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Toshiba Develops 3-Layer DVD and HD-DVD

kdawson posted about 8 years ago | from the play-it-anywere dept.

228

morpheus83 writes, "Toshiba, in collaboration with disk manufacturer Memory Tech Japan, has successfully combined a HD-DVD and DVD to a single 3-layer, twin-format disk. The resulting disk conforms to DVD standards so it can be played on DVD players, and also on HD-DVD players after upgrading the firmware. The disk can have either Single Layer DVD (4.7GB) + Dual Layer HD DVD (30GB); or Dual Layer DVD (8.5GB) + Single Layer HD DVD (15GB). There will not be a long wait as the new disk can be produced on the existing HD-DVD mass production line with minor process additions."

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What is that whoosing sound that I hear (4, Funny)

also-rr (980579) | about 8 years ago | (#16084302)

Amazing, who would have though that both Sony Stock and Sony Executives would accelarate at the same rate on their way down.

Re:What is that whoosing sound that I hear (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16084353)

Maybe they can develop the same tech on Blu-ray.

Though this may not be the fatal blow. To be on one disc, either one or the other format has to compromise on capacity. So on big films, you get a great quality DVD film but mediocre HD-DVD, or you get a low quality DVD (affecting most people right now) and a high quality HD-DVD film. Either that, or space out the movie to two discs.

Re:What is that whoosing sound that I hear (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16084383)

Hey, they couldn't have known about this. They were too busy blowing Ray at the time.

*blink*blink* (-1, Redundant)

Amouth (879122) | about 8 years ago | (#16084304)

*blink*blink*

well damn

Good news for Microsoft... (1)

Dobeln (853794) | about 8 years ago | (#16084314)

...considering that Sony has been touting the 25-ish Gigs of BluRay space as a must-have for next-generation gaming. This will, if I understand TFA correctly, make the gap between DVD and BlueRay considerably smaller, making it easier to fit XBox360 games onto one single disk.

Re:Good news for Microsoft... (1)

hawkbug (94280) | about 8 years ago | (#16084343)

Yeah, but it's all about the firware update... You'd have to get everybody with an existing dvd player to have this done. Or in the case you posted about, you'd need everybody with an existing Xbox 360 to have a firmware upgrade.

Re:Good news for Microsoft... (1)

Dobeln (853794) | about 8 years ago | (#16084406)

True, but unless I am misinformed, Microsoft does plenty of these via XBox Live. (Quick Google: http://videogames.yahoo.com/predownload?eid=460617 [yahoo.com] ) I don't own an XBox or a 360, however, so take this with a grain or two of salt.

Re:Good news for Microsoft... (1)

aplusjimages (939458) | about 8 years ago | (#16084892)

You are correct. Games now get patches and if you want to play an old xbox game on the 360 you'll need to go live so it can download the proper emulator to run it. (of course that's if the games on the 360 list)

Re:Good news for Microsoft... (2, Informative)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | about 8 years ago | (#16084408)

No, re-read the article. You only need to upgrade the firmware of HD-DVD players, not DVD players.

Re:Good news for Microsoft... (2, Insightful)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 8 years ago | (#16084410)

Yeah, but it's all about the firware update... You'd have to get everybody with an existing dvd player to have this done. Or in the case you posted about, you'd need everybody with an existing Xbox 360 to have a firmware upgrade.

In the article summary (and TFA), DVD players will not have to be modified. Existing HD-DVD players, though, will need a firmware update to handle it.

Re:Good news for Microsoft... (1, Insightful)

eln (21727) | about 8 years ago | (#16084427)

TFA says it will play on a standard DVD player now without modification. The firmware upgrade is for everyone who currently owns an HD-DVD player, which other than XBox 360 owners is pretty much nobody.

This could be a moderately successful bridge technology for movie studios, especially if it became possible somehow to expand it to 4 layers. It would save the cost of having to produce two different versions of the same movie (like they had to do with DVD and VHS), a savings which I'm sure they would pass on to the consum*snort*

Sorry, I couldn't get through that whole sentence with a straight face.

Re:Good news for Microsoft... (4, Informative)

Milican (58140) | about 8 years ago | (#16084520)

There is no HD-DVD player in a XBox 360...

JOhn

Re:Good news for Microsoft... (1)

Frag-A-Muffin (5490) | about 8 years ago | (#16084592)

... which other than XBox 360 owners is pretty much nobody.

Which is nobody, since the HD-DVD ext. drive for the 360 isn't for sale yet :)


It would save the cost of having to produce two different versions of the same movie (like they had to do with DVD and VHS), a savings which I'm sure they would pass on to the consum*snort*

Hmmm, you give them way to much credit for being consumer friendly. Do you honestly think the movie studios are that nice? I assure you, they'll want to charge even MORE for this type of disc as the new feature is that it plays in both regular DVD and HD-DVD players!

Technology wise, I agree, this is pretty kewl. Ideally, they'll just start releasing all their movies in this format and the DVDs you buy now (and can play now) will later on also contain the HD content you want for when you get the HD-DVD player at a more reasonable price.

That just sounds way too optimistic though. I'm sure they'll screw up this good bit of tech. somehow, you know, with markting and sales :)

Re:Good news for Microsoft... (1)

Amouth (879122) | about 8 years ago | (#16084428)

the firmware upgrade would be for the HD-DVD players not the normal DVD players.. that is alot easier to do as there realy arn't that many out..

if the disk conforms to DVD standards then you don't need an update.. the update would be for the HD players to not reconize it as a standard dvd and to see past it to the HD layer

Re:Good news for Microsoft... (2, Interesting)

teslar (706653) | about 8 years ago | (#16084409)

Well, you'll still need a HD-DVD player to access the HD-DVD layers... so I don't see how it'll help the XBOX, unless you want to use the new external HD-DVD drive [reghardware.co.uk] .

Same as movies (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 8 years ago | (#16084452)

Hi-Def and Regular-Def versions on the same disks. It'd be easy to load higher def textures and movies on the HD Layer. This makes the transition away from dvd easy.

Re:Same as movies (1)

ThePiMan2003 (676665) | about 8 years ago | (#16084678)

But the whole point is that the 360 can't read those high def layers no matter what you do UNLESS the 360 comes out with a new version (360-2) with an HD drive. In which case both would be able to read the same disks, etc. But, if you already own a 360 you will still need to buy a new one for HD content.

Re:Good news for Microsoft... (1)

pete6677 (681676) | about 8 years ago | (#16084606)

The faster this Blu-Ray garbage dies, the better off the industry as a whole will be. The last thing they need is another shitty Sony super-proprietary format.

No it isn't... (1)

sterno (16320) | about 8 years ago | (#16084673)

The thing is, nobody will have HD-DVD drives for their 360's and the developers can't trust that they eventually will. So while this would permit the notion of a DVD with special HD-DVD extras for those who have a drive, by and large it won't matter.

Re:Good news for Microsoft... (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | about 8 years ago | (#16084680)

Actually, Sony's been touting the 50GB and higher storage of Blu-Ray.

Frankly, the only reason Microsoft supports the technically inferior HD-DVD format is because Blu-Ray is from Sony and relies on Java. Microsoft has their own "iHD" scripting language platform that they want everyone using. Good luck with that...

Re:Good news for Microsoft... (1)

ScaryFroMan (901163) | about 8 years ago | (#16084846)

Well, HD-DVD is also more pc-friendly, which supports thier goal of PCs everywhere in a home media solution.

Re:Good news for Microsoft... (1)

ThePiMan2003 (676665) | about 8 years ago | (#16084710)

You didn't read it correctly. A DVD player (which is what the 360 has) will still only be able to read from the DVD layers of the disk. Since no 360's have HD-DVD players all of the current owners would need to buy new ones to take advatnage of this new space.

Amazing! (5, Funny)

Rendo (918276) | about 8 years ago | (#16084319)

Say for example you're married like I am. You could use the DVD format for kids videos, pictures etc etc and install a DVD only drive on your wife's machine. Your machine however could have a HD-DVD drive and the HD-DVD side could be your porn, and she'd never know. This, by far, will save many marriages that are destroyed by porn.

you have that backwards (5, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | about 8 years ago | (#16084659)

Your machine however could have a HD-DVD drive and the HD-DVD side could be your porn, and she'd never know. This, by far, will save many marriages that are destroyed by porn.

Far more importantly, it will save all the porn that is destroyed by marriage.

Re:Amazing! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16084795)

Or you could marry someone who shares your views on sexuality and pornography...

Re:Amazing! (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | about 8 years ago | (#16084803)

If you're married and have a need for porn (and must hide it), then is it a marriage that would last otherwise?

Only 30 Gigs though... (1)

MrSquishy (916581) | about 8 years ago | (#16084887)

At only 30s of usable space (That'd be the "porn" side), how am I to convince The Wife that I need 6 copies of the kid's birthday video?

Re:Amazing! (1)

PsychoSlashDot (207849) | about 8 years ago | (#16084911)

Wait... isn't the server with the 1TB RAID array basically for hiding the pr0n?

Didn't help SACD (1)

Cybert4 (994278) | about 8 years ago | (#16084326)

They came up with this for SACD, and that went all of nowhere. You could use the same disc for CD players and SACD. I think the SACD was just a DVD layer anyway. Thanks probably more to licensing than manufacturing costs.

Re:Didn't help SACD (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | about 8 years ago | (#16084385)

If I'm not mistaken, those were double-sided discs--one side for CD, one side for SACD. This is nice because it's all on the same side of the disc, meaning you can still have your nice picture on there. Unless Sony comes up with something similar for BluRay, this is a major plus for HD-DVD as far as I'm concerned. Now keep the dual-format disc prices sane (or don't even offer separate HD and regular DVD options, just offer the single dual-format disc) and I'll eventually join in.

Nope (1)

Cybert4 (994278) | about 8 years ago | (#16084426)

According to wikipedia (LOL), there are hybrid discs that have a CD layer and a SACD layer.

Re:Nope (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | about 8 years ago | (#16084460)

Ahhh. I was thinking of the CD/DVD-A discs.

Re:Didn't help SACD (1)

vijayiyer (728590) | about 8 years ago | (#16084461)

Hybrid SACDs are actually single sided, but have two different layers. I'd expect Sony could do the same for Blu-Ray.

Re:Didn't help SACD (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | about 8 years ago | (#16084446)

No, SACD was not a DVD layer. SACD works entirely differnt.

SACD is a streming bit format. each bit signals either an up or down step on the waveform, rather than having sampled bytes indicating a complete level. This is why you can't really start an SACD song in the middle of the song.

Don't argue technicalities with nerds! (1)

Cybert4 (994278) | about 8 years ago | (#16084470)

We'll fight back! Anyways, the physical SACD layer was indeed DVD. The bits on it may have been represented something other than DVD-video!

Re:Didn't help SACD (3, Funny)

John Miles (108215) | about 8 years ago | (#16084638)

SACD is a streming bit format. each bit signals either an up or down step on the waveform, rather than having sampled bytes indicating a complete level. This is why you can't really start an SACD song in the middle of the song.

I think I'll go back to bed now, on the grounds that the day can only get weirder after reading something like that.

Well done Toshiba (4, Insightful)

Kimos (859729) | about 8 years ago | (#16084329)

I think we just figured out who's going to win in HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray...

Counterpoint (3, Funny)

Dobeln (853794) | about 8 years ago | (#16084379)

My guess is that Sony will still win this one, thanks to the Umpteen PS3-installed BluRay players that will eventually fill the market.* Unless HD-DVD players become really cheap really fast, I can't see them matching the installed base that will rumble into place as soon as Sony get their act together.

* This does not imply that I believe the PS3 will crush the XBox360 - Microsoft will probably gain marketshare this generation. But Sony will still sell a bucketload of PS3:s, giving them the edge in the HD wars.

Re:Counter-Counterpoint (1)

davevt5 (30696) | about 8 years ago | (#16084433)

But that assumes that PS3 owners are buying (in part) for its Blueray playing capabilities. You must have been speaking to the same people that Sony has, because you all seem to think people are going to buy PS3 not to play games on it.

Re:Counter-Counterpoint (1)

Dobeln (853794) | about 8 years ago | (#16084477)

Well, I guess that plenty of people who get the PS3 early will be just the kind of early-adopter tech geeks who also have HDTV sets. But that's just me. And yes, Sony hasn't excactly been running a tight ship recently, so who knows?

Re:Counter-Counterpoint (2, Insightful)

Tyger (126248) | about 8 years ago | (#16084570)

It seems to me they don't need to buy the PS3 FOR the BR player.... They just need to buy it, then some time at the store say "Gee, I have this PS3 that says it can play blue-ray, might as well get a few movies and see what it's all about." The barrier to entry is much lower if you already have something that can play the movies.

Re:Counterpoint (3, Funny)

Rix (54095) | about 8 years ago | (#16084434)

I can't see them matching the installed base that will rumble into place as soon as Sony get their act together.

I don't think there's any danger of that happening.

Re:Counterpoint (3, Insightful)

GweeDo (127172) | about 8 years ago | (#16084873)

I can't see them matching the installed base that will rumble into place as soon as Sony get their act together.

Sorry man, Sony users don't rumble [eurogamer.net] anymore...

Re:Counterpoint (1)

AJWM (19027) | about 8 years ago | (#16084923)

This assumes PS3 ever actually makes it to market. Lately it looks like Sony has entered it into the release race with Vista and Duke Nukem Forever.

Re:Well done Toshiba (1)

segedunum (883035) | about 8 years ago | (#16084576)

I think we just figured out who's going to win in HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray...
Yer. DVD!

Blu-ray camp showed this at IFA 2005 !!! (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16084700)

I can't believe it - is the Slashdot populated by demented anti-Sony fanbois?

This "hybrid disc magic" might be considered high-tech and cutting-edge in the HD DVD world, but the exact same "features" was shown and demonstrated live back at last years IFA 2005 in Berlin in the Blu-ray Disc area ...

  http://www.blu-ray.com/ifa2005/ [blu-ray.com]

Hybrid discs are actually part of the offcial BD-ROM spec and was one of the selling points last year when all HD DVD came up with was those lame "flippers" ...

So don't buy into the Slashdot HD DVD hype, just accept the fact that everything you can do with HD DVD you can do better with BD. Storage capacity is 66% higher and the video interactivity is based on Sun's Java (just like the DVB standard).

Re:Well done Toshiba (2, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | about 8 years ago | (#16084779)

That was my thought exactly when I read the summary. (Article... There's an article??)

Other people have noted that it would ease the transition to hd-dvd considerably, and it's not something I had thought of, but it's definitely true. For gaming and movies both. Such a wealth of opportunity. And other weird hybrids, like an xbox game on the dvd portion and a movie on the hd-dvd... Would make movie-based games even more interesting and possibly get them up to the level of 'enjoyable.' (Okay okay, there are a FEW that were fun.)

Blu-Ray? (2, Insightful)

jma05 (897351) | about 8 years ago | (#16084347)

PS3... Where is the Blu-Ray Advantage now?

Re:Blu-Ray? (1)

KonoWatakushi (910213) | about 8 years ago | (#16084881)

Same advantage as before, 66% more bits per layer.

Also, TDK have prototypes of six layer 200GB Blu-ray discs; in the future, single layer BD should reach 33GB. Seeing as though dual layer media is still prohibitively expensive, I would much prefer the 33GB or even 25GB discs.

I suspect a lot of people could give a damn about HD formats, and simply want a decent size optical disc. (Personally, I am hoping they both fail miserably, and patiently awaiting the Holographic Versatile Disc.)

Implications on Blueray? (1)

davevt5 (30696) | about 8 years ago | (#16084349)

I'm not an ubergeek (just a geek) so I don't know technical details of all of this, but what are the implications of this on Blueray?

Can the Blueray camp just create the same thing? I know that the discs are more complicated and harder to produce. Will that hinder a similar approach?

A lot of people have been saying that the format war doesn't offer enough for consumers. It seems to me that if I could buy a DVD now that also had HD version on it then I'd start stock piling my HD library now and wait for the players to become more reasonable. If studios are willing to put out these discs for $20 then this could be the difference maker and push HD-DVD to the finish line to beat out Blueray. This assumes that Blueray can't do the same thing (dunno) and that the movie studios would be willing to put the consumers interests at the forefront (ok, stop laughing).

Not news (1)

IPFreely (47576) | about 8 years ago | (#16084535)

This is not exaclty news. HD-DVD has always had the option to put DVD and HD-DVD content on the same disk. Before you had to put them on opposite sides of the disk. Blu-Ray could not do this.

It had the same selling point though. Sell a disk with the movie on it in two formats to future proof a purchase and lock in HD-DVD customers before they get the hardware.

All this enhancement does is have more content on each side of the disk. That's not so great considering that you can not put full size versions of a movie in both formats on the same side of the disk. One version or the other would be on half the space with only one layer. And the players would have to be able to ask you which layer you want to view on a given side, the DVD layer(s) or HD-DVD layer(s).

I don't see a lot of market benefit for this. Maybe they can put the "extra" content on the DVD layer while putting the movie in maximum resulution on the HD-DVD layers. It would give their HD-DVD movies that much more disk space not being used up by the extras.

Re:Not news (1)

rjstanford (69735) | about 8 years ago | (#16084646)

While I have a lot of problems with the whole half-hd-ness of these, one of your points seemed a little off:
And the players would have to be able to ask you which layer you want to view on a given side, the DVD layer(s) or HD-DVD layer(s).

If my DVD player can support HD content, even if only the crappy 15gb single layer option is available, I'd pick that over the 8gb non-HD DVD option. I can't actually think of anyone who, also having HD capable readers, would choose otherwise. This being /. I'm sure some clever dick can, but in the real world? Just play whatever's the best quality you can read. Problem solved.

Re:Implications on Blueray? (1)

Rix (54095) | about 8 years ago | (#16084631)

Bluray isn't backwards compatible, so they couldn't do this, regardless of how many layers Sony fit on a disk.

Pointless (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16084352)

With BluRay having both the entire movie and computer OEM markets locked up. And 100+ million BluRay playing PS3s about to be sold over the next five years...

what is the point of even covering HD-DVD topics anymore?

CD-RW/1/2/3-layer HD-DVD/DVD-R +/-RW (5, Funny)

tverbeek (457094) | about 8 years ago | (#16084354)

Oh, no, consumers won't find this confusing at all.

Re:CD-RW/1/2/3-layer HD-DVD/DVD-R +/-RW (2, Funny)

also-rr (980579) | about 8 years ago | (#16084442)

Maybe they can take a leaf out of the USB camp's book and call them Video Disc High Definition and Video Disk Full Definition.

Re:CD-RW/1/2/3-layer HD-DVD/DVD-R +/-RW (1)

cribb (632424) | about 8 years ago | (#16084458)

this only applies to printed discs where noone really cares what the exact format of the underlying media is as long as it works.

Re:CD-RW/1/2/3-layer HD-DVD/DVD-R +/-RW (1)

nschubach (922175) | about 8 years ago | (#16084896)

What's so complicated? Let's assume for the moment that this actualy does hit production and they find a way to make them recordable. When you go to buy the blank version of this to burn something, now that's the confusing part. Will it be HD/DVD-+R, HDDVDR/DVD-R, HDDVD-R+R, HDDVD-R/DVD-RW, HDVDV-RW/DVD-RW !?

Re:CD-RW/1/2/3-layer HD-DVD/DVD-R +/-RW (1)

MrSquishy (916581) | about 8 years ago | (#16084937)

Hey, I want to buy HD/DVD+RAM you insensitive clod!

So...burning twice? (1, Funny)

beckerist (985855) | about 8 years ago | (#16084355)

Does this mean that to burn a movie that will be compatible on both systems, I would have to burn it twice? I certainly hope there is some software out there to do this, but then again...would that mean that it supports upconverting a DVD AND downconverts an HD-DVD, depending on the format of the original media?

Ohhh wait, it's DRM'd...never mind!

Nothing to see here... consumers are clueless. (3, Interesting)

Tackhead (54550) | about 8 years ago | (#16084367)

> The resulting disk conforms to DVD standards so it can be played on DVD players, and also on HD-DVD players after upgrading the firmware. The disk can have either Single Layer DVD (4.7GB) + Dual Layer HD DVD (30GB); or Dual Layer DVD (8.5GB) + Single Layer HD DVD (15GB).

Going by the number of stretched video I've seen from users who don't know the difference between widescreen/letterboxed/4:3/16:9/pan-and-scan, (just when you thought "but I don't like the horizontal black bars at the top and bottom" was dying out on 4:3 screens, the very same who now have 16:9 screens are sying things like "I don't like the vertical black bars on the left and right!")...

The dirty little secret of this technology is that it's just a regular DVD, but you can convince yourself that it's HD-DVD when you play it back on an HD-DVD player... on your NTSC display. Or something.

(And if you can't immediately tell the difference, I'm sure there's a guy in a blue shirt who'll be happy to sell you some triple-layer Monster Cables that'll cure what ails ya. "Only triple-layer monster cables are compliant with triple-layer HD, sir, and can we interest you in the extended warranty on your new cables?")

Re:Nothing to see here... consumers are clueless. (1)

AusIV (950840) | about 8 years ago | (#16084793)

Consumers not knowing the difference is one reason this would be nice. Last weekend my mom got an HD-DVD from blockbuster online, not realizing she was ordering a movie she can't play. If HD-DVDs could play in normal DVD players, but have higher quality in HD-DVD players, this would do two things. First, people like my mom wouldn't run into trouble because they picked up the wrong kind of DVD. Second, as someone else has said, people can start buying HD-DVDs before there are HD-DVD players in their price range, fixing a chicken or the egg type problem.

Moo (1)

Chacham (981) | about 8 years ago | (#16084369)

This is cool, sort of. Assuming all readers can read it.

But, think of the children!

SACD (1)

flitty (981864) | about 8 years ago | (#16084374)

Sacd wasn't really ever a real format though. It's easier for someone to buy a HD-DVD player for their home entertainment system, rather than replace every cd player in their house to have a player that would play the bug-laiden SACD discs. Same with those p.o.s. dual disc things. If the studios made every dvd HD-DVD and DVD for the same price as dvds are now, Format war would be over. People would start buying HD-dvd players as the transition to the new format took place, while they were still releasing most DVD's in standard format, and the higher quality on these new hybrids. Best news the HD camp has had so far.

Quality? (1)

wildzer0 (889523) | about 8 years ago | (#16084382)

So, you either have a good quality HD-DVD with a bad quality DVD copy, or a good quality DVD with a bad quality HD-DVD? I'm not sure if this is really useful.

Re:Quality? (1)

Rix (54095) | about 8 years ago | (#16084475)

More likely, you have a DVD without bonus features and an HD DVD with them, or the reverse. You also might see them putting the pan and scan version on the DVD layer, and the proper version on the HD DVD layer.

Re:Quality? (1)

clevelandguru (612010) | about 8 years ago | (#16084721)

I think they will go with a dual-layer DVD and a single HD-DVD. Single layer HD (15GB) will give you 4 hours of HD playing time.

Bravo! (2, Insightful)

The Dalex (996138) | about 8 years ago | (#16084400)

This is a perfect example of ingenuity that you will rarely see in the Sony camp, thanks to their rabid pursuit of a closed, proprietary-format monopoly. This is something that benefits consumers first and foremost, and reinforces my decision to back HD DVD whenever possible. Even if Sony could do this technologically, I see them killing the idea for marketing reasons.

Re:Bravo! (1)

bilbravo (763359) | about 8 years ago | (#16084601)

We all know that only Sony [wikipedia.org] supports Blu-Ray too, so let's put all the blame on them.

Also, I wouldn't say that Sony isn't capable of this... people now-a-days on /. just have it bad for Sony.

Re:Bravo! (1)

The Dalex (996138) | about 8 years ago | (#16084809)

Nah, they're the worst of the bunch by far (the bunch being consumer electronics R&D/manufacturing companies). Sony acts in a very distinct anti-consumer fashion to preserve future profits, while most other companies try to make the consumer as happy as possible. There are plenty of good reasons why there is a lot of anti-Sony chatter these days.

Re:Bravo - this is allready a Blu-ray feature! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16084782)

No, this is the perfect example of HD DVD fanbois eating propaganda without filters (like you)!

This "hybrid disc magic" might be considered high-tech and cutting-edge in the HD DVD world, but the exact same "features" was shown and demonstrated live back at last years IFA 2005 in Berlin in the Blu-ray Disc area ...

    http://www.blu-ray.com/ifa2005/ [blu-ray.com]

Hybrid discs are actually part of the offcial BD-ROM spec and was one of the selling points last year when all that HD DVD came up with was those lame "flippers" ...

Re:Bravo - this is allready a Blu-ray feature! (1)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | about 8 years ago | (#16084957)

What's lame is that a year later the movie makers have decided not to use these. Why? Was the Blu Ray version too expensive? Did they just calculate that there wasn't a demand for this type of product? Are they just testing the waters with Blu Ray only dvds? Blu Ray seems to be following Sony's pattern of behavior of promising the world but not fully delivering when the time comes. Perhaps HD DVD is doing that, too. We shall see.

minidisc was cool too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16084918)

I liked the little encased cd's kinda like I liked the cdroms with those jacketed cartridge load trays (for get what they were called). I just /knew/ that eventually that would catch on and all the cds we would buy would finally end up in those kind of reloadable cartridges so I could quit wiping fingerprints off always. The point being, that, it really doesn't matter if this new format is superior or higher capacity, etc. It will probbaly end up like betamax or minidisc if it's something I decide I want so I didn't read the article.

Well, this sucks (2, Interesting)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 8 years ago | (#16084429)

for those of us stuck with regular DVD. I imagine studios will use the single layer at 4.7 gigs for dvd and the dual layer at 30 gigs for HD-DVD, meaning we'll get lousy picture. As an anime nerd, several of my favorite movies and shows got release on dvd-5 and are almost unwatchable (Nadesico being the worse, what with all the red).

Re:Well, this sucks (1)

PCM2 (4486) | about 8 years ago | (#16084842)

for those of us stuck with regular DVD. I imagine studios will use the single layer at 4.7 gigs for dvd and the dual layer at 30 gigs for HD-DVD, meaning we'll get lousy picture. As an anime nerd, several of my favorite movies and shows got release on dvd-5 and are almost unwatchable (Nadesico being the worse, what with all the red).

Not necessarily. Early DVD-5 movies often look like crap, but the authoring houses have learned since then, the equipment has improved, and the compression is generally better overall. Some of those DVD-5 movies were only filled up to 3.6GB capacity, also -- again, the people who made them had bought the line that "DVD is better than VHS" wholesale and figured that any kind of MPEG compression was going to be "fine."

What's more, some of the space on today's double-layer discs is taken up by "extras." These could be anything as useful as an extra DTS soundtrack to things as lame as "making-of documentaries" that are nothing more than marketing footage shot at press junkets. Any of these could easily be left off the regular-DVD version, allowing consumers to discover them when they upgrade to HD-DVD.

Try ripping just the main feature from a commercial DVD movie with DVDShrink sometime. When you chop off all the extraneous stuff, you seldom have to recompress them all that much. And there you're recompressing from a compressed source, so the shrunk version will look worse than a version compressed from an original hi-res master.

In short, I'm willing to bet most consumers will be OK with a "single layer" version of their movies for their regular DVD players if they know they are "investing" in HD versions at the same time. Not to mention the fact that it means you don't have to buy the same movie twice -- once for your hi-res screen at home, and again to play in the car-seat DVD player on the next family vacation.

Re:Well, this sucks (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 8 years ago | (#16084867)

Trouble is, obscure japanese cartoons don't generally get made in the better authoring houses (and they generally get re-authored, since they're released on fewer disks here than in japan). You're right, it has improved a lot, but it could be a lot better. I still see artifacting on recent releases (e.g., Final Fantasy Unlimited). OTOH, Mononoke Hime (a pretty early dvd) looks great. If you're a small time authoring house, the best, easiest way to improve picture quality is high bit rate.

Re:Well, this sucks (1)

hypnagogue (700024) | about 8 years ago | (#16084935)

Not necessarily. 15GB is plenty of room for a 2 hour H.264 encoded 1080P/24 program. The difference between MPEG-2 and H.264 is night and day, in terms of coding efficiency. There is a good chance that it would go dual-layer DVD + single layer HD-DVD.

Useless Hype? (3, Interesting)

duerra (684053) | about 8 years ago | (#16084436)

I am most definitely not trying to troll, but as much as I wish this was useful, I just can't find it to be so. They need to develop a compatible quad-layer DVD, for dual HD-DVD and dual standard DVD support on the same side of a disk. As it stands right now, neither 15GB for HD-DVD or 4.7 GB for standard DVD is sufficient size for an entire movie in their respective formats, meaning that either the DVD version or the HD-DVD version on the disk is going to suffer. If I was in the market for HD right now, I certainly would not be purchasing one of these discs, as I would either be going to suffer *now* because of the compression to a single-layer DVD, or I would suffer *later* because of the compression to a single-layer HD-DVD.

Re:Useless Hype? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16084903)

With a good codec you can fit 1-2 hours of 1080i onto a single, single-layer DVD. Triple layer DVD's would probably be good enough for many HD movies.

You must be talking about MPEG2 which regular DVD's use. Yes the DVD's will suffer with one layer, but the HD-DVD will be fine.

AKA (1)

jeebus81 (949997) | about 8 years ago | (#16084449)

....Blue-Ray Killer

Re:AKA (2, Insightful)

PFI_Optix (936301) | about 8 years ago | (#16084466)

Yeah, Sony's going to have a hard time dealing with this one.

You can buy a movie today, watch it on your DVD player today, and watch it on your HD-DVD player in a few years when the prices come down. It takes all the scariness out of being an early adopter; at the very least, you've got a perfectly good DVD.

Brilliant idea for the retail end (1)

nidarion (654639) | about 8 years ago | (#16084481)

One disc that will go into both old DVD players and new HD-DVD players. That means only one production line, one less UPC on the shelf for retailers. This is a really really good idea. Half the annoyance of selling things in a high tech store is that there are arbitrary differences (I want a black ipod nano!) that cause stock problems. Reducing the number of items on the shelf is going to make retailers very happy //Works at London Drugs in Canada (we sell computers o_O) ///Stealing slashies from Fark FTW

Not All That Useful (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 8 years ago | (#16084500)

This 3-layer disc is presumably expected to be used in a manner similar to the combo SACD+CD music discs, one layer for regular CDs and another for the hi-def audio.

However, because the DVD part is only single layer, I don't think it will fly. Any movie of normal length that would benefit from HD resolution is going to require a dual-layer DVD to look decent at DVD resolution.

So, where is the market? Videophiles who have purchased HD-DVD players don't care about the DVD part. Videophiles who want to "future-proof" their collection are not going to be happy about getting substandard picture quality on their current systems. Regular Joes who don't see a big improvement from HD-DVD over regular DVD don't care one way or the other.

Re:Not All That Useful (1)

clevelandguru (612010) | about 8 years ago | (#16084644)

It is possible to have a dual layer DVD and a single layer HD. Single layer HD (15GB) is good enough for a HD 1080i movie.

Re:Not All That Useful (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 8 years ago | (#16084840)

It is possible to have a dual layer DVD and a single layer HD.

Where do you get your information from? The article is very clear about only one DVD layer.

Re:Not All That Useful (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 8 years ago | (#16084853)

Never mind, my bad. I see it at the end. The diagram and initial part looked definitive.

How old is this "news" in any case? (1)

McNihil (612243) | about 8 years ago | (#16084506)

34.5 GByte is still MUCH less than 100 GByte TDK Blue Ray's

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/05/19/tdk_four-l ayer_bd/ [theregister.co.uk]

I want the friggin burner and disc so that I can begin doing backups that do not span 50 odd discs. It would be nice thats all what I am interested in.

Re:How old is this "news" in any case? (1)

McNihil (612243) | about 8 years ago | (#16084547)

Seriously.... 0 in mod points? Slashdot has become a travesty to say the least.

Now it's official (4, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 8 years ago | (#16084555)

Since the entire net community has proven that 4.7GB DVDs are perfectly acceptable, this paves the way for barebones movies at 4.7GB plus the HD version on dual layer. They'll be marketed as "future proof" and they'll charge you an extra $5-10 for the privledge. And you'll happily pay it becuase you know if you buy the DVD version you'll probably want the HD version eventually, and the initial cost - resale of the DVD will probably be in the $5-10 range.

Of course, if they really wanted HD-DVD to win, they'd _only_ produce the dual version. That way its a value added product, and you don't have to upgrade all the players in the house to get the most benefits. As you drop your DVD in favor of HD, your discs stay the same. Folks who are quality nuts will get an HD box pretty soon anyway, and the other 98% of the population will never know the difference of the lost 1-2GB of space.

It is seriously brilliant. Marketing can still fumble th ball on this, but properly played this could be the difference in who wins the format war.

Re:Now it's official (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16084955)

It is seriously brilliant. Marketing can still fumble th ball on this, but properly played this could be the difference in who wins the format war.

I think that this could mean the end to Blu-Ray but first they have to get (almost) every movie printed on one of these hybrid discs, and then they have to convince movie rental places to carry these discs rather than standard DVD. The reason for this is simple, if they get Blockbuster to carry these discs in vast quantities, and to have an advertizing campaign to that effect, then suddenly even the least knowledgable buyer would know that they can buy HD-DVD and get their movies from blockbuster.

Looking past this (0, Redundant)

lordvalrole (886029) | about 8 years ago | (#16084595)

My question is, where do we go from here? What sort of technology do we want 10-20 years from now? We basically have maxed out our solution for TVs. The next big step is not working on a 2D plane of existence it is 3D. Are we expecting HD be here for 20 years? I sure as hell hope not. We need to be able to manipulate light in a way we can get 3D. If you have seen the 3D monitors that have come out, they suck. You just can't fake 3D on a 2D surface like our present displays we have. We have to move beyond HD and think of 3D space. This could spawn a whole new way of filming movies or media. These are things big companies like Sony, and Microsoft need to start thinking up. Not ways of flooding the market with crap like Blu-ray and HD-DVD. What happen to innovation?

Still short of capacity. (1)

strredwolf (532) | about 8 years ago | (#16084639)

Blu-ray: 50 gigs of data.
1DVD/2HD: 34.7 gigs of data.

Yeah, While compatible, I'd go blu-ray for the sheer volume.

Re:Still short of capacity. (1)

MoOsEb0y (2177) | about 8 years ago | (#16084712)

I'd go for the format whose cost per gigabyte is lowest. I use burnable media because it's cheap. If hard drives weren't 5x as expensive, I'd use them instead. Burning things to disc, especially in bulk, can be a pain in my butt.

Backward Compatibility (1)

TeamSPAM (166583) | about 8 years ago | (#16084655)

With the single layer DVD and dual layer HD-DVD, this hybrid format would give users the backwards compatibility that made the PS2 a success. If they can convince the movie industry to burn both a SD DVD and a HD-DVD on the same media, I think the consumer may start to favor HD-DVD. In a year or so, the consumer may look at his/her movie collection and realize they have a decent ammount of HD-DVD movies. They would probaly push them towards getting a HD-DVD player.

Buying advice (2, Funny)

briancnorton (586947) | about 8 years ago | (#16084686)

Now Do I need a CD-R/DVD+/-RW-DL/HDDVD-SL or a CD-R/DVD+/-RW-SL/HDDVD-DL?

Thanks to Toshiba (1)

ShadowFalls (991965) | about 8 years ago | (#16084771)

Guess they can all say thanks to Toshiba for pulling HD DVD way into the lead. With this kind of interoperability, people will be able to use old tech and new tech combined. This needs to be hurried to the market, This kind of support would blow Blu-Ray out of the water. They could begin making all movies in this manner, it would allow everyone to enjoy the best of both worlds. Unless Sony can fire back on this, Blu-Ray will go the way of the Betamax.

Toshiba is 1 layer away from winning the war (1)

daggre (631200) | about 8 years ago | (#16084801)

This is great news and I'm excited that they are doing it, but they're not quite there yet. They need 4 layers so they can do a dual layer DVD and a dual layer HD-DVD and they will win this thing. Unfortunately the DVD market is already used to getting a dual-layer product so the quality and extra features can't just take a hit on existing players without people noticing. At the same time, 15GB, while it's big for a SD picture, isn't enough room for a HD picture, even without extra features. On the other hand, on a normal sized (let's say "smaller than 42") SD TV, it might be possible to make an acceptable looking picture in a single layer DVD (since everyone with an HD-TV will probably want the HD-DVD anyway). I've pretty much decided on HD-DVD already. I'm tired of Sony formats and especially Sony prices. This is just one more illustration of how new these new formats are, and the fact that they are still discovering features they can add of this magnitude, it really makes me NOT want to be an early adopter. If studios are smart enough to charge the same for one of these new disks as they do for a standard DVD (maybe Toshiba would have to waive some royalty for the first year to make it happen), I think most people would buy the new format if they're going to spend the money on the DVD anyway.

In other news.... (0, Offtopic)

crazyvas (853396) | about 8 years ago | (#16084808)

..Gillette, in collaboration with nobody in particular, has successfully combined it's Mach 3 and Mach 2 razor blades to produce its new Mach 5 range of blades. The resulting blade conforms to original razor blade standards so it can be used by anyone who's used a razor blade before.

Advantage ... Blu-Ray? (2, Interesting)

Alzheimers (467217) | about 8 years ago | (#16084815)

Assume, for a moment, that standard DVD's go away and we're left with Blu-Ray disks vs. HD-DVD/DVD Hybrids.

The HD-DVD Drive can read DVDs and the HD-DVD layer on the hybrid disks, but not Blu-Ray disks.

The Blu-ray player can read their own proprietary format, PLUS the DVD layer of the hybrid disk. Sony can now market it as the "Only 100% compatible" player, since their movies play fine, AND the HD-DVD/Hybrid movies play as well. Of course that would only be at DVD resolutions, which could be used to point out the inferiority of the HD-DVD/DVD system -- or don't you think marketdroids will confuse the issue for the common user?

Backwards compatibility is a bitch, especially when your competitors can take advantage too.
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