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Toshiba Introduces U.S. First HD DVD Players

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the more-real-than-real dept.

Media 323

Roy R writes "Toshiba America Consumer Products unveiled today the market launch details for its line-up of the first High Definition DVD players for the U.S. market. The new HD DVD players, models HD-XA1 and HD-A1, will take advantage of the superior capabilities of the HD DVD format. The players will output copy-protected HD content through the HDMI interface in the native format of the HD DVD disc content of either 720p or 1080i."

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323 comments

as long as it is region free (1)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399397)

I'm all for it. I just moved from CA to NL and find that I can't play any of my DVD's, that really sucks !!

anybody have a solution to that I'd be really greatful.

Re:as long as it is region free (3, Informative)

42Penguins (861511) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399432)

Most PC-internal DVD players allow you to change regions 5 times by default.
External ones, as in for a TV... well, there are ways.
Try searching for "region free" and your model number.

Oh, and if a Mr. Valenti or Mr. Cheney call, you don't know me.

Re:as long as it is region free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14399434)

most (standalone) DVD players you can buy here in NL are already region free

Re:as long as it is region free (3, Informative)

iainl (136759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399436)

By NL do you mean The Netherlands? Just get either a step-down adaptor so you can still use your old DVD player, or if that isn't an option, get a Region Free player from somewhere. They start at less than £20 on Amazon UK, so you should be able to find a reasonable one easily enough.

Re:as long as it is region free (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14399437)

Well, why would you want to watch DVDs when you can smoke all the pot you want?

Oh, wait...

Re:as long as it is region free (1)

ConsumerOfMany (942944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399452)

buy a $29 off brand DVD player from any online store in the US. Problem Solved.

Or, depending on the DVD player you have many have hacked firmware [videohelp.com] or tricks that you can make them region free.

Or make dvd copies using something like dvd decypter or dvd shrink which will strip out the region code in the process.

Re:as long as it is region free (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14399535)

By "problem solved" I'll assume you mean "A whole bunch of other problems to solve"? Because that US DVD player probably won't output PAL, and it might not even accept 220V. Not much of a solution.

All he needs to do is pop to his nearest electronics shop and buy a new region-free player. All he has to do is ask the salesperson for one.

Re:as long as it is region free (3, Informative)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399464)

There are a lot of generic DVD players that will play DVDs of any region, or have firmware upgrades for any region. The Philips DVP642 is cheap, players PAL, NTSC, and I think region free DVDs as well. It also players XviD and DivX movies as well as a few other popular video formats. I bought my friend one for $70, and it was well worth the money.

Re:as long as it is region free (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399476)

wow, I'm too tired to type. s/players/plays.

Re:as long as it is region free (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14399496)

In The Netherlands?

Go to your closest electronics store and buy a codefree player. All the shops in Europe carry them, and it will be on the pricetag/advertising sign in the store. As stated above, they range from no-name brands to most of the major players.

How many DRM will you need to understand... (3, Funny)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399512)

... that you are supposed to buy DVDs, not watch them !

Re:How many DRM will you need to understand... (2, Insightful)

Don_dumb (927108) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399697)

Well it is really more of a 'lease with conditions'.

Re:as long as it is region free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14399523)

Is it a PC drive or a proper player? If it's a PC drive get a firmware hack, if it's a proper player google the model number and find the unlock code to type in e.g. for my player I opened the bay and keyed in 8 1 3 2 8 and now it's muliregion. Most players are shipped to more than one region and just have a code to type in to change region.

Eat me now! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14399399)

Eat me! Yum

Who care's? I want a recorder (2, Insightful)

Jason Straight (58248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399401)

I don't care about being able to play a media there is nothing to play, it would have made more sense to release recorders first so there would actually be some media for the players to play, plus I want to use them for backups. :)

Re:Who care's? I want a recorder (2, Insightful)

BushCheney08 (917605) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399717)

I assume you will be using this with the plethora of original HD content you have produced yourself? If not, the only thing this gets you is the ability to store an entire season (or two or three) of a show in H.264/DivX/XviD/whatever format on a single disc. Then there's always the assumption that it will have the appropriate codec to play it (well, it'll definitely do H.264). I'm sure that more rampant piracy is exactly what they media producers want.

How to tell if you are a linux fanatic. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14399406)

How to tell if you are a linux fanatic.

AKA a nazi fanatic loser.

1. You rejuvenate and dance when you hear a windows flaw exposed, but you conveniently ignore the thousands of security flaws exposed in linux.

2. You yell loudly TROLL! at any person's post or at any person you see posting facts that you do not want to hear about your oh so cool linux.

3. You know it's a classic case of penis envy, you don't have all the support, software and hardware available for linux and you have to let that anger out somewhere, but you don't have the brains to admit it.

4. You hate windows, hate Microsoft, but race to emulate windows, have programs to run office from within linux, and spend a $300 on a Windows emulator, only Windows fools.

5. You cannot admit that you don't have professional usage of Linux outside server markets.

6. You cannot admit that most of the joe user out there when told that there is linux will respond, what is that?

7. You cannot admit that there is no professional printing capabilities in linux.

8. You cannot admit that you are a masochist (otherwise why would someone spend hours playing with scripts,
and recompiling programs that are available for Windows?)

9. You cannot admit that there is no professional desktop publishing done on Linux.

10. You cannot admit that no one in their right mind would do professional video editing in Linux.

11. You cannot admit that linux sucks when it comes for gaming/home entertainment or education.

12. You have problems in understanding Windows, and you will blame your own incompetence on Microsoft.

13. You have problems in pointing a clicking, but have no problems in wading through cryptic scripts written by lunatics.

14. Nothing will get past that shit that fills your head, you will not admit to any facts.

15. You can't admit that naming of linux components, packages, and others are weird and fits profiles of troubled teenagers. gentoo, lgx, rpm ....

16. You feel angered because you were left out by microsoft's Media technologies, they support Mac, Sun sparc, but not linux.

17. You feel inferior deep inside but unable to admit it, you don't have a database as easy and powerful as Access.

18. You cannot tell that not a single office package outside Microsoft's is worth looking at or bothering with.

19. You don't know that your CD recorder software sucks.

20. You don't have DVD-RAM, DVD-R, DVD-RW support in your pathetic OS.

21. While the rest of the world moves on, you're stuck in a stone age technology that needs third party software to boot into GUI.

22. You act out of prejudice, you kill file domains and users of specific news readers while you ignore the bullshit that your fellow linux losers post.

23. You don't know commercial support in Linux is almost non existent.

24. You miss the fact that companies are leaving linux because of the chaos, and the cheap linux losers who are unwilling to pay and support hard work, Corel, gaming companies,...etc.

25. You are unaware that linux has no terminal services (there is a lame one that no one uses), and commercial support for it is not happening.

26. You are unaware that setting up servers on Windows takes couple of minutes while on linux, good luck playing with configuration scripts.

27. You cannot admit that support for USB on linux is laughable at best.

28. You think that Linux is better because slashdot told you so.

29. You spend countless hours flaming people because they post their opinions about your oh so cool linux and your attitude, instead of researching things for yourself and understanding fact in order not to look this stupid.

30. You think that anyone who uses linux has a clue.

31. You think that linux cannot crash.

32. You think that everyone is interested in your conspiracy theories about Microsoft (or should i say M$ in order for you, teenagers to understand?), and how they destroyed linux, ...etc.

33. You keep ignoring the fact that thousands of linux servers get hacked every year, but it takes one Windows server hacked to get you and your fellow linux idiots to dance and celebrate.

Re: How to tell if you are a linux fanatic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14399824)

bravo

I really hope... (1)

mjpaci (33725) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399411)

...that either HD-DVD or Blu-Ray becomes dominant. What we really don't need is two formats each with exclusive studio deals. I don't want two players...

Re:I really hope... (1)

EpsCylonB (307640) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399489)

Studios would not do that, even if the people behind one of the formats came up with enough cash it would piss off the consumer too much to make it worth while. Makes much more sense just to release two versions of the same movie on two different formats.

Re:I really hope... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399745)

But then you really piss off the stores. They don't want to have to have 2 different items to keep track of for each 1 item they have now. Actually, they will still probably sell dvds, so now they will have to have 3 formats of everything available. My guess is that in 6 months, after the release of both technologies, all the players will support both formats, and this will become a completely non-issue. Movie studios will release movies in whichever formats they see fit, and stores will sell whichever format they fell like selling. We had this same discussion a few years back with the DVD+R, DVD-R issue, and now all the players/recorders take both, and there is no issue with compatibilities.

Re:I really hope... (5, Interesting)

leomekenkamp (566309) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399548)

I hope neither will become dominant; I hope both will turn out to be big flops that the general public will avoid for all the DRM shit and the possibility of owning yet another betamax or V2000 system.

People do not want too bloody restrictive DRM, they do not want to make choices like "Shall I buy a player that plays movies from A, B and C or one that plays movies from X, Y and Z?". I hope a big, big flop for both Blue and HD camps will make that pretty clear for both hardware and content producers.

Re:I really hope... (4, Insightful)

Darth Maul (19860) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399768)

If both fail I can assure you it won't be because of DRM. The average Joe doesn't care about DRM. If they hook up their new-fangled HD-DVD player to some old TV that doesn't support the right HDMI copy-protection scheme, and it doesn't work, they will just scratch their heads, blame the generic "technology", and return the player perhaps.

If both fail, it will simply be because the average Joe will only see a slight incremental improvement over current DVDs. Remember, average Joe thinks that watching a DVD on his new HDTV is "high-definition". I'm serious. There have been polls done, and most people think it's HD. Given that current DVDs are good enough, there is not a significant reason to buy the new HD-DVD. The improvement from VHS to DVD was a huge leap; form factor, no rewinding, no degrading, better detail in the image, better sound. From DVD to HD-DVD I'm afraid the improvement is just not noticeable to the "consumer". Just look at the new CD and audio DVD formats; sure, they have superior sound quality, but they are just a niche market for the few audiophiles that can appreciate that improvement.

Re:I really hope... (2, Insightful)

leomekenkamp (566309) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399838)

But if Joe returns the player because it will not connect to his TV, then it will fail because of DRM.

I do agree with your point that the difference in quality will probably be lost on Joe; except maybe for bragging rights, there is no difference for him.

Re:I really hope... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399740)

Why??

Mpeg4 HD in europe works great and can fit the same HD content on an existing dual layer DVD. Hell there are other great formats that look awesome on a 1080i HT screen that can fit all that media on a standard DVD.

just because hollywood wants a bastardized mess to force you to buy movies that they can control not only when bot wher and how you watch them does not mean its a good thing.
 

Call me when... (1)

tradiuz (926664) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399415)

Call me when they're price at a more reasonable level. $500 for the base model is stupid. $800 for the premier model is gouging.

Re:Call me when... (3, Insightful)

iainl (136759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399451)

Back in '97 the cheapest DVD player was over $1000. This isn't like consoles where they sell the hardware at a loss.

But by all means wait until they hit a price you're prepared to pay. Here in the UK my first DVD player was £500. My supermarket now sells players with more functionality for £20.

Re:Call me when... (2, Informative)

Ironballs (915117) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399478)

Well, here in Brazil stores aren't this nice

The average price for an extreme-cheap DVD player is no less than USD 100.00

Re:Call me when... (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399574)

Back in '97 the cheapest DVD player was over $1000. This isn't like consoles where they sell the hardware at a loss.

It is speculated that both Toshiba and Sony will sell their players at a loss [nytimes.com] at the beginning. They have more to lose from supporting a dead format, than from the cost of losing money on their first generation of players.

Re:Call me when... (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399473)

Oh, and also see the BluRay competition. The only announced player so far, from Pioneer, is a monumental $1800.

With that, I think that maybe HD-DVD has more of a chance than some have been suggesting...

Re:Call me when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14399614)

The PS3 is supposed to have BluRay. That might give the lead to BluRay.

Stupid, any programmer nows HD is only $10 more (0, Offtopic)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399694)

You are a sucker for coporate billion dollar whores mafia fuck faces.

The power required for HD-DVD is SFA, Sure we might need 4x or 2x more space, but the cpu power or logic power
is trivial, or $10 at most.

If a $200 PC from wallmart can play HD MPEG2 files, thats 3x over priced compared to dedicated hardware decoders that are 5 years late.

Its called, "yes we can do the tech now at $10 more, but we will charge you $900 more because we are greeedy F UCKS."

We all could do HD quality in 1998, shit man, I bought a 21" monitor for $40 that could easily do 1280 in 1998.

so being generous for year 2000, the video card/hardware was trivial to do mpeg2 at 1280x768, its DRM that costs 1000000 man hours... or is it LAWYER HOURS!!!!!!!!!!

God damn lawyers, they should be paid $8hr or outsourced to india at $3/hr, because they are Dumb MOFOS - that never invent any thing, and know nothing, and couldnt save the titanic if it depended on their lives.

Re:Stupid, any programmer nows HD is only $10 more (1)

cttforsale (803028) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399852)

God bless this man.

In the words of Master Yoda (5, Funny)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399417)

Begun, the HDMI massacre has.

copy-protected HD content (-1, Troll)

jaymzter (452402) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399427)

From Off-Topic to Redundant??

I for one welcome our new HD-DVD overlords, and remind them that as a member of /. I could be useful in convincing people to disregard the DRM!

Re:copy-protected HD content (2, Informative)

PseudoSchizo (847596) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399566)

They were using it as sort of a sensationalist buzzword.. don't forget that curreent-gen dvds are also copy protected.

pSc

Is it just me (1)

zegebbers (751020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399430)

or does the player in the picture look remarkably big/clunky?

Re:Is it just me (1)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399528)

'holy crap that's bigger than an 80's VHS player'

That is the size of my 1983 JVC VHS VCR.

That unit must have a breadboard in it for the chipset.

SUPER! (5, Interesting)

iolaus (704845) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399438)

Thanks Toshiba, glad to hear it will only work with HDMI seeing as how my Toshiba HD-Ready TV only has component connections!

Re:SUPER! (3, Interesting)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399468)

Early adopters of "HD" televisions are screwed because the film studios have insisted on the HDMI interface to preserve their copy protection mechanisms. And because of the digital millenium act a HDMI to component convertor would be illegal in the US.

Re:SUPER! (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399736)

This could be an interesting situation. A lot of early adopters have bought into HD-Ready, and will be seriously annoyed if they can't watch HD movies. Maybe enough to create a black market in all sorts of equipment/devices to bypass it (or companies in foreign countries doing a good trade to Americans buying them).

I guess there are some people out there who can afford to go and buy a whole new HD TV, but most guys will be really cheesed off.

Re:SUPER! (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399471)

It's for your own protection. Besides, you wouldn't want to see pure digital HD converted to an analog signal before it gets to your TV and...um...gets converted to analog so that you can see it. Oh well, the screwing of the early adopters continues.

Actually, they'd better get cracking on some HDMI swithcers and HDMI-switching capable amplifiers, 'cause if I'm going to hook up my HD Tivo, a HD-DVD, a DVD jukebox, and my HTPC DVI->HDMI I'm going to need either more TVs in the living room, or a few more input jacks!

Re:SUPER! (3, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399786)

This is stupid. The only reason that DVD players caught on is because you could hook them up to any old TV. There's still a lot of DVD players hooked up to the old coaxial or RCA (component) sockets. Not a lot of people have the component hook ups. And even a lot of people who have them don't end up using them. If they limit HD DVD players to only hook up to the brand new shiny TVs, then nobody is going to buy the player. I'm sure there's a lot of people who will want to buy these, but if it means buying a new TV on top of that, you will see that it will only fill a niche market.

A big clunker (3, Interesting)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399445)

Does anyone else think that picture looks like it is from 1985? Compare it with the first Sony CD player in 1985 - http://history.acusd.edu/gen/recording/images/PDRM 1542a.jpg [acusd.edu]

It is huge and expensive...I'll wait for it to come down in price and when it can record.

Re:A big clunker (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399521)

Doesn't the DVD standard allow for high definition data files to be played on newer hardware? Isn't that a bit of an oversight or was it built in obselence? Is the new standard going to suffer from this? Are some films only going to come out on the new boxes - otherwise what's the point in getting one?

Re:A big clunker (3, Interesting)

CaseyB (1105) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399758)

Good god. What possible excuse could they have for making it so huge? This isn't like a VCR where they haven't had a chance to engineer the most compact layout of some complex machinery. It's a plain old disk transport and a bit of decoding electronics -- just like every DVD player already on the shelves.

They could even have dropped all the DAC hardware, if HDMI is the only output format.

Re:A big clunker (1)

Thwomp (773873) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399833)

Yeah "the 1980's called - they want their design back" was my first thought. I expected it to look really slick, you know at least similar or better than current dvd players, surely that's got to be a prototype shell?

So where do I buy HD-DVD's? (1)

echomancer (198206) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399455)

I mean, honestly why pay $500 for a machine that has little to no content available for it? I have a bad feeling, that like DVD, one of the first titles we see will be James Taylor live in concert...

Re:So where do I buy HD-DVD's? (2, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399497)

I have a bad feeling, that like DVD, one of the first titles we see will be James Taylor live in concert...

I saw James Taylor live this past summer and it kicked ass. And, believe it or not, he was actually playing an instrument and singing in tune, imagine that!

I don't want another spinning disc (5, Funny)

djchester (942705) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399493)

I want to view my movies directly from my harddrive, when will the movie/media/music industry get it?

Re:I don't want another spinning disc (1, Funny)

ratatosk_the_squirre (825765) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399545)

Good thing there are no spinning components in your diskdrive then ;-)

Re:I don't want another spinning disc (1)

johnashby (819655) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399558)

Hey man, your hard drive spins too. Just thought you'd like to know.

Re:I don't want another spinning disc (2, Informative)

bighoov (605325) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399596)

They do get it. At the BillG keynote last night, they showed an HD-DVD/Vista demo and copied the movie to the hard drive. It's built in to the driver - you can copy either the entire disc image or just the HD movie (without menus, extras, etc.).

Re:I don't want another spinning disc (1)

agraupe (769778) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399611)

While obviously the copy-protection still sucks, and it won't be usable on Linux, this is actually a step in the right direction. I guess we need to take it small steps at a time, or we'll never get anything.

Also Announced... XBox 360 HD-DVD (2, Informative)

larsoncc (461660) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399499)

During the keynotes, Peter Moore announced an external HD-DVD player for the XBox 360 as well.

No word if the player would be manufactured by Toshiba, though.

Keynote is here in text form [next-gen.biz] .

What? (-1, Troll)

3rdAndLong (943085) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399520)

I work for the Toshiba. So I am really getting a kick out of most of these replies. Some of you guys are very good at making it sound like you know what you are talking about. But trust me.... You don't. I think you just want to make yourself sound smart, when in reality you dont know what you are talking about. This is how bad info gets passed around. If you dont know about the topic....Dont make yourself sound like you do. Cuz some /.'s belive anything they hear. ...

ok, so what bad info is being posted? (1)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399534)

Edumacate me. Why tell us that bad info is being posted without telling us what the bad info is?

Re:ok, so what bad info is being posted? (2, Funny)

interstellar_donkey (200782) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399591)

Why tell us that bad info is being posted without telling us what the bad info is?

I thought the same thing. I think some people enjoy knowing more then others, and enjoy pointing that fact out. These people don't like to share that information with others, because hey, why bring everyone up to her level?

Re:ok, so what bad info is being posted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14399593)

He doesn't know which of it is wrong. He just knows that Marketing (which doesn't know a HDMI connector from a SCART cable) told him "they don't get it, it's all wrong".

Re:ok, so what bad info is being posted? (1)

3rdAndLong (943085) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399659)

Lighten up, Francis. It is an old cliche on message boards. Replace "Toshiba" with anything else and you are good to go. Just having fun, not a troll.

Obligatory (-1, Offtopic)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399526)

Star Wars: Episodes 1-6 on HD-DVD, coming soon!

C'mon, mods, this ain't a troll or offtopic post...actually George Lucas should be commended for making sure his stuff is released on the best media possible. That and he has made a lot of contributions to the industry in general. But ya just know Star Wars 1-6 is coming out again, and soon! :)

In the words of Yoda... (0, Redundant)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399564)

Begun the resales of Star Wars have.

idiot mods... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14399605)

What was off topic about that?

Re:Obligatory (1)

agraupe (769778) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399632)

I wonder if it will be released as a giant box-set (1-6), two box sets (1-3 and 4-6), or both? I'd certainly buy a giant box set, but I imagine the price of such an item would put some buyers off (remember, marketing isn't about appealing to common sense). Or I'll just wait for it to come out on Blu-ray... yeah, that sounds better.

Re:Obligatory (1)

EoinOL (833833) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399853)

Given the politics of the new disc formats, if that does happen, it will actually happen on Blu-ray.

Clearing up a few falacies (1)

simon_hibbs2 (792812) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399529)

1. Why don't the release writers first so there's something to play? They can't. Even the industrial disk writing systems are still having yield problems, so there's no chance the home burning technology will be ready for years to come. 2. Nobody will buy them because there's nothing to play. There's a chicken and egg problem here. Who is going to release content if nobody has players? Idealy players and disks should be released simultaneously, like XBOX 360 and it's launch titles but HD DVD is a longer term game. Exactly the same things were said about DVD when it first came out. Limited runs of HD DVDs are avilable, just not to consumers. I imagine the first buyers of HD DVD players will be HD DVD disk manufacturers, distributors and content developers with access to limited distribution material. With XBOX MS could deliver test boxes directly to such people, but for HD DVD there are so many of them in so many parts of the world it's probably more efficient to put the drives on the market and let such companies buy them through consumer channels. Simon Hibbs

Re:Clearing up a few falacies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14399625)

Well you cleared up that you don't know JACK for us anyhow.

Love Shack (1)

thaerin (937575) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399530)

I got me a player, it's as big as a whale and we're headed on down to run a HDMI hack. I got me a Toshiba, it weighs about twenty, so hurry up and bring your hard earned money! ... Sign says, Fooo! Stay away fools, 'cause DRM rules at the HD DVD shack, Well it set me back near the middle of a thousand, Just a funky old Betamax and I gotta take it back.

Re:Love Shack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14399571)

Hey, that was actually pretty good.

My toshiba hdtv has hdmi inputs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14399552)

I dont know about other people but the toshiba hdtv 26 widescreen tv that i got for $488 has an hdmi input on the back that is hdcp ready .

But $500 dollars is quite expensive.

Re:My toshiba hdtv has hdmi inputs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14399641)

That's nice. Do you'll plug in your shiny HD-DVD player.

Where'll you plug in your shiny HD Cable box? Your shiny BluRay player? Your shiny PS3?

Remember, it is HDMI... (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399565)

Remember, if you don't have a high-density set that supports the HDMI copy protection standard, this isn't going to do anything. Computer monitors do not count.

It is also first generation, and very likely to have major electrical problems. Not to mention the player is about the size of an average HDTV set.

Re:Remember, it is HDMI... (2, Interesting)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399733)

HDMI to component or unprotected DVI boxes are not uncommon any more.. it's been standard in Europe for a while (indeed in the UK it's illegal to call a TV 'HD Ready' unless it has HDMI (leading to the non-HDMI ones being sold as 'HDTV Ready' instead. Sigh.)).

They're still relatively expensive, but once the korean production lines start up that price will drop quite fast.

I'll switch to HD-DVD... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14399577)

... when the content protection scheme will be cracked and when I will be able to make a DRMless backup copy which I can watch where, when and the way I want.

See ya in 2020.

What about HD over component outputs? (1)

markdj (691222) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399581)

If the HD signal is not output via component outputs as well as HDMI, this is going to be a non-starter for many of us who have 0 or 1 HDMI input on our HD TVs. I have 1 and it it connected to my cable box.

My Prediction.Its WAY too early for this (1)

arock99 (612650) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399590)

Consumers are not going to go for this new format. Do they honestly expect the general consumer to get rid of their DVD players so soon? I believe this is an example of a technology that is out too early and by too early I mean at least 10 years too early. The only niche market I can see this succeeding is on the computer side (and gaming consoles). Most people have finally moved over to DVD...heck some have not...no way I can see them moving over to HD-DVD so soon. I usually buy new technologies but unless the formats are settled and they give us coupons to exchange existing DVDs over I wont even contemplate moving over... I used to own 600+ VHS movies...when DVD came out it made sense to sell them off and move over to DVD...I have over 600+ DVDs...they can kiss my you-know-what if they think i'm moving over to HD-DVD (or Blue-Ray). And yes I do have an HD-Television and I realise what I'm missing but on the other hand DVDs are here to stay for at least another 10 years.

Re:My Prediction.Its WAY too early for this (1)

Winterblink (575267) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399752)

Your 600+ DVDs didn't just become obsolete. They're perfectly playable on a HD-DVD player. I for one have at least 200 DVDs kicking around, and there's no way in hell I'm going to be replacing them all with HD equivalents.

DVDs right now look fantastic, and the only ones I could see replacing with newer high def ones would be ones that came out when DVDs first hit the market that don't have the best transfer (such as Heat, for example), and larger epic films that would benefit from the upgrade (Lord of the Rings, etc).

Not big enough leap (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399829)

I also wonder whether people will avoid it, and instead wait for things like higher resolution.

VHS to DVD was a big leap in terms of clarity, resolution, sound and usability. HD-DVD/Blu-Ray will give better resolution, although for most people, they will need a new TV set, and I know lots of friends who just won't bother. They'll get HDTV when their set breaks down.

Personally, I want to see something like 2000+ line resolution. Putting down a ton of money for new kit to see movies at barely better than DVD resolution isn't going to win me over.

I think it will go beyond niche, but it's going to take a very long time.

1080i - yuk (1)

jilbert (520628) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399604)

I don't understand why they're going with 1080i, a standard for CRT TVs. All modern displays are progressive. 1080p refreshing at 24Hz would be ideal for showing movies, and would be the same bandwidth.

Re:1080i - yuk (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399796)

It doesn't really matter, because it can be deinterlaced. Calling it 'yuk' is a bit of a stretch, considering the much lower TV and video standards we are all used to.

Will people even care? (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399621)

I think one of the things that really helped spur on DVD adoption over VHS wasn't the prettier pictures and better sound, it was the fact that you can do much more with a DVD than you ever could with a cassette. You can skip to whatever scene you want, you can access extras, you can change the audio track to your language of choice(if it was on the dvd of course!), you can add subtitles, you can get rid of subtitles, you can hear commentary, you don't have to play with tracking etc.
The only difference that I see between DVD and HD-DVD is prettier pictures, and to me it just doesn't matter that much, but I am in no way representative of the public at large...

Re:Will people even care? (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399695)


I think one of the things that really helped spur on DVD adoption over VHS wasn't the prettier pictures and better sound, it was the fact that you can do much more with a DVD than you ever could with a cassette. You can skip to whatever scene you want, you can access extras,


Why can't you have extras on VHS?


you can change the audio track to your language of choice(if it was on the dvd of course!),


What %age of people do this?

you can add subtitles, you can get rid of subtitles,

This is also available on VHS as "closed captioning".

you can hear commentary, you don't have to play with tracking etc.

Re:Will people even care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14399792)

What %age of people do this?

I'm no expert, but as region 2 covers the whole of Europe, I expect that it makes sense to release one dvd for many languages. The same with region 3 in Korea, Thailand etc.

Even if you only consider region 1, I'm sure French for Quebec & Spanish for the southern states get used significantly.

VHS Extras (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399854)

You could. I had a few tapes with outtakes or documentaries. But it meant that if you wanted to see them, you had to run the tape to the right point.

Re:Will people even care? (1)

Don_dumb (927108) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399805)

There were two main reasons I could see for the quick uptake of DVD-
1. People were used to the relative advantages of CD over cassette and had brought CDs, the DVD's advantages over video were very similar so it was easy for people to think that CDs were better therefore DVDs were better. 2. (This was my experience and it was for many others) I brought a new PC in late 1999, it had a DVD drive instead of a CD drive, so I started renting DVDs, then buying DVDs. The fact that DVD drives could be a useful part of a PC (for reading CDs) before people cared about the DVD bit helped it to get a foothold.

I bought an HD set three years ago... (1)

voss (52565) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399645)

If they think Im gonna buy a brand new set just to have an HDMI port...
Wrongo! If they had put an HD signal over component video I would have
spent the $500 on an HD-DVD player.

Question for ya /.ers (1)

perigee369 (837140) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399664)

If this this only has HDMI connectors, how in the world do they expect people to buy this? Both of my HDTVs use component inputs, and I would only buy something with component output on the unit. Is there any way to "convert" the HDMI to component? (i.e. some kinda dongle or something)

Netflix and HDMI doom (1)

EBFoxbat (897297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399674)

HDMI only was a stupid move. I already get the feeling like this was rushed to the market just to be able to say "we had the first." I convert my HD signal with a 3rd party unit to watch on my 19" LCD in my bedroom. I have a 50" DLP downstairs. There's enough HD content (including most of my beloved Red Sox home games) to keep my content. There will be more content in the future. It seems as though I'm the only one titilated for this all digital no more analog stuff. How long before Netflix starts to carry HD discs? They're my only source of DVDs. Right cuz I've never, every "backed up" Netflix DVD on my too-big-to-ever-fill-but-smallest-SATA-you-can-buy hard drive. Maybe I'll be able to fill it now.

Re:Netflix and HDMI doom (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399759)

HDMI only has been built in to the spec from the start. It's been common knowledge for a year now... it's got nothing to do with the product being rushed.

Re:Netflix and HDMI doom (1)

EBFoxbat (897297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399823)

Oh yes I know. I don't mean the HDMI implies it was rished. I mean its size it's lack of anything else. Its price. Its lack of media (though that's bound to happen). It just seems rushed to me.

and here are some of the first announced titles... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14399677)

including "Serenity"!

via betanews [betanews.com]
Universal Pictures announced at the HD DVD press conference in Las Vegas Wednesday that it will have 10 titles available for the high-definition format's launch this spring. The studio will issue new and older movies on HD DVD throughout 2006. Initial releases will include six new movies: "Jarhead," "Doom," "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," "Cinderella Man," "Serenity" and "The Bourne Supremacy," along with four older flicks: "The Chronicles of Riddick," "U-571," "Van Helsing," and "Apollo 13."

The sooner it's released... (1)

agraupe (769778) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399698)

The sooner they start releasing Blu-ray/HD-DVD, the sooner people can get to work on reverse-engineering the encryption and copy-protection so it'll work on linux. From what I've heard about the copy protection, it will definitely be an obstacle, but will be defeated by the bright minds of open-source.

Will I buy HD-DVD/Blu-ray movies if they aren't supported by open-source at all? I might, but only if releases on regular DVD stop altogether.

Digital Rights Molestation (1)

kin242 (789922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399708)

What is the copy protection mechanism then? Is it biometric or does it require a human sacrifice?

Re:Digital Rights Molestation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14399810)

It uses the new Digitally Regulated And Protected Environment (DRAPE) technology. You simply insert the dongle (not included) in your rectum which identifies you as the owner of the disc and then you can watch it.

u have a choice (1)

ebooborg (935299) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399726)

i made a choice 2 years ago, and now im laughing at the whole next-gen dvd fiasco

1. dump/put up the attic my VHS tapes
2. not to buy expensive EUR20 a pop DVD's
3. Rent and Rip (recently i jumped onto Nero MPEG4 where i can have mp4 video thats capable of being encoded up to HD resolutions, multiple dolby digital soundtracks,subtitles ) 4. Store on my harddrives (over 2TB of content now)
5. connect my pc to my HD projector

STICK A MIDDLE FINGER UP TO MPAA and CO P.S usenet and bittorent helped as well ;)

Cant wait for the workarounds (2, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399731)

The players will output copy-protected HD content through the HDMI interface in the native format of the HD DVD disc content of either 720p or 1080i."

Cue the surge in sales of HDMI to non encumbered output dongles.

A buddy of mine was showing me the unit he bought to hook his older HD plasma to his new DVD player with HDMI... how long until these older units start going for high $$$ or a company like lite-on or APEX starts creating units that bypass this stupid DRM?

1080p (3, Interesting)

osho_gg (652984) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399804)

What I am really looking forward is 1080p output capable HD-DVD players. 2006 year is going to be the year of 1080p HD Displays. Unfortunately, HDMI (as I understand) as a format does not have 1080p output well-defined (or defined at all for that matter). However, 1080p HD displays offer significantly better picture quality than 1080i/720p displays. Costco is offering a 37" flat screen 1080p for $1600. Other ~60 inches 1080p displays are pulling in under 5k at this time - which means they will "soon" come to under $2.5k budget. Once it reaches at that point, many of early HDTV adopters (about 1 million in US) will be itching to upgrade their gear to 1080p capable display. It would be a shame if HD-DVD players (without any valid technical reason) will limit its output to 1080i.

How much? (2, Interesting)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399812)

When DVD players first arrived on the market, I paid $600 for a basic featured player. Now, for under $80 you can get one with progressive scan and can play any digital file format on the market today.

I won't be fooled again into paying a premium for HD-DVD players.

First, they are essentially the same technology, simply tweaked to squeeze out more storage space and using a different wavelength of laser. This is hardly technology that required billions or even millions of R&D costs. Like the original DVD player and is close ties to CD technology, HD-DVD is just an extension, not an evolution of DVD technology. Thus, we shouldn't have to pay a huge premium for it.

When you consider that the chassis and most of the components in an HD-DVD player are going to be identical to a regular DVD player (especially the current up-conversion ones), your talking about probably $20 of unique technology that goes into every unit, this doesn't justtify a 400% - 800% markup over regular DVD players.

Second, I won't pay more for HD-DVD titles. I don't care if they required new expensive technology to be mastered, Hollywood is making huge profits on the markup for regular DVD's, some of those initial HD-DVD costs can be absorbed in their current pricing scheme. Your talking about digital data formats, HD-DVD is simply film mastered with a higher bit-rate, again hardly revolutionary or required millions in research to get accomplished. If you start to consider that many movies are filmed digitally these days, conversion from one digital format to another is a brainless activity.

Lastely, what is the difference in quality? I mean, when I compared my first DVD movie to a VHS version, the difference was astonishing. Crystal clear video and digital surround sound sold me on the DVD format. I haven't been entirely blown away by the HD revolution. HDTV quality is good, but I find I can still live with standard def digital cable on a good quality television with a good cable signal. Most HDTV sets I am seeing also are not doing HDTV justice, especially the cheap LCD panels that can't display a good color gamut regardless of their resolution quality. I'll have to wait until I actually see HD-DVD on a good quality HDTV, but I am sure it won't be as ground breaking as the original DVD format.

My reasoning for holding off on adopting HD-DVD is based on past experiences, if I wait a few years, HD-DVD players will be in the $100 range, most movies will be masterd in HD-DVD for the same price, and if Blu-Ray does make an impact, I won't feel like I lost out in another Betamax-VHS or LaserDisc-DVD war.

New DVDs (3, Insightful)

hey (83763) | more than 8 years ago | (#14399856)

So now I gotta buy all new DVDs? ;-(
Also one word: porn.
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