betamax v. VHS (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13658813)

Bah! The whole "lesson" you should have learned behind VHS vs. Betamax wasn't about waiting for anything. It's that the better technologies don't always win out. Betamax had better audio and video fidelity, and by almost all accounts was the better technology. Why then do you have all your favorite episodes of the Simpsons taped on a VHS?

It's because your parents were horny. Everyone who wanted to put a movie on a Betamax tape had to go through Sony, and Sony didn't want their big corporate name associated with porn. Sony chose not to allow porn, a multibillion dollar industry even before the internet, on the Betamax. People who couldn't resist the allure of VHS porn made the choice and lo and behold VHS came out on top... please forgive the pun.

Concrete proof that Sex Sells. The first format to sign deals with Vivid, not Intel or Microsoft is going to determine who will win in the end.

Re:Betamax v. VHS (1)

bleckywelcky (518520) | more than 8 years ago | (#13659028)

But does the internet negate the "porn factor" in a format war anymore?

Re:Betamax v. VHS (4, Insightful)

n0-0p (325773) | more than 8 years ago | (#13659053)

I really like the spin you put on that. You could have stated that manufacturers and content producers didn't want to pay per unit licensing fees to Sony for use of the Beta format. You also could have mentioned the inititial shorter recording times of Beta versus VHS. Instead you went this whole "porn rules the world and Sony don't stand for it" route. I have to admit it was a somewhat entertaining... not particularly accurate but I did chuckle a little.

Re:Betamax v. VHS (4, Informative)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658834)

Why wait? Why do we even discuss this? Dual format players are already announced by major players like Samsung [theinquirer.net] .

This format war was over before it even began. Isn't this the exact same discussion we were having about the DVD+-RW format issues? And now everyone has drives that support everything and it's a moot point.

Re:Betamax v. VHS (2, Interesting)

Stuart Gibson (544632) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658963)

In our PCs, yes, but the consumer DVD recorder market is still very much splintered. Consumers are either confused about the difference or are concerned enough not to buy a set top DVDR yet.

Ironically, Sony are one of the few big names whose set top DVD recorders ARE dual format.

Stuart

Re:Betamax v. VHS (1)

Stelminator (856547) | more than 8 years ago | (#13659007)

Not everyone. Sure, if you buy something today, it'll probably support everything, a couple years ago, that wasn't the case. My mom's laptop doesn't want to burn on a +R, but seems to read everything, and claims to be +-RW. My dad's old 450mhz (he hardly uses the computer at home, so it's not worth upgrading yet) has a drive that seems to like -R, but not +R. My modded xbox (1.1) refuses to read anything that's not a +R or a CD-R. I tend to buy +R's, because I (for no good reason) feel they are superior and they're more usefull to me (with the xbox).

Summary: the war is over, but it still made a mess of things.

Re:Betamax v. VHS (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 8 years ago | (#13659025)

You've indirectly proven my point.

Once everyone has drives that support everything it is a moot point. Until that day comes (or a clear de-facto standard emerges) I'll hold off on buying anything.

Probability? (4, Insightful)

geomon (78680) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658696)

"We wanted to choose the format that has the highest probability of this market taking off," said Stephen Balogh, director of optical media standards and technologies at Intel.

When did probability amount to anything in marketing computer components. Either Microsoft and Intel supported them or they didn't. Those that weren't supported didn't do as well intitially.

Marketing has always won out over technical merit - period.

Typical Sony (4, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658702)

As usual, Sony will fight to establish their own "standard" instead of working with other groups, everyone else will choose the other standard, and Sony will make sure that all their products only work with their format. Interoperability between devices will only work if you only buy Sony.

That's why I don't buy Sony, but we'll see how this one plays out.

Re:Typical Sony (1)

Timberwolf0122 (872207) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658822)

I think the crux of the matter is sony has spent alot developing HD-DVD in the ame way that the developers of HD-DVD cost quite a bit in R&D. To the victors go the spoils and this is the real drive by each party to re-coupe costs and (step 3) profit!

This could of been avoided if everyone had got together at the begining and worked as one team but with politics (both office and national) this can realy happen so there will always be conflicting standards. I beleave this will get worse not better as nations like china start to assert themself in the world, after all if 2bn Chinese decide to use there own format it is a sizable market.

Considering there were arguements over the colour of the first prototype wheel should all technology be banned, in this reporters oppinion the answer is, Yes.


*I would like to appologise for the poor spelling to those who care*

Re:Typical Sony (2, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 8 years ago | (#13659014)

I think the crux of the matter is sony has spent alot developing HD-DVD in the ame way that the developers of HD-DVD cost quite a bit in R&D. To the victors go the spoils and this is the real drive by each party to re-coupe costs and (step 3) profit!

That's true - but by that point, it's too late, as you allude to...

This could of been avoided if everyone had got together at the begining and worked as one team but with politics (both office and national) this can realy happen so there will always be conflicting standards.

Well, the thing is, a number of other companies did, and the result is HD-DVD. Sony *always* insists on splitting off on their own. If it were always a different company screwing everything up I'd agree with you, but it always seems to be Sony.

I beleave this will get worse not better as nations like china start to assert themself in the world, after all if 2bn Chinese decide to use there own format it is a sizable market.

That's a scary notion for sure.

Re:Typical Sony (2, Insightful)

6*7 (193752) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658951)

Just look at Sony's marketing slogans:

-Only Sony
-Like no other
-Welcome to the world of Sony

Hard choice (4, Insightful)

rwven (663186) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658707)

This is such a tough choice for companies. It's more of a practical vs cutting edge thing. HD-DVD "technically" isn't as "good" of a format as B-R. The problem is that with production prices so high in comparison, people would rather buy something cheaper. I think the major issue at hand here is that you have half the industries supporting one and half supporting the other.

If it all goes to market, we're going to have to either have players that play both or two separate players. And you can imagine how confused non-techie people are going to get when their B-R disc doesnt work in their HD-DVD player.

Re:Hard choice (2, Insightful)

HunterZ (20035) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658816)

I don't think it would be significantly more confusing to the average person than the current coexistence of UMD, DVD, CD-ROM (data, audio, and mixed-format) and Gamecube optical disc formats. I do agree that it will be inconvenient and possibly more expensive, especially for things like movies and music.

Speaking of UMD, does anyone care to speculate as to why Sony is pushing two optical media formats simultaneously? Seems rather risky, although it makes me think that they're really intent on taking over a segment of the market with a proprietary storage medium that they own - regardless of what segment that may be.

Of course... (3, Insightful)

llZENll (545605) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658708)

Would anyone have guessed differently? Since MS and Sony are pitted against each other the consol wars their choice was made up for them.

Yes of course... (4, Insightful)

thebdj (768618) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658709)

Hello, in the PC market we all know how wonderfully horrible catridges work. Early CD drives with cartridges were slow and bad. DVD-RAM died a painful death, probably in some part thanks to DVD burners getting out quickly there after. While HD-DVD has less storage, I think the industry will find that users want backwards compatibility (something Blu-Ray lacks if I recall). And history isn't on Sony's side, afterall there were the losers in the Betamax-VHS battle, and some people would say that Beta was the better format.

Re:Yes of course... (1)

commo1 (709770) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658839)

Betamax WAS the superior format: picture quality, longevity of media, etc... This did not stop the rest of the industry from saying PFO to Sony and their licensing schemes and conditions. Now that it has been established that Sony has been trying to one-up everyone for years with their proprietary (but licensable) technologies/formats, it is clear where the market must go. I don't like the MS-Intel Wintel consortium because of the DRM conditions, but in this case I think it's a clearer jumping point than the Sony alternative. Besides.... Sony made some excellent VHS VRCs later in life. Also, unlike Microsoft, Intel cannot afford to alienate the Open-source/Linux crowd, even though they probably will.

Re:Yes of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13659017)

Well, BluRay players will be required to be hooked up to the internet for authentication/spying (HD-DVD might as well not 100% sure there). Still interested in getting one?

Re:Yes of course... (4, Informative)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658943)

"DVD-RAM died a painful death, probably in some part thanks to DVD burners getting out quickly there after. "

Actually the stories about the death of dvd-ram are not really true.
While not a mainstay, dvd-ram has enjoyed a comeback in home dvd recorders, especially
those made by Toshiba and Panasonic. DVD-ram allows you to watch a program while it is
being recorded, and you can rewind, pause, or fast-forward (not all the way!) while
still recording. DVD-RAM disks no longer require the cartdrige, though they are a good
idea for the double sided disks. They also have a MUCH longer lifespan, dvd-rw's last about
1000 rw cycles, the dvd-ram disks go for at least 10,000 (or was that 100,000?).

You can find dvd-ram drives for your computer. Most of these will also READ cd's (r and rw)
as well as dvd-rom and dvd+/- r/rw's. Someone even makes a combo drive that handles
WRITING dvd-ram AND dvd+/- r/rw disks! That drive isn't as fast as the dvd-ram-less
units though.

You can buy blank dvd-ram media at Wal*Mart, Ratshack, Target, and many other stores
(anybody that sells Panasonic dvd recorders). Media price varies, but I've seen them for
less than $3 each (sometimes MUCH less in 3 or 5 packs).

Re:Yes of course... (1)

BigBadBus (653823) | more than 8 years ago | (#13659018)

I thought one of the reasons Betamax died out was because you could only get 2 hour cassettes for them, whereas at the time, you could get 3 hours for VHS?

Re:Yes of course... (3, Informative)

voorko02 (847122) | more than 8 years ago | (#13659034)

Both formats support backward compatibility:

http://www.blu-ray.com/faq/#2.4 [blu-ray.com]

Anything else would be commerical suicide. I don't put it past Sony, but in this case they aren't that stupid.

Who Cares? (1)

necrofluxneo (876830) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658711)

Microsoft has always been in the HD-DVD camp for obvious reasons (Xbox360), so the only real news here is that Intel has jumped on with Intel. Who cares? Intel is a large company, sure, but does anybody really care which optical storage format a SEMICONDUCTOR company supports? This sounds to me like Microsoft begging anyone it can to support their format of choice.

Like SACD and DVD-Audio? (3, Interesting)

ReVeL75 (913761) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658717)

Would HD DVD be a miss just like SACD and DVDA for audio? I don't think many people will find it appealing enough to invest in this technology for some more pixels on their screens. For data storage it is still interesting ofcourse.

What does the **AA think? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13658729)

Fine, but what does the **AA think? They're ultimately the supervisors of new technology which must be built around Intellectual Property considerations.

Compability and Phasing Out (4, Insightful)

SumDog (466607) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658742)

People aren't going to jump on either the HD-DVD or Blue-ray wagon for at least a year or so. The first buyers will be the geeks and peeps with enough money. On top of that, most consumers don't have plasma displays or projectors (although a growing number do have HD-TVs and they're a common item at Wal-Mart. In a few years they'll probably phase out regular TVs just like 900Mhz phones phased out older cordless models).

The quality of existing DVDs is quite amazing and I think most people will be happy with it for a while. The question comes with compatibility. Consumers want to only have to buy one version of something. Will the HD-DVD/Blue-ray they purchase work at their friend's house?

Personally I like the Blue-ray standard. It's a massive amount of data crammed onto a single disc. It's interesting that the article states that "...said the HD DVD format would make it easier for consumers to copy high-definition movies to computer hard drives...". So will HD-DVD have a less restrictive DRM than Blue-ray or are we talking about media size again?

I doubt both standards will stick around like DVD-R/DVD+R, because as I said earlier, people only want one universal format for content they purchase. One will be here five years from now and another, like laser discs, will end up at your local used book store in huge bins selling for $5 a pop.

Re:Compability and Phasing Out (1)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658838)

People aren't going to jump on either the HD-DVD or Blue-ray wagon for at least a year or so

Yes they are, they are going to buy a PS3 next year in large numbers thus giving Blue-ray a large installed base. Clearly MS and Intel are going against Sony, but its hard to see the real volume market beyond the PS3 in 2006.

I'll have Blue-ray by this time next year, I think you are spot on about HD-DVD though.

Re:Compability and Phasing Out (1)

buraianto (841292) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658982)

The quality of existing DVDs is quite amazing and I think most people will be happy with it for a while.

I would say that in many situations the picture quality of a dvd is pretty good. However, there are some situations in pretty much every movie where a dvd really doesn't cut it. Any time there is an area where the color changes only gradually you can see clearly the quantization of colors and the sharp boundaries between one color and the next. It is very ugly. You can especially notice it in scenes where much of the screen is dark.

Also, as TVs get bigger, and people start moving to projectors for their home movie experiences, you'll see a demand for higher resolutions than dvds provide.

Re:Compability and Phasing Out (1)

787style (816008) | more than 8 years ago | (#13659021)

The quality of existing DVDs is quite amazing and I think most people will be happy with it for a while.

Watch a movie being shown on TNT-HD versus the DVD you own. Watch the HD broadcast of this years Rose bowl, and compare it to the DVD you can buy. Night and day. Watch an HD episode of CSI, and compare it to the DVD. There's a difference. You think DVD's are amazing because you're comparing it to VHS, when you can put side by side a 1080i video versus a 480p DVD, you'll see the hype.

Deja Moo (1)

2names (531755) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658744)

"While this is undoubtedly a significant blow for [company] in their efforts to establish [technology] as the next standard it's not likely to be the end of [technology]."

Tell that to Beta, Laserdisc, etc.

Lowest cost and best compatibility (4, Interesting)

amichalo (132545) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658747)

The lowest cost and most compatible format would be to stay with existing DVD technology!

If you are creating a new technology that will require new hardware and new investments in manufacturing, why make it an incremental step? There are so many players in this format war I can't keep up, but I know that Blu-Ray is supposed to be higher capacity and will prevent HD movies from requiring a media change (no one liked that with Laser Disc flipping half way through a movie).

I say if the industry is going to expect the public to pay for a format change, we get a complete change, not some semi-compatible almost change that will require yet another change for additional capacity far sooner than the alternative that exists today.

Plus, I read that HD DVD is hitting timing issues that mean it won't be out until Blu-Ray anyway.

Blue-ray taking hits (4, Informative)

op12 (830015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658749)

It may not be down for the count, but Blue-Ray seems to be taking a lot of hits (From TFA and this Yahoo article [yahoo.com] :

  • Cost: They [Intel and Microsoft] also said that HD DVDs would be cheaper to produce, resulting in lower prices for consumers.
  • Manufacturing: Westlake also said the HD DVD camp has made inroads with manufacturers in China, where most of the world's DVD players are currently built. Without that support, it would be difficult to quickly deploy the technology at a low price. "(Blu-ray) does not have that relationship and we're concerned about whether that offering of Chinese players will be there. We know HD DVD will be," Westlake said.
  • Speed to market: "Blu-ray is very robust, but it's also not here," said Richard Doherty, research director for the Envisioneering Group. "The PC industry has clearly backed the system that is weeks away from commercialization."

That's just my impression from these two articles...feel free to add a counterpoint. The article did mention Blue-Ray disputes the cost and time-to-production arguments, and some major Hollywood studios back it.

Re:Blue-ray taking hits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13658820)

Blu-Ray has much more support.

Just read this article: http://www.engadget.com/entry/1234000623059130/>

HD-DVD is the choice for being cheap.

Re:Blue-ray taking hits (4, Informative)

Ngwenya (147097) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658890)

Speed to market: "Blu-ray is very robust, but it's also not here," said Richard Doherty, research director for the Envisioneering Group. "The PC industry has clearly backed the system that is weeks away from commercialization."

Hmm. I know that HP has most definitely backed Blu-Ray. http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press/2004/04111 5c.html [hp.com] . So have Dell (http://news.com.com/HP%2C+Dell+back+Blu-ray+techn ology/2100-1041_3-5139694.html [com.com] ) I guess that they aren't part of the PC industry any more - just the two largest manufacturers of err... PCs.

And "Envisioneering?". Dear God...

--Ng

Re:Blue-ray taking hits (1)

snoig (535665) | more than 8 years ago | (#13659016)

One other area where Blu-Ray is taking hits is durability. Blu-Ray has a much thinner coating than HD-DVD and will therefor scratch much easier. It seems to me that Blu-Rays only advantage is higher capacity but when you factor in everything else, HD-DVD is the technology that will win.

Re:Blue-ray taking hits (2, Insightful)

buraianto (841292) | more than 8 years ago | (#13659026)

Cost: how is this going to really make a difference to the consumer? Pulling numbers out of my ass, let's say an hd-dvd costs 5 cents to make, and a blue-ray disk costs 10 cents to make. Twice as much, sure, but in the long run, is it going to change the cost of your $19.95 disk to $39.95? Don't think so. $20.95? Maybe, but I doubt it. I don't think cost will really be a noticable difference to anyone except Sony, who will make only $9.95 per disk instead of $10.

Again, numbers pulled from my ass. But this is Slashdot, after all.

Who Cares? (5, Insightful)

drvelocity (918256) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658753)

Microsoft has always been in the HD-DVD camp for obvious reasons (Xbox360), so the only real news here is that Intel has jumped on with HD-DVD. Who cares? Intel is a large company, sure, but does anybody really care which optical storage format a SEMICONDUCTOR company supports? This sounds to me like Microsoft begging anyone it can to support their format of choice.

Re:Who Cares? (2, Informative)

FerretFrottage (714136) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658840)

XBOX 360 doesn't include a HD-DVD....maybe a future version will (XBOX 720?), but no HD-DVD on the model they are selling this season.

Re:Who Cares? (2, Informative)

Jabroni_5000_Deluxe (904686) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658919)

Since the Xbox360 ships with a 12x dual-layer DVD-ROM (http://www.xbox.com/en-US/xbox360/factsheet.htm [xbox.com] ) I'm not quite sure where the idea came from that HD-DVD is the Xbox360 format of choice. Could it be, just maybe, that MS (and Intel) actually believe that HD-DVD is the better format? Why is it always a battle of game systems? It's not like anyone needs new game systems, I mean, World of Warcraft is already out.

Is this a dumb idea? (2, Insightful)

Calathea (557538) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658768)

Surely the powers that be can see that a unified front is better for everyone. One reason the take up of DVD was so fast was that it was a single format. Any disc would work on any player, whether it was a budget model or a high end one. People remeber the VHS-BetaMax fiasco, who is going to upgrade their kit and more importantly their DVD library until the winner of the war stands alone? I can see the appeal of upgrading if the tech is better, but i am not going to get stuck with the losing format so i will not be upgrading until then, and i suspect i am not alone.

Re:Is this a dumb idea? (1)

DustyCase (619304) | more than 8 years ago | (#13659001)

Yep... Beta-Max, meet BluRay-Max. I'll add in their dismal failure with MiniDisc (one way xfer, proprietary format, no mixed audio/data...) and the fact that they only got MD implemented correctly after the iPod clearly was kicking their butt. Sony is damaged goods in the standards market. Period.

BlueRay is destined for the punchline/dumpster.

Interesting dichotomy (2, Funny)

Jon Abbott (723) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658769)

So Apple is supporting Blu-Ray, while Intel is supporting HD-DVD. Discuss!

Re:Interesting dichotomy (1)

rworne (538610) | more than 8 years ago | (#13659002)

Wow! Deja-Vu!

Just like DVD-R and DVD+R. Apple supporing Blu-Ray made this no big surprise.

Intel vs. Apple (1)

mr_zonules (896518) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658776)

This puts Intel and Apple on opposite sides of the fence! Does this mean that the x86 Apple will be HD? or will Intel make a box that will contain BD? Maybe Apple will have support for HD, but not have it stock in their systems. Ohh well. I was hoping BD would eventually "win," this looks more distant now.

-Z

Re:Intel vs. Apple (1)

mysqlrocks (783488) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658937)

It may not really matter much to Apple. They may have plans to make it irrelevant [slashdot.org] what HD DVD format wins if they come out with an HD Video version of iTunes.

Re:Intel vs. Apple (1)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 8 years ago | (#13659012)

Your post makes no sense. HD = High Definition, which both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray have. Even TV will have HD. What is BD? Bondage and Discipline? Biological Defense? Bachelor of Divinity? With this in consideration here are the answers to your questions.

oes this mean that the x86 Apple will be HD?

Yes. Apple will support High Definition on their x86 lines.

or will Intel make a box that will contain BD?

Dunno. What is BD? But probably not, since Intel makes CPU's and such, not computers.

Maybe Apple will have support for HD, but not have it stock in their systems.

Yes they will have support for High Definition, and they will stock it in their systems.

Sony's power... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13658806)

Don't forget their power in the consumer electronics arena!!!

If they want, they can just dig their heels in and stick with Blu-Ray...

I mean, look what happened when they wanted the world to use Betamax, they...

er..

When are the HD-DVD players going on sale??

Cost vs. capacity consumer data? (3, Interesting)

wh0me (823744) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658814)

My gut feeling is I'd buy something that cost 50% less that gave me >50% less capacity. Blu-ray is 23GB per disk, HD-DVD: 15. Both numbers per layer. It seems the price point sets itself, but is this likely to happen? Sony has a history of premium pricing. Is there any indication that's changed here?

DVD Dual-layer media is still expensive and rare after ~2 years. How common and cheap will next generation media be? The cheaper, more available media could be the deciding factor.

A lot of articles quote 'cost-saving' as a factor in HD-DVD over Blu-ray. Where exactly are those cost savings? In media or player production? Factory retooling? R&D?

Um, duh... (1)

Supp0rtLinux (594509) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658829)

Let's see... sure Sony sells laptops with Intel chips and the Windows OS, *BUT*, they also sell a PS3 with a new cell processor. So let's see... their PS3 competes directly with the XBox and their processor competes directly with Intel's (while also being better and based on open standards). So, Intel & M$ have thrown their weight at the *other*, non-Sony standard. Hello??? MkFly???

Re:Um, duh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13658997)

I see that you have been fooled by IBM that PowerPC is an open standard.

VHS vs Beta all over again. (1)

Oz0ne (13272) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658851)

MS and Intel have a lot of weight. This will probably cause both standards to be released, and then the superior marketing will win.

With MS and Intel backing, superior marketing will likely be HD-DVD, and again we will be left with the inferior format.

PS3 (2, Insightful)

vitaflo (20507) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658852)

Playstation 3 will have Blu-Ray built in. MS didn't put HD-DVD into Xbox 360, it uses standard DVD. It's basically "game over" once the PS3 is released. HD-DVD doesn't stand a chance.

Thus the Slashdot crowd... (4, Funny)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658856)

Can firmly support BLURAY.

We may not always be 100% sure in our positions, but we are 100% sure they are the opposite of Microsoft's :)

Have your cake and eat it too? (1)

jasongetsdown (890117) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658857)

Is it not possible to have an HD/Blu-ray capable drive in much the same way we have CD/DVD drives? I suspect that this will be that way that drive manufacturers will go, although CD and DVD are not exactly competing media formats. Will MS/Sony try to muscle drive makers into offering only one or the other?

Look over here (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13658866)

This [arstechnica.com] article over at Ars Technica, while somewhat one sided has some more information.

Here we go again. (1)

macdaddy357 (582412) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658898)

Another format war, just what none of us want. It is likely that neither format will take off until drives that do both are common. Blu-Ray has more capacity, and more capacity should mean better, but noooooo!

sony give up on a format? (1)

meatbridge (443871) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658899)

when hell freezes over. even when their older proprietory standards (beta, minidisc) weren't adopted by 3rd parties, they still matured well under sony's care. they ending up as strong competitors to the more open standards like VHS and CD's. BetaSP gave way to digi BETA, and mini disc capacity is getting larger and larger while CD's remain the same. minidiscs allowed people to record digial music long before cd burning came to the masses.

I think Intel and MS made a mistake... (5, Insightful)

JordanL (886154) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658909)

They won't be able to squash the BluRay Consortum... look at their board of directors...

Apple Computer, Inc.
Dell Inc.
Hewlett Packard Company
Hitachi, Ltd.
LG Electronics Inc.
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
Pioneer Corporation
Royal Philips Electronics
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Sharp Corporation
Sony Corporation
TDK Corporation
Thomson Multimedia
Twentieth Century Fox
Walt Disney Pictures

The big winner is cable (1)

magixman (883752) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658933)

While these two formats compete some will wonder whether it makes sense to buy DVDs at all. Hi-def PVRs are starting to roll out and it is just a matter of time before you can get hi-def on demand.

Sony currently makes drives, Intel/MS make..? (2, Insightful)

theurge14 (820596) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658942)

I can buy a Sony DVD-ROM drive right now, I cannot find an Intel or Microsoft DVD-ROM drive.

Exactly how does Microsoft and Intel "backing" a format affect my choice in buying a new-generation DVD drive?

Yeah, right... (2, Insightful)

mkswap-notwar (764715) | more than 8 years ago | (#13658979)

They said the HD DVD format would make it easier for consumers to copy high-definition movies to computer hard drives.

Two things:
1) Copying content from media to a file is purely software. Neither DVD format should be much harder than the other. This is not a valid point.

2) Since when is copying movies to hard disks OK with large corporations? Again, this is not a valid point.

Who cares? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13658986)

Either way, I'll have to buy the White Album again.

The real battle... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 8 years ago | (#13659004)

...will be PS3 versus Xbox 360 with HD-DVD, and I think Sony will have the upper hand. The more Xbox 360s sold now without HD-DVD, the less sales of HD capable players. Personally, I think the HD games/HDTV combo will draw a lot of people from high-end PC gaming. 1920x1080 resolution? Hook me up a keyboard and a mouse, and it is a PC game without all the hassle of a PC. Note: I didn't say everyone buying an Xbox360/PS3 will, I'm saying those that spend $$$ on a Geforce 7800 and 1600x1200+ screen might.

My gameplan:
1. Get 1920x1080 LCD screen (Westinghouse, Benq has some nice ones in the < 2000$ range)
2. Get PS3 for games
3. With OO 2.0 final and games covered by PS3, ditch Windows
4. Switch screen input between PS3, (HD?)TV and Linux desktop. Maybe a Media Center/PVR (myth box) for good measure.

It's ironic that Sony (the master of proprietary formats) should be the one helping me switch to OSS, but that's the way it looks now. Of course, this is a bit off still...

Kjella

Not Welcome (3, Insightful)

bchapp (905116) | more than 8 years ago | (#13659005)

I for one, do not welcome either format. OK, get more data on the discs for console gamers and such, but as far as movies and films go, plain old DVD has more than enough quality for me. I am just wanting to know if there is going to be a point in my lifetime that I will convert to something other than DVD unless I am forced. Is Blu-Ray or HD DVD going to be a step up in actual quality on my current TV and home theater? I doubt it. The conversion from VHS to DVD was needed and gave us more quality and features. Neither of these formats will give us the same kind of bump that DVD gave us, so why convert to a new format so soon after DVD? All I can figure is that all the money makers want some hardcore DRM.

More at The Register (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13659019)

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/09/27/intel_ms_h ddvd/ [theregister.co.uk]

"Better than Blu-ray because... er... it is, say firms"

blu-ray / hd-dvd stuff (1)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 8 years ago | (#13659039)

"So here's the technical nitty gritty before we drop the graphs n' charts on ya. Both systems use the same kind of 405nm wavelength blue-violet laser, but their optics differ in two ways. Since the Blu-ray disc has a tighter track pitch (the single thread of data that spirals from the inside of the disc all the way out--think grooves on a 12-inch vinyl single vs. an Elvis Costello full-length album), it can hold more pits (those microscopic 0s and 1s) on the same size disc as HD DVD even with a laser of the same wavelength.

The differing track pitch of the Blu-ray disc makes its pickup apertures differ, however--0.65 for HD DVD vs. 0.85 for Blu-ray--thus also making the two pickups technically incompatible despite using lasers of the same type. HD DVD discs also have a different surface layer (the clear plastic layer on the surface of the data--what you get fingerprints and scratches on) from Blu-ray discs. HD DVD use a 0.6 mm-thick surface layer, the same as DVD, while Blu-ray has a much smaller 0.1mm layer to help enable the laser to focus with that 0.85 aperture.

Herein lies the issues associated with the higher cost of Blu-ray discs. This thinner surface layer is what makes the discs cost more; because Blu-ray discs do not share the same surface layer thickness of DVDs, costly production facilities must be modified or replaced in order to produce the discs. A special hard coating must also be applied to Blu-ray discs, so their surface is sufficiently resilient enough to protect the data a mere 0.1mm beneath--this also drives the cost up. The added benefit of keeping the data layer closer to the surface, however, is more room for extra layers.

Still with us? No? Blu-ray discs are more expensive, but hold more data--there, that's all."

sony wont care (1)

TenLow (812875) | more than 8 years ago | (#13659040)

look at minidisk, UMD, and memory stick. Sony LOVES having it's own standard that doesnt work with anything else.
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