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Lens That Writes on Both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the one-lens-to-rule-them-all dept.

289

morpheus83 writes "Ricoh claims they have developed an optical component that reads and writes all disk formats -- Blu-ray Disc and HD-DVD, as well as DVD and CD -- with one pickup and one objective lens. The component is a 3.5-mm diameter, 1-mm thick round diffraction plate with minute concentric groves on both sides which function as a diffraction grating. Based on disc information the drive can identify which format disk is loaded, Ricoh's optical diffraction component adjusts the laser beam with its diffraction grating for each format and passes it to the objective lens."

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well, now that that's settled (4, Insightful)

yagu (721525) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687506)

Phew! I thought there'd be no solution to the format wars.

Oh wait, there's still:

  • cable wars (HDMI, component)
  • DRM wars (broadcast flag and more)
  • HD wars (DLP, LCD, Plasma, i vs p, etc.)
  • provider wars (comcast, DISH, DirectTV)
  • DVR wars (comcast (ick), DISH (ick), DirectTV (ick), TIVO (yea!))
  • did I mention DRM wars? (it's worth mentioning more than once)
  • compression wars (have you looked closely at the quality of a comcast HD broadcast?, and/or their OnDemand?)
  • price wars. (players, recorders (if you get permission to record), media (if you get permission to play))

But, at least now we've gotten that pesky dual-compatible use-a-single-object-lens issue out of the way. Now I can tell all my friends and family the hurdle has been cleared and to let the floodgates of new consumers open.

Not.

I'm going out for a bicycle ride.

Re:well, now that that's settled (1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687535)

I don't see why a consumer should care about the items you listed. For instance, you seem to place a specific emphasis on DRM, but the fact is that it won't affect most consumers who just want to be able to watch a movie on their dedicated, licensed device.

well, now that that's settled-Gravity. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15687551)

"For instance, you seem to place a specific emphasis on DRM, but the fact is that it won't affect most consumers who just want to be able to watch a movie on their dedicated, licensed device."

*shrug* Geeks tend to focus on things that are irrelevent for the majority of the population. It's one of our more endearing traits. Just ask some women.

Re:well, now that that's settled (5, Informative)

BlowChunx (168122) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687556)

...and when that dedicated licensed device dies or breaks? Then what?

Most consumers will get bit by DRM, but only after the fact when it is too late.

Re:well, now that that's settled (1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687600)

They buy another one - just like they'd do every few years anyway.

Re:well, now that that's settled (3, Insightful)

AnyoneEB (574727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687659)

I think the point is what happens if it breaks in 20-30 years or so (or sooner?) when the format is no longer supported (but the discs are still protected by copyright/DMCA)?

Re:well, now that that's settled (1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687671)

The same answer applies. Think vinyl vs. CD.

Re:well, now that that's settled (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15687743)

No because, worse comes to worse, I can create a new vinyl player using commonly available instructions(out of the realm of possibility for most people, but not specialized shops). With the DMCA, et al., instructions for decrypting the DRM formats would be illegal, making it impossible for me(or anyone else for that matter) to produce machines capable of reading DRM'd media. Couple that with extremely long-lasting copyright terms, and it becomes difficult if not impossible to find/be able to play music from lesser known bands 30, 50 or 100 years down the line.

Re:well, now that that's settled (0, Troll)

October_30th (531777) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687746)

Couple that with extremely long-lasting copyright terms, and it becomes difficult if not impossible to find/be able to play music from lesser known bands 30, 50 or 100 years down the line.

And you should be able to do that because...?

Re:well, now that that's settled (5, Insightful)

John Miles (108215) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687750)

And you should be able to do that because...?

Because copyright law in the US is constitutional only insofar as a work is protected for a "limited time." DRM violates the limited-time clause, so the DMCA and any other DRM-promoting legislation is prima facie unconstitutional.

Re:well, now that that's settled (4, Insightful)

Wordsmith (183749) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687770)

In a free society, we're only barred from doing the things we -shouldn't be able to do, rather than only let do the things we -should- be able to.

We should be able to take media, aquired legitimately, and come up with our own means of accessing it. We transfered from records to CDs - but it's still perfectly legal to make your own record player, which you might want to do if no one will sell you one. It'll be a real shame if we transfer away from some DRM-encumbered format and can no longer access legitimately aquired media from the time when that format was in popular use, because the content providers (if they're still around) are no longer interested in making players.

Usage licenses are nonsense and nonintuitive. Ford doesn't get to tell me whether I can tinker with my car's engine or what hours of the day I can drive the car; Maytag doesn't get to tell me I can't replace a broken part with one I've reverse-engineered; Sony (or whomever) shouldn't get to tell me I can't play there CDs (or whatever) in anything other than an authorized player. They're free to apply the DRM and make it difficult for me, but I'd better be free to try and crack it.

Re:well, now that that's settled (1)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687702)

I hate to respond like marx did when he gave a speech on free trade here but I fear it is the only option... we should support DRM, make sure that it becomes as intrusive as possible, make sure that at every turn every legitimate use of people's own products becomes difficult and when something like the Sony Rootkit happens (which it will, again and again...) then we seize on it and show the world that this makes the situation worse for everyone.... Appart from the people who pirate things and have the encryption handily broken *shifty eyes*

I guess that means we need to stop the EFF protesting for a little while.

Re:well, now that that's settled (4, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687830)

I hate to respond like marx did when he gave a speech on free trade here but I fear it is the only option... we should support DRM, make sure that it becomes as intrusive as possible, make sure that at every turn every legitimate use of people's own products becomes difficult and when something like the Sony Rootkit happens (which it will, again and again...) then we seize on it and show the world that this makes the situation worse for everyone...

Yes! Then our privacy and openness ideologies would be just as successful as Marxism is right now! It is so on the Move in The U.S., Europe and China! The free trade thing has just totally been repudiated.

Thank you for bringing this option to our attention!

Re:well, now that that's settled (1)

Bad D.N.A. (753582) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687849)

make sure that it becomes as intrusive as possible, make sure that at every turn every legitimate use of people's own products becomes difficult and when something like the Sony Rootkit happens (which it will, again and again...) then we seize on it and show the world that this makes the situation worse for everyone.

Interesting idea.

Take it up the ass as a method of showing that taking it up the ass is bad.

You first.

Re:well, now that that's settled (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687588)

Truth is, the loudest opponents of DRM tend to feel they are spokespeople for 'the consumer,' who are the regular ordinary 'proles' in the world. And said 'proles' will always need a 'vanguard' to champion and protect their interests. As identified and defined by said 'vanguard,' of course.

Same as it ever was.

Re:well, now that that's settled (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687604)

Perhaps. But in this case, the vanguard (or rather, "guardians of the truth") happen to be correct. We're all getting the shaft, and it doesn't matter whether the shaft is made of wood or soft rubber, it's still a shaft.

You forgot the Pizza wars. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15687541)

I'm totally serious about this, it is over frozen pizza. Right now McCain Foods Limited (a Canadian company) is seeking government intervention against Kraft Foods (of the USA) because they are flooding Canadian markets with frozen pizzas. I'm all for it though, because while the battle wages on I can get my hands on pizzas for three to five bucks.

amateur (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15687555)

Just become a pizza driver.

Re:well, now that that's settled (4, Funny)

bmo (77928) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687594)

"I'm going out for a bicycle ride."

Holy crap, one format war to another!

The following will generate a flamewar in rec.bicycles.tech that go on for months:

Shimano or Campagnolo?
What about mechanical vs hydraulic disc brakes?
Caliper, Cantilever, Centerpull, Coaster, disc, Double pivot, Drum, Roller, Rollercam, Roller lever, Sidepull, Single pivot, Spoon brakes?
Low spoke count wheels vs 32 or 36 count?
Tubular or Clincher tires? What about Tufo?
Octalink or square taper spindle?
British, Italian, French, Swiss, or Raleigh threading?
130 vs 110 mm BHC?
Hook or no hook rims?
Does a wheel hang by its spokes or stand on its spokes?
Disc wheels or spoked wheels?
Hard Anodizing or plain? Does hard anodizing weaken aluminum?

And that's just to start.

--
BMO

Re:well, now that that's settled (2, Interesting)

icebrain (944107) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687817)

It's just like the "format wars" in general aviation:

High wing vs. low wing
Trigear vs. taildragger
Production vs. homebuilt
Pattern entries (45 vs. overhead vs. extended downwind vs....)
Towered vs. non-towered fields

and so on...

Who cares? (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687853)

what worried me about the format war wasn't the pissing match between geeks over what's the best, it was the prospect of buying the 'wrong' format and having to shell out for a new player and buy all my movies again (or shell out big bucks for what's now a specialty item to play what I've already bought, anyone try to buy a betamax lately?). With tape at least you had to rebuy your favs everynow and then since the tapes wear out, disks don't really do that.

Re:well, now that that's settled (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687621)

compression wars (have you looked closely at the quality of a comcast HD broadcast?, and/or their OnDemand?)

Yeah, but I couldn't tell if those big blocks on the screen were compression artifacts, or vomit from my reaction to the picture quality. ;)

Re:well, now that that's settled (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15687653)

You vomit squares? Have you seen a doctor about this?

Re:well, now that that's settled (3, Funny)

AnyoneEB (574727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687677)

Your vomit looks like square blocks lined up to a grid? You should probably talk to a doctor about that. ;)

Star Wars (1)

jarg0n (882275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687655)

You forgot to mention the upcomming Star Wars

Re:Star Wars (1)

Al Dimond (792444) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687811)

Upcoming? Nah, they happened a long time ago. But since it was in a galaxy far, far away the light just took until the '70s to reach George Lucas' telescope. And somehow some of the light took a longer path than other parts, so the story came to him out of order. And some parts of it twice.

Light is wierd.

Re:well, now that that's settled (1)

MisaDaBinksX4evah (889652) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687660)

cable wars (HDMI, component)

Uh, if I were component in that matchup, I'd be pretty worried.

Now, HDMI v. DVI might be a good fight...

Re:well, now that that's settled (0)

Quarters (18322) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687729)

You're the only person I've ever heard refer to the different types of TV display technologies available as a "format war". There's no war going on there. Each tech has its place and its pricepoint. It's called "choice".

Oh...wait...you were just trying to pad your list to make your post seem relevant. My mistake.

Re:well, now that that's settled (5, Insightful)

Firehed (942385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687785)

  • cable wars (HDMI, component)
  • DRM wars (broadcast flag and more)
  • HD wars (DLP, LCD, Plasma, i vs p, etc.)
  • provider wars (comcast, DISH, DirectTV)
  • DVR wars (comcast (ick), DISH (ick), DirectTV (ick), TIVO (yea!))
  • did I mention DRM wars? (it's worth mentioning more than once)
  • compression wars (have you looked closely at the quality of a comcast HD broadcast?, and/or their OnDemand?)
  • price wars. (players, recorders (if you get permission to record), media (if you get permission to play))
You're either comparing apples and oranges or standard competition on really all of these.
  • cable wars (digital, analog)
  • DRM wars (they're all just added to each other, not which one's the best)
  • HD wars (each has its own pros and cons)
  • provider wars (market competition)
  • DVR wars (market competition)
  • did I mention DRM wars? (did I mention they're stacked, not competing?)
  • compression wars (again, tradeoffs, though all avoid fixing the actual problem)
  • price wars (you're complaining that competition lowers prices?!)
To be fair, the so-called DRM war is a valid point, just not with the examples you used. It's more of an iTunes M4P versus PlaysForSure protected WMA thing. DVDs have macrovision, CSS, region coding and more, not one or the other, and the HD formats are or will be the same way. Likewise for cable wars, but it would be HDMI vs DVI vs that new HDMI-esque thing for computers that doesn't have the crazy licensing fee. Aside from that, it's either two separate entities or market competiton (which is a good thing, unless you LIKE monopolies).

Now back to cleaning out my room.

Re:well, now that that's settled (2, Insightful)

r3m0t (626466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687794)

Most of these are hardly "wars". Just consumer choice.

If you buy an LCD, it won't become obsolete when Plasma "wins the war" (wtf?)

Similarly for most of those items. My Toshiba PVR will still be useful if TiVo wins some sort of war.

Re:well, now that that's settled (1)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687850)

  • HD wars (DLP, LCD, Plasma, i vs p, etc.)
  • provider wars (comcast, DISH, DirectTV)
  • DVR wars (comcast (ick), DISH (ick), DirectTV (ick), TIVO (yea!))

On these three, you seem to be saying that non-competition is good for consumers.

How unexpected....NOT! (1)

FractalZone (950570) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687508)

It was inevitable. Ricoh is not the firm I expected to announce such a gadget first, however.

Re:How unexpected....NOT! (1)

Lord Apathy (584315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687525)

Yeah. Anyone who didn't see this as coming is just brain dead and plan stupid. It was just a matter of time before someone combine all formats into one device. To tell the truth I'm grateful. I don't see a HD player in my future anytime soon but I don't have the room on any shelves for it anyway.

Re:How unexpected....NOT! (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687563)

Plans for dual HD-DVD/Blu-Ray[/DVD] players have always been in the works. This particular technology simply has the potential to make such a device more cost effective since manufacturers can use just one laser/lens assembly instead of two. We can expect to see combo players - probably not using this particular tech - by this time next year at the latest if LG (and probably Samsung - they've been waffling on the issue) have their way.

Re:How unexpected....NOT! (1)

kclittle (625128) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687570)

Agreed, this whole high-def-disc format war was ripe for a clever technical hack from a neutral party (Ricoh has been playing both sides for a while, now). But if I RTFA correctly, this is a four-way hack: Blu-ray Disc, HD-DVD, DVD and CD. Thus if someone comes out with a reasonably priced, high-quality player than can do all four, I'll make room on my shelves simply by replacing my (aging) DVD player.

Re:How unexpected....NOT! (1)

Lord Apathy (584315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687637)

I'm going to have to wait and see what comes out of it. My aging DVD is about 2 years old. Its one of those sony 400 dvd changers that I have my entire dvd collection stuffed into it. I think I will wait till I can get a drive that I can stick in to my HTPC that does it all.

Re:How unexpected....NOT! (5, Informative)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687599)

Ricoh is not the firm I expected to announce such a gadget first


Actually, dispite what the misleading headline would like you to believe, this isn't the first to read both HD and BluRay, and TFA doesn't make that clam... It's the first to read both, and read CDs and DVDs too with a single head. That's the tricky part, as CDs and DVDs use a different wavelength than HD-DVD and BluRay. Prior to this, if you wanted backwards compatability, you needed a second lens.

Re:How unexpected....NOT! (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687670)

Prior to this, if you wanted backwards compatability, you needed a second lens.

Is a second lens really that expensive? Comapard to the presumably extra expense and complication of this method? I believe my (cheap) DVD burner has two lenses, to burn CDRs (I might be wrong about that).

Re:How unexpected....NOT! (2, Informative)

shaneh0 (624603) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687753)

It's not the COST of the second lens, it's the SIZE. That's why the article summary boasts of the compact size of this solution. There isn't a lot of extra room available, especially in small form-factor drives.

Re:How unexpected....NOT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15687856)

But perhaps more impressively than just reading at the different wavelengths, comes the fact it writes as well. It's a bit of a double whammy!

hurrar (0)

hector_uk (882132) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687511)

watch how sales of HD or blu ray only players plummet, this is fantastic news.

Re:hurrar (2, Insightful)

eonlabs (921625) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687568)

It's a nice trick. Diffraction to take advantage of the fact different wavelengths bend different amounts through the same material. As usual, when someone says something can never be done, they've probably missed a good half of the equation.

Re:hurrar (3, Interesting)

Roguelazer (606927) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687673)

Reprased: Watch as sales of HD-DVD and Blu-Ray players go from approximately 0 units to approximately 0 units

And they said it couldn't be done....... (0, Redundant)

pele_smk (839310) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687527)

And they said it couldn't be done.......

Re:And they said it couldn't be done....... (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687618)

Who said that?

Certainly not all the other companies that announced dual format readers prior to this.

The tricky bit here is reading DVDs and CDs with the same device that reads the HD-DVDs and BluRay discs. Reading HD-DVDs and BluRay discs with one head isn't that hard, as the optics are the same.

This is to solve the problem of (HD-DVD|BluRay)* + DVD + CD-RW in one drive with a single head, not to solve HD-DVD + BluRay in one drive.

Read only....for now (5, Insightful)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687529)

From the article:

Although the diffraction device works for both reading and writing modes, Ricoh will initially offer the device for disk players only. Because some laser beam energy is lost at the grating, using the diffraction device for recording will require a blue laser with higher power than those used in conventional recorders.

It's a good start. Legal issues may end up being the biggest hurdle.

Re:Read only....for now (1)

uncleFester (29998) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687688)

It's a good start. Legal issues may end up being the biggest hurdle.

not for this part of the player. legally, this piece of the puzzle (the technical one) is probably the least worrisome. it's what you do with the signal you read that starts getting you into trouble these days.. :)

-'fester

Re:Read only....for now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15687739)

Aren't legal issues always the hurdle when it comes to new hardware and medium introduction and production?

Especially since these will probably be THE OTC optical formats till high density thumbdrive optical storage becomes a reality.

Outside of work, I don't plan on consider purchasing Blue-Ray and HD-DVD even though I have HD available on the TV and am looking to upgrade the A/V reciever soon.

I'll look at HD-DVD and Blu-Ray after 2010, thanks.

cool. (4, Funny)

celardore (844933) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687530)

I wouldn't mind a drive that burned all formats.

In fact, I wouldn't mind a drive that burned anything at all. My last one 'cookied' about 12 discs before it fucked up and my computer wouldn't start if it was connected. Being able to burn any format would certainly be useful though.

Re:cool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15687547)

'cookied'


'Coastered'? ;P

As in, the discs are now only useful as drink coasters ;)

Re:cool. (2, Interesting)

celardore (844933) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687574)

Sorry I was hungry and paranoid about security, so I was thinking of cookies.

Re:cool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15687557)

"I wouldn't mind a drive that burned all formats."

Huh?

What would be the point of wanting to burn HD-DVD discs when you already have the capability to burn 25gig/50gig BluRay discs?

HD-DVD will be forgotten about by the end of 2006. Right now the only places that even still bother talking about HD-DVD are Xbox forums and places like Slashdot that hope to continue the appearance of a 'format war' to generate hits.

Don't have family eh? (1)

nickheart (557603) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687576)

How many of your family and friends will just be an "in-duh-vidual" and buy one of the proprietary sets. then you wish to share your home movies, but need to make 3 HD-DVD's and 2 Blu-rays because your step-family all jumped on a HD-DVD sale?

Re:cool. (1)

NoodleSlayer (603762) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687597)

StarForce [star-force.com] at work!

Re:cool. (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687666)

It sounds like you've bought too far into the whole 'USB' thing. Heck, you might even be running an OS with too much USB support.

My DVD+R drive here on my NetBSD machine does about anything a person could want, and it was only a $60 drive six months ago. It's old fashioned though. Shucks.

What's The Point? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15687532)

No one cares about the additional cost of supporting the marketplace losing format in their drives. This lens is at best a novelty item.

BluRay has the full support of every movie company.
BluRay has the support of computer OEMs.
BluRay has Sony putting them in the 100+ million $499 and $599 PS3 that are going to be sold over the next five years.

HD-DVD died over a year ago. Everything since then has been Toshiba looking for a face saving way of accepting defeat.

Re:What's The Point? (-1, Flamebait)

jr87 (653146) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687581)

you are an idiot goodnight

Re:What's The Point? (1)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687591)

You assume Blu-Ray sells. HD-DVD is a lot cheaper. Blu-Ray wins only if everyone buys a PS3. If everyone buys the xBox console, or the Wii, and then picks up a $300 HD-DVD player, BR is screwed. The first format to $150 players and $20 discs wins.

Re:What's The Point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15687630)

"HD-DVD is a lot cheaper"

That isn't true. The only additional cost for BluRay was the conversion of existing plants and that cost is going to be spread out over the millions and millions of BluRay discs that are going to be sold over the upcoming years.

BluRay disc prices are right at the same level they were at the same point in DVD's lifetime.

"If everyone buys the xBox console"

They aren't. Microsoft is getting outsold by Sony's six year old PS2.

"then picks up a $300 HD-DVD player"

There are no 300 dollar HD-DVD players. There is a massively subsidized Toshiba player right now for 500 bucks.

Why would anyone pay 500 dollars for Toshiba HD-DVD player when you could get an entire PS3 for the same price that plays BluRay movies at 1080p over component and has the entire support of the movie industry.

"The first format to $150 players and $20 discs wins."

That is as false as the idiotic 'first to 10 million' claim a certain Microsoft exec tries to make.

The only hope HD-DVD was if Microsoft had been competent enough to include a HD-DVD player in the 360 and had managed to actually get consumers to buy their machine. With the 360 selling worse than the first Xbox and HD-DVD being nothing more than an expensive add-on to the console, HD-DVD just isn't viable in the market.

Hence why we have the enormous support for BluRay. Which is nice since it is the technologically superior format.

Re:What's The Point? (1)

FSWKU (551325) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687697)

Why would anyone pay 500 dollars for Toshiba HD-DVD player when you could get an entire PS3 for the same price that plays BluRay movies at 1080p over component and has the entire support of the movie industry.
To get a dedicated device that does one thing well, rather than an a device that does multiple things poorly (PS2's horrible DVD playback, anyone?). And 1080p over component? Only until the MPAA decides to start shipping discs with the Image Constraint Token enabled. Then your $500 PS3/BluRay wonder machine becomes an overpriced console with a crippled movie player. Sure, your old titles will still work, but for newer films you will be stuck with DVD resolution unless you bent ove....err... shelled out the extra $100 to your gods at Sony for the priviledge of having an HDMI connector bestowed upon your grateful existance.

Except for those who... (2, Insightful)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687611)

Won't buy anythying associated with Sony after their rootkit fiasco and support for DRM and the RIAA, MPAA etc etc.
And all those who don't give 2 hoots about the PC3 or any other gaming toy (especially XBOX) for that matter.(This is actually the majority of computer users if you care to research the stats)

IMHO, the capacity of BLURay of HD-DVD is still an order of magnitude less that what I really need for a backup device. IN the past few years, HDD capacitied have increased dramatically and there are more increases on the horizon. But, backup media affordable by the masses has not increased buy anywhere the same amount. So, I think it is useless!
Why do I think so, Well as a professional software developer and systems integrator for the past 25+ years, I don't:-
      Play DVD on my PC's
      Listen to MP3's on my PC's (my Ipod is good enough)
      Play shoot'em up games of any sort

So, why do I need HD-DVD or BluRay?
What I want is an optical device tat can backup my 100Gb laptop HDD on ONE volume in less than 1 hour.
Give me that, and I will eat my hat

Re:Except for those who... (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687680)

So you're going to stop using floppy disks, casette tapes, and FireWire?

Boycotting anything sony had to do with is going to get ridiculous. They've been involved in MANY technical decisions. many of which you have used/will use.

Anyway... BluRay does have spec for six layer discs at 33 gigs per layer, so... Nearly 200 gigs per disc. might get expensive but... There's your 100 gig optical disk.

Re:What's The Point? (4, Informative)

Babbster (107076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687620)

BluRay has the full support of every movie company.
No, it doesn't.

BluRay has the support of computer OEMs.
A couple. Most are riding the fence, committing to nothing.

BluRay has Sony putting them in the 100+ million $499 and $599 PS3 that are going to be sold over the next five years.
Which will only be important if people feel the PS3 is worthwhile, and if it doesn't cause other Blu-Ray manufacturers to jump ship because Sony is taking away their sales with the PS3 loss-leader.

It's worth noting that while all the currently available next-gen disc players available so far have problems, the $1,000 Samsung Blu-Ray players seems to be the worst of the lot. It's also fairly important that both Toshiba and RCA are already selling their HD-DVD players for half the price of the Samsung unit and the forthcoming Sony Blu-Ray player. Finally, there are more HD-DVD titles on store shelves than Blu-Ray so far.

Personally, I'm still in wait-and-see mode, but your assertion that HD-DVD is already dead is premature at best.

Re:What's The Point? (1)

NiceGuyVan (948839) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687647)

BluRay has the full support of every movie company. No, it doesn't. Yes it does. Come out of denial any time now

Re:What's The Point? (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687751)

Universal is still HD-DVD only, to name one. Other companies who are planning to support both have still announced no Blu-Ray discs while actually having some HD-DVD titles on shelves.

This page [thedigitalbits.com] might help you out with YOUR denial...

Re:What's The Point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15687773)

> Universal is still HD-DVD onl

Bzzzt!

Universal has been supporting BluRay since last June or so. BluRay has every single movie house locked up.

Re:What's The Point? (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687847)

You know what would be great? It would be great if you could provide at least a shred of backup for that. When I hit Google, all I can find are references to the fact that Universal is the last of the "exclusive" HD-DVD supporters (at least among the major studios), including an April AVSForum post referencing a petition to get Universal to do Blu-Ray.

Me, I'd prefer that either everybody jump ship on one of the formats or everybody support both. Though I dislike Sony enough to wish them ill, I'd happily buy a Blu-Ray player (and recorder and juicer) if everyone was on board with the format. As it is, though, the choice is far from clear considering that while HD-DVD has fewer exclusive content providers there are far more HD-DVD titles available and with firm release dates than there are for Blu-Ray.

Either way, any attempt to portray Blu-Ray as having the complete support of all content providers is simply not true.

PS- And the phrase "locked up" would be out of place in any case. No studio, apart from those owned by Sony itself, has a contractual obligation to stick with Blu-Ray. If people start buying HD-DVD players either because they're cheaper or there are more movies out, companies previously giving Blu-Ray exclusivity will start jumping ship.

Re:What's The Point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15687740)

PS3 (as a Blu-Ray player) making the Blu-Ray format become the standard is not ensured even if the (highly unlikely situation) PS3 dominates the Next-Generation Console War.

The reason for this is quite simple, the format that wins will be the one where the most movies are sold; much like the PSP, if the PS3 sells reasonably well yet there are no Blu-Ray movie sales then the format will dry up.

Re:What's The Point? (1)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687676)

What is this - a new trend? Company operatives paid to astroturf slashdot?

Re:What's The Point? (1)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687678)

It is interesting that this got modded interesting... to quote from wiki:

"HD DVD is promoted by Toshiba, NEC, Sanyo, Microsoft, and Intel. In terms of major studios, HD DVD is currently exclusively backed by Universal Studios, and is non-exclusively backed by Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Studio Canal, and The Weinstein Company."

Re:What's The Point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15687703)

What better way of demonstrating just how dead HD-DVD is by stooping to referencing Wikipedia as a source...

HD-DVD isn't even being demoed at the local Frys anymore. It is all 1080p sets and BluRay. HD-DVD is off in one of the corners.

The only support HD-DVD enjoys appears to be in the tiny, foaming at the mouth Microsoft nuts. Toshiba themselves over the past year don't even give the impression they believe in their troubled format with their constant talk of trying to get the BluRay consortium to adopt certain HD-DVD technologies.

There is one phrase that best sums up Toshiba and HD-DVD:

Exit Strategy.

Re:What's The Point? (2, Funny)

bunbuntheminilop (935594) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687816)

What have you got against the wikipedia. What did it ever do to you!

Price (3, Interesting)

Chrismith (911614) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687538)

So, if Blu-ray players are expensive as hell, and HD-DVD players are also expensive (though not quite as much), wouldn't a player that combined the capabilities of the two be even more expensive? Unless these things can be produced relatively cheaply, then this isn't going to be the answer to the format war.

Re:Price (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15687559)

Likely.

Look at the price of Canon/Nikon lenses that use diffractive optics. Ouch. Now look at Zeiss/Leica lenses that use DO -- no, a car does not come with the lens. Yes, that is the right price.

Granted, this kind of stuff doesn't need that kind of accuracy, but DO lenses in general carry one hell of a premium.

Re:Price (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687615)

All optics are diffractive. Are you sure you don't mean diffraction limited? which is actually quite different from the subject under discussion.

I smell a hoax. (1, Informative)

Avillia (871800) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687544)

Considering what a nice leap-forward in tech this is, Ricoh mysteriously says nothing about it in a press release or on another, more reputable site.

This one is going to... (3, Funny)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687546)

...COST ONE MILLION DOLLARS!

Re:This one is going to... (1)

mindtriggerz (914619) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687701)

don't you mean...
ONE HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS!

(stupid lameness filter. yes it's like yelling. i AM yelling!)

Re:This one is going to... (1)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687787)

but it's still cheeper than the PS3

And in others news (4, Funny)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687560)

Sony Corp, as part of its ongoing commitment to customer service, has bombed the R+D department to a smoking hole in the ground (Being Dabya references in 3...2...1... Write your own schtick, people! :-) ). When asked for an explanation, a Sony spokesperson said that Ricoh's solution "is not in Sony's best interests, and what's in SOny's best interest is in the best interest for the consumer."

In other other news, the Sony spokesperson in the previous story was just hired by Microsoft as Director Of Public Relations. A Microsoft spokesperson was quoted as saying, "His previous experience at the Iraqi Ministry of Information is what clinched it for us. This guy thinks like we do."

Re:And in others news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15687745)

You're not on crack, are you?

meh (0, Troll)

JW.Axelsen.Sr. (986276) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687564)

i really don't care. sony tried to cram a format up everyones asses without making something like this, themselves. a company that has to rely on other companies to make its product widely usable by consumers? fuck that and fuck sony...he says from a windows machine...

This is already used in several DVD players (5, Informative)

Cochonou (576531) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687578)

This kind of multi-numerical aperture diffractive lens has already been used in several DVD players for CD compatibility. As an example, check out this link [pentax.co.jp] .
Notice that you do not only need different numerical aperture lenses to read every format, you also need to generate lasers of the proper wavelengths. There are several solutions for this, but the easiest is to use three different laser diodes.

Oh dear (4, Interesting)

Mwongozi (176765) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687587)

This is only going to make it more likely that both formats will survive. I would really rather prefer that one of the next-gen formats dies off - I don't really care which one.

I have to second this. (4, Interesting)

Rachel Lucid (964267) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687638)

Virtual monopolies are needed (especially in formats) to help consumers eventually.

PCs took off because Windows provided an equal format for everyone.
Apple thrives in spite of this monopoly by maintaining its own monopoly through its OS, regulating everything in order to keep quality high and survive as a 'niche' demographic just as concerned with design and appeal as they did utility. Having a virtual strangehold on internet music helped too.

The only place where these 'format wars' have had even minimal success have been in game consoles, because they were largely seen as competing factions to a toy, instead of a 'universal medium' like office software or movies. If we get back to the point where we only have a couple of key consoles (I predict Nintendo will successfully splinter off, leaving the main war between MS and Sony), so much the better for game programmers.

Who would buy this? (0, Redundant)

Pancake Bandit (987571) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687592)

I can't imagine buying this. It's very likely that one of the formats will "win" over the next two years (especially with new game consoles pushing the formats), so it would make more sense to wait and just buy one burner when that happens. Neither format has much demand yet anyways, and won't until prices for players drop much lower.

Re:Who would buy this? (1)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687800)

but what if the technically inferior format wins, because it is slightly cheeper, and you want to be able to use this so other people can watch and play what you have made, but you want to be able to back up 200GB of data... so that would be good

"TDK recently announced that they have created a working Blu-ray disc capable of holding 200GB of data (six 33GB data layers)"... at the mo I've only seen HD-DVD at 45 GB (although I might just be out of the loop on that one)

next big thing(tm) (0)

Albert Sandberg (315235) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687631)

HD-DVD and blueray was both developed because both competing companies was trying to create the next big thing(tm) to make some serious profits on the formats. whatever format gets hooked by the audience, that creator is going to earn some serious buckaroids.

it's the same thing in the console war going on now, xbox 360 came out I don't know how much earlier than the others (ps3 and wii) just because this reason, they want users to quickly adapt so they will get hooked onto one system, when their friends get the games for it, so they can switch and trade.

it's all in the money, as usual, I rather just wait, I don't care who gets the buckaroids as far as I get quality for my money, the only thing is that I rather spend $10 than $20 on a product that differs 1% quality, or whatever, so whoever the cheapest in the long run will win...

seriously, I can't be more bored than listening to this vs war.

I like where it's going. (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687636)

Both Microsoft and Sony trying to push players playing -only- their format, will be left out in the cold and 3rd party "multisystem" player manufacturers will get most of the cake.
Another blow to PS3 :)

Re:I like where it's going. (1)

Roguelazer (606927) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687662)

Except for the fact that nobody's going to buy the PS3 or a hypothetical HD-DVD-equipped Xbox360 for the drive. People don't care about or understand details like that. Furthermore, multi-format drives don't necessarily signal death to single-format drives. I know a lot of people still using DVD-R/w and DVD+R/W drives, even though DVD+-R/W drives cost the same amount. That's what I think HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray is going to come down to- the same thing that DVD-R vs DVD+R vs DVD-RAM came down to. Namely, nothing.

Also except for the BIG issue- price. If it costs hundreds of dollars to make a HD-DVD or Blu-Ray drive, I'll bet that this HD-Blue drive will costs even more. Your average Joe Schmoe cares about his wallet first and foremost. He probably won't be buying any next-gen drives for a few years.

Also, I know that Sony/PS3 hating is in vogue now, but, please. Keep your herd mentality to yourself.

Hurry out and buy it NOW! (2, Insightful)

MindPrison (864299) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687674)

...so the rest of us kids from the poorhouse can get it cheaper tomorrow ;)

But, could a consumer afford to license both DRMs (2, Interesting)

Proudrooster (580120) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687687)

Once again an elegant technological solution has emerged. Unfortunately a device that is encumbered with the licensing of both DRMs (Bluray/HD-DVD) would be cost prohibitive to the consumer. Anyone have an idea on how much it would cost a manufacturer to license both Bluray and HD-DVD, assuming this was politically possible, which it probably isn't.

Re:But, could a consumer afford to license both DR (1)

TwilightSentry (956837) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687699)

Actually, I think both use the same DRM system...

David Strom (1)

HoneyBunchesOfGoats (619017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687692)

Who the heck is David Strom, and what does his corporation have to do with this topic?

trees! (5, Funny)

sky289hawk1 (459600) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687704)

with minute concentric groves on both sides
to fit so many trees onto a singular lens!

They shouldn't be owned (2, Interesting)

epp_b (944299) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687747)

Companies should not be allowed to "own" formats. Eventually, they will be broken anyway. It's inherent with technology that if something is hidden or secret, it can and will be cracked (don't you remember what your mom said? There's always someone smarter than you).

Formats should be open and standardized. Eg.: Microsoft should not be allowed to monopolize the market by locking in users to their Office formats; and likewise, the media industries should not be allowed to screw over their own customers by creating formats that are designed to be combative against those customers.

Just imagine how many decades we'd be ahead in technology if things worked this way.

Thank God! (4, Funny)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687756)

At least now there's one LESS remote for you guys to hog!

All disk formats? (4, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687763)

reads and writes all disk formats

Cool - my 5-1/4" floppies aren't obsolete after all! Arkanoids, anyone?

Surprise? (4, Interesting)

NineNine (235196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15687798)

It's no surprise, which is why I don't even care about digital format wars. Eventually, somebody ALWAYS starts combining them all together, so a few years after adoption, everything supports everything. DVD players that you can get in the grocery store for $49.99 play audio CD's, MP3 CD's, DVD single layer, DVD dual layer, DVD +R, DVD-R, DVD +RW, etc. Hell, My $100 PS2 does even better than that.! (I use My PS2 exclusively for entertainment. Love how easy it is.) As long as there's no physical difference in the format, the digital differences amount to just a few lines of code, which ends up being very cheap to combine on a tiny chip, even after those licensing fees. As long as the media doesn't physically change, there will be increasing convergence all of the time. Eventually, those cheap players that you can get at Wal-Mart will read HD, Blu-Ray, OGG, and WMA's. Just give it time. It'll happen.

moD up (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15687859)

show that FrreBS/D
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