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Panasonic To Ship Form Factor-Standard Blu-ray Drive

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the nice-when-the-parts-actually-fit dept.

Media 94

Lucas123 writes "Panasonic plans to unveil the thinnest Blu-ray Disc drive made yet at the upcoming CES show. The drive is 9.5mm high, which allows it to fit into standard laptop form factors instead of requiring manufacturers to redesign systems to fit high-def DVD players as they've been doing. 'Panasonic has already begun offering samples of the drives to laptop makers with the hope that the companies will build it into new PCs.'"

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94 comments

...what? (2, Insightful)

moogied (1175879) | more than 6 years ago | (#21840800)

Sony, one of the largest laptop manuf.'s, doesn't make bluray's for the laptop??

I'm confused..

Re:...what? (1)

entmike (469980) | more than 6 years ago | (#21840938)

I was thinking this, too. I thought Blu-Ray was already in the higher-end Sony laptops. Could have sworn I saw them last time I was in Best Buy.

Re:...what? (5, Informative)

Necreia (954727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21840984)

Currently the Blu-Ray drives are of a slightly different size, requiring companies (like Dell) to have non-standard sized disc drive slots that they are placed into-- meaning that only 'tailored' laptop forms can support internal Blu-Ray currently. This would make it so any current laptop mold could come with Blu-Ray.

Re:...what? (1)

Atario (673917) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843920)

Well then Dell should have no problem. Don't they have a policy of nonstandard form factors for vendor lock-in anyway?

Re:...what? (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 6 years ago | (#21845480)

Meh, not that I know of. Maybe for motherboard connections to the front panel (for desktops), but that's about it. If they ever had, it's a long way back.

Re:...what? (3, Informative)

xENoLocO (773565) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841424)

dude... you don't even have to RTFA to figure this one out. The description says "they've been redesigning laptops to fit them"...

Re:...what? (0)

moogied (1175879) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841610)

So essentially..

Sony, one of the largest laptop manuf.'s, doesn't make bluray's for the laptop??
I don't count making some assbackwards second design for one type of dvd player to count.

Re:...what? (1)

ApproachingLinux (756909) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841042)

they do - try this link to the VAIO FZ-290 laptop - http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/SYCTOProcess?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&LBomId=8198552921665234522 [sonystyle.com] . there are other laptops on their site too.

Re:...what? (0, Redundant)

Divebus (860563) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841148)

Don't be too surprised if the Blu-ray drive in a VAIO is made by Panasonic. It's all made by Japan Inc.

Re:...what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21841612)

It's all made by Japan Inc.

Well, at least the stuff made by Japan Inc works. Can't say the same for stuff made by USACorp.

Re:...what? (3, Insightful)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841830)

at least the stuff made by Japan Inc works. Can't say the same for stuff made by USACorp.

Hey planned obsolescence [wikipedia.org] worked quite nicely for decades. Don't think our consumer psychology would be the same in the western world without it. Hell, some people still buy a new car/tv/whatever every three to five years because planned obsolescence has taught us that older consumer products are junk. The stuff works fine, just the way it was designed to.

Say no to Size Zero drives (2, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 6 years ago | (#21840824)

They are a bad role model for all the other drives that now have to canibalize themselves to keep up.

Err, okay... but... (0, Offtopic)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#21840966)

Actually, that's kinda nice. Now how much DRM got packed into the thing at the firmware level?

(well, it's not Sony, so prolly not near as much, but still, that's something that seems to be missing from all this).

/P

Re:Err, okay... but... (-1, Flamebait)

RandoX (828285) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841176)

You give raging lunatics a bad name.

Re:Err, okay... but... (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841498)

...and you must be a blinkered fanboy (as are some people out there with mod points, from the looks of it).

I asked the question for a very legit reason.

I honestly don't care for or against either format... yet. Both are still relatively expensive, and I have no equipment that utilizes either one.

/P

Too late for MWSF (1)

G-News.ch (793321) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841034)

I guess that's a bit too late to make an appearance at MWSF in January. Then again, as long as they don't have a recording function, who needs Blu-Ray in a Laptop anyway.

Re:Too late for MWSF (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841256)

I guess that's a bit too late to make an appearance at MWSF in January.
Then again, as long as they don't have a recording function, who needs Blu-Ray in a Laptop anyway.
There's bound to be some software distributed on BlueRay (or HD DVD) sooner or later. And there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to watch a film on your laptop. Or should you always buy both the DVD and the BlueRay versions (assuming you decided to go with BlueRay) ?

Re:Too late for MWSF (1)

gmack (197796) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841392)

The parent poster didn't even bother to RTFA: The drive supports 2X writing to single-layer BD-R (write-once) and BR-RE (rewritable) discs and 1X writing to dual-layer discs.

So it does have a recording function

Re:Too late for MWSF (1)

ZorinLynx (31751) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841630)

I seriously feel like slaughtering whoever came up with the "X" designation for optical drive speed.

"1X" means a different bit rate for CD, DVD, Blu-ray, HD-DVD, Compact Flash cards, and so on! It is such a confusing metric that it's a wonder it was adopted so universally.

Can't we just measure optical drives in megabytes/sec? This would make so much more sense...

Re:Too late for MWSF (4, Informative)

Amouth (879122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841804)

actualy the X isthe same for CD's as Compaft Flash cards 1x = 150KB/s = 153,600B/s = 1,228,800b/s = 0.146MB/s

honestly it doesn't bother me that they did that.. although i do agree that DVD/Blu-Ray/HD-DVD should have stuck to the same damn unit of measurement... but they kinda did ..

see the orginal 1x. ment you chould burn a full cd in 1 hour .. 2x ment 30min.. and if i am correct that is what they are doing for DVD/Blu-Ray/HD-DVD.. soo to figure out the rate

(diskSize/((60*60)/(xRating)))'s

note that that is only for disk media and not how flash memory is done.. flash is still 1x = 150KB's

Re:Too late for MWSF (4, Informative)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 6 years ago | (#21842424)

No, 1x was meant to mean the same speed that the audio played at; one-times real-time. 2x would mean you burn/read at twice the rate of playback. 1x never meant you could burn a CD in one hour. For example, a standard CD-R is 72 minutes, and takes.... 72 minutes to burn at 1x. Most CDs are 80 minutes these days. I'm sure you can figure out how long they take to burn at 1x.

1x happens to be 150KB/s, but that wasn't the original definition.

Re:Too late for MWSF (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21842992)

yea.. opps.. it has been so long sence i used a 1x yea.. the 150KB just always stuck in my head.. hummm i wonder then exactly what the 1x value of dvd's and the other crap are now.. i know flash memory uses the 150KB/s

sorry about that.. and thank for bringing me back my memory of cartrige loading cd burnners..

Re:Too late for MWSF (1)

G-News.ch (793321) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841828)

True, I didn't RTFA:) Even better when there already is recording capability. Now all they have to do is offer them for a reasonable price. As for the X designation: The reason why it wouldn't make sense to use megabytes/sec as a metric is because all optical media with CAV tech (constant angular velocity, ie they always spin at the same speed) have increasing data rate when the read/write lens moves from the center to the outer regions of the disc. Of course most drives today support CAV AND CLV (constant linear velocity), but that is mainly because Audio Discs and Video Discs (or DVDs) require CLV. It wouldn't make sense to limit the drive to the max speeds of the inner circles, when you can be that much faster on the outer ones.
Of course, the X designation also only represents the maximum speed on the outer rings, but since everybody knows that CAV has varying speeds, that seems ok. Designating a drive with 16MB/sec, when really it can only achieve that speed on 5% of a fully recorded medium would probably result in a series of class action lawsuits against the manufacturer.
Gotta agree that it is highly confusing for the customer, though.

Re:Too late for MWSF (1)

diskis (221264) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841832)

Actually, on CF and data CDs they are exactly the same :)

And MB/s doesn't always make sense. Compare writing audio data and data data on a CD. Different sector sizes due to different ways of implementing error correction.
See the technical details section: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Book_(audio_CD_standard) [wikipedia.org]

Re:Too late for MWSF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21841848)

"1X" means a different bit rate for CD, DVD, Blu-ray, HD-DVD, Compact Flash cards, and so on! It is such a confusing metric that it's a wonder it was adopted so universally.

1x isn't the metric, it's the multiplier. The metric (aka, the base speed) for each of those devices is different (although I think it's nearly the same for CD and CF). The multiplier is the constant. It's not our fault if you assume that the base speed (or 4x it) for a CD is the same as the base speed (or 4x it) for BD.

Re:Too late for MWSF (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 6 years ago | (#21842418)

Maybe extensive computer games with lots of sophisticated graphics and cut scenes. But really, we're not yet hitting the limits on DVD drivesx for typical games, where complex visual environments need to be manipulated in the available memory and graphics of the computer itself to reflect dynamic changes.

Until the graphics take a serious leap in capability, there's not much use for Blu-Ray capability for computer software. For backup systems? Maybe it would be useful, but it's still very expensive for that.

Re:Too late for MWSF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21843108)

Maybe extensive computer games with lots of sophisticated graphics and cut scenes. But really, we're not yet hitting the limits on DVD drivesx for typical games, where complex visual environments need to be manipulated in the available memory and graphics of the computer itself to reflect dynamic changes.


I don't know what a "typical" game is. The argument that "DVD is all you need for games" is naive at best. Here's an interesting question for you: are there multi-disc games on XBox 360 right now, today? The answer is yes. Id's new game Rage will come on two DVDs on XBox 360. Why? It's too big to fit on one. Blue Dragon is on *three* DVDs. Every PS3 game is released on blu-ray disc. Rage will be on one blu-ray disc on PS3. Heavenly Sword has 10 gigs of audio. Why so much? Because it's all high resolution and because they put all languages on the one disc. Why? Because blu-ray afforded them the space to do so. Ratchet and Clank Future is 23 gigs on disc. I'm not sure that any game has yet required a dual layer 50 gig disc, but given that games are already pushing the limits of a single layer disc it seems obvious that there will be games that need a BD50 in future.

About time! (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841036)

Man, I was wondering what was taking them so long. The blu-ray disk is a standard size polycarbonate substrate, just like the CD and DVD. What is it about blue laser optics that's been holding this up?

-jcr

Re:About time! (1, Troll)

fireboy1919 (257783) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841160)

Could it be the embedded computer that's built-in to the devices in order to do DRM? That seems like it'd take quite a lot of work to get working on small devices.

Re:About time! (0, Flamebait)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841270)

why, just because it takes almost as much computing power as running vista it would be hard to put in a slim optical drive??

Re:About time! (1)

fireboy1919 (257783) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841588)

Not sure my post was modded troll; I'd really like to know the answer to this question. Blu-ray comes with a virtual machine to do DRM - with all that this entails. It has to have its own address space, interpreter, and microprocessor if it's going to fully support the blu-ray spec.

Does such a requirement ramp up the size or power requirements of these devices?

Re:About time! (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841696)

Could it be the embedded computer that's built-in to the devices in order to do DRM?

I doubt it. It's not anything a typical ARM core couldn't do.

-jcr

Re:About time! (1)

droopycom (470921) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841922)

1) Most the DRM is not on the drive, but on the host (ie: your x86 proc)
2) Whatever needs to be done on the drive is just software that can be run on a micro-controller. Not much bigger than the one that already handle the ATA interface.

So the answer would be: NO.

It is probably just mechanical issues that might not be very difficult to solve but just take more time.

Re:About time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21847672)

My PS3 has an x86 in it in addition to all of the rest of the stuff? No wonder it cost so much...

I wonder what CPUs stand-alone Blu-ray players use...could be x86, could easily also be something else.

Speed (1)

dattaway (3088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841072)

"The drive supports 2X writing to single-layer BD-R (write-once) and BR-RE (rewritable) discs and 1X writing to dual-layer discs."

No.

Re:Speed (2, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841110)

So what data rate is 1x for Blu-Ray? I'd assume "x" is different than for, say, CDROM.

Re:Speed (4, Informative)

mcpkaaos (449561) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841172)

From blu-ray.com [blu-ray.com] :

How fast can you read/write data on a Blu-ray disc?

According to the Blu-ray Disc specification, 1x speed is defined as 36Mbps. However, as BD-ROM movies will require a 54Mbps data transfer rate the minimum speed we're expecting to see is 2x (72Mbps). Blu-ray also has the potential for much higher speeds, as a result of the larger numerical aperture (NA) adopted by Blu-ray Disc. The large NA value effectively means that Blu-ray will require less recording power and lower disc rotation speed than DVD and HD-DVD to achieve the same data transfer rate. While the media itself limited the recording speed in the past, the only limiting factor for Blu-ray is the capacity of the hardware. If we assume a maximum disc rotation speed of 10,000 RPM, then 12x at the outer diameter should be possible (about 400Mbps). This is why the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) already has plans to raise the speed to 8x (288Mbps) or more in the future.

Re:Speed (2, Interesting)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 6 years ago | (#21842558)

While the media itself limited the recording speed in the past

The media itself limited recording speed in the past because the discs would shatter if you spun them too fast. It'd be nice if they let us know what has changed with BluRay that means that discs won't tear themselves apart at high rotational speeds. Are they not made of the same polycarbonate materials as HD-DVD/DVD/CD are?

Re:Speed (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 6 years ago | (#21852414)

The discs can only be spun so fast - only so many cm of linear disc "groove" space can pass the laser in one second. The increased data rate comes from increasing the density of information on that disc so that there are more bytes per cm. The density difference accounts for capacity increases from CD to DVD to BD/HD-DVD.

Re:Speed (2, Informative)

Divebus (860563) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841188)

Blu-ray 1x data rate = 36 Mbits/sec

Re:Speed (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841542)

I always assumed the "X" made the assumption that the disk takes as long to record as a CDrom could take to play. i.e. 1x is about 72 minutes (or 80 minutes) to record regardless of the format. Obviously, the higher capacity disks' 1x would have a higher data-rate, though.

Re:Speed (1)

Thornburg (264444) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841178)

"The drive supports 2X writing to single-layer BD-R (write-once) and BR-RE (rewritable) discs and 1X writing to dual-layer discs."

No.
Umm... Isn't 2x the fastest Bluray write speed available in standard consumer-grade gear right now?

They cost $400+, and I don't see any faster ones at Newegg.

Re:Speed (1)

News for nerds (448130) | more than 6 years ago | (#21845388)

The fastest is at 6x though there are no 6x media right now.
These days most of new desktop BD drive products are 4x at $500.

LG GGW-H20L Blu-ray Drive/HD DVD Reader
http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,140332/article.html [pcworld.com]

>The GGW-H20L is the first Blu-ray Disc burner to support 6X speed for writing to BD-R.
>That's up from 4X on the GGW-H10N, and up from 2X on the early Blu-ray Disc burners
> from Plextor, Sony, and Pioneer. In the PC World Test Center's evaluation, the
> drive's performance reflected its boosted specs even on slower speed-rated media.
>(According to media manufacturers, 4X media first ships at the end of 2007;
> 6X media won't come until the first quarter of 2008.)

The story title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21841314)

The story title is missing the word LAPTOP. Blu-ray drives in standard form factors are nothing new. Blu-ray drives in standard LAPTOP form factors, well, I guess that is new. Submitter needs to learn that laptops are still a special case when discussing computing hardware.

Gosh, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21841328)

Re:Gosh, (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841678)

I kind of assumed that the link from his name directly to the computerworld site was enough of a clue...

Dude, you're getting a DELL (2, Informative)

CacheFlow (1140075) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841434)

The new Dell XPS one machined have an option for the dual layer blu-ray drive built directly into its monitor. It's about time the announce one for standard laptop size drive bays.

The low volume of posts show... (0, Troll)

deathy_epl+ccs (896747) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841484)

that nobody gives a damn about Blu-Ray. heheheheh

Re:The low volume of posts show... (4, Informative)

Borland (123542) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841870)

Or it could be that the announcement of a "form factor" isn't the most exciting and debatable topic. All you really need is one post, bubbling to the top, explaining that it means the drive can go into standard laptops. Someone already did that bit, so what's left?

Arguing the merits of 7mm vs 9mm sizes? Yeah that's a real hot button issue.

Re:The low volume of posts show... (0)

deathy_epl+ccs (896747) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841914)

<insert subject> isn't the most exciting and debatable topic.

Like that's ever meant anything on slashdot, or the rest of the internet for that matter.

Re:The low volume of posts show... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21842044)

Arguing the merits of 7mm vs 9mm sizes? Yeah that's a real hot button issue.
Well, there have been plenty of discussions here about the merits of 5¼" vs 3½" sizes. And I've seen debates over the merits of 6" vs 10" sizes (though in places where people have girlfriends...not here).

Maybe we'd get more interest if we converted those sizes from metric to imperial...

BC-5500S? (1)

earthloop (449575) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841662)

Isn't the Optiarc BC-5500S a standard laptop sized Blu-Ray drive?

Re:BC-5500S? (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 6 years ago | (#21845444)

After a google search, it definitely looked like one to me. Sony has had BD in laptops for a while now, I would be very surprised if they couldn't make drives sized for the standard laptop unit.

A picture is over here (may resize your browser):

http://www.span.com/catalog/popup_image.php?pID=17074&osCsid=33580f [span.com]

Interface? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21841666)

Does this thing have a SATA connector, or is it sticking to that bastard "compact PATA" connector that is still being used for slim-height CD and DVD drives? PATA should be completely, utterly dead by now ... especially that stupid non-standard connector. Has anyone seen a slim-height optical drive -- of any sort -- that finally uses a standard SATA connector? Smaller-sized desktop cases would be a lot easier to put together if drives like that finally adopted a modern interface.

After Rootkitting? (0, Flamebait)

jmichaelg (148257) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841712)

Why would anyone voluntarily let a Sony product near their computer after the rootkit fiasco? Burn me once...

Re:After Rootkitting? (2, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841742)

Why would anyone voluntarily let a Sony product near their computer after the rootkit fiasco? Burn me once...

Burn me twice...Hey cool! This thing's rewritable!

Re:After Rootkitting? (3, Insightful)

Serge_Tomiko (1178965) | more than 6 years ago | (#21842002)

Umm, what Sony product are we talking about here? This is a panasonic drive that uses media developed and supported by an industry consortium, of which Sony is one of a dozen companies.

Laziest slashdot poster ever (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#21842546)

Wow, I see posters unwilling to read stories linked to before but it's been a long time since I've seen one not even willing to read the summary! Panasonic is not exactly a subsidiary of Sony.

Regardless what you think of Sony, Blu-Ray is a format with a wide range of hardware makers defining the standard - not just Sony. It's not like the Betamax situation with Toshiba and HD-DVD.

Re:Laziest slashdot poster ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21845942)

Regardless what you think of Sony, Blu-Ray is a format with a wide range of hardware makers defining the standard - not just Sony. It's not like the Betamax situation with Toshiba and HD-DVD.
Only an Apple fanboy like you would call HD DVD a "Betamax situation" (Apple supports Blu-ray while M$ supports HD DVD). The truth is Toshiba and NEC created the HD DVD standard while Sony and Pioneer (and no others) created what would become Blu-ray.

That "wide range of hardware makers" that you say "defined" the Blu-ray standard is simply the Blu-ray Disc Association, which is simply a group of tech companies that "support" Sony's and Pioneer's standard (mostly Sony's). HD DVD has the same kind of support from NEC, Sanyo, Microsoft, RCA, Kenwood, and Intel. Also, the number of hardware makers that support both formats far outnumber the hardware makers that "chose one side" of this stupid format war that only involves about 1% of movie sales and rentals.

"Betamax situation" my shiny metal arse.

Media is way too expensive (1)

Bitmanhome (254112) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841726)

Best prices on NewEgg: Blu-ray is $10 per 25G = 40 cents per gib. Hard drive is $100 per 500G = 20 cents per gib. I'd love a BDR, but as long as hard drives are cheaper, it's just stupid.

On top of that, BD disks have the recordable goo on the bottom side, which makes them less durable than both CDs (goo on top) and DVDs (goo in the middle).

Re:Media is way too expensive (1)

Serge_Tomiko (1178965) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841982)

Best prices on NewEgg: Blu-ray is $10 per 25G = 40 cents per gib. Hard drive is $100 per 500G = 20 cents per gib. I'd love a BDR, but as long as hard drives are cheaper, it's just stupid.

Has it ever occurred to you that perhaps people would like to share hi-def media with one another? As well, given how until very recently BD-R drives were very expensive, economies of scale have not yet resulted in a lower price for media. That will obviously change over time.

On top of that, BD disks have the recordable goo on the bottom side, which makes them less durable than both CDs (goo on top) and DVDs (goo in the middle).

Wtf are you talking about?

Re:Media is way too expensive (1)

lenehey (920580) | more than 6 years ago | (#21842250)

He's talking about the distance from the surface of the disk to the recordable medium. See this: http://www.cdfreaks.com/reviews/Blu-ray-vs_-HD-DVD/Differences.html [cdfreaks.com] Should help explain things.... ;)

Except coating trumps that (2, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#21842582)

He's talking about the distance from the surface of the disk to the recordable medium

While that distance is shorter, the medium in between is far less fragile [youtube.com] than CD/DVD.

Would you (could you!) do that with a DVD?

Re:Media is way too expensive (1)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 6 years ago | (#21842660)

Which would be why blu-ray discs that aren't in caddies have special coatings on their bottom surfaces that make them MORE durable than both CDs and DVDs (unless they themselves are treated).

The coatings really do work quite well. They don't make the surface completely unscratchable, but they do make them far more durable than a standard CD/DVD.

different form factor though (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843326)

Even laptop hard drives (that are more expensive) have a degree of thickness to them that precludes things like mailing in envelopes - with a Blu-Ray drive I'd keep using hard drives for primary backup, but probably switch to Blu-Ray discs for copies beyond that. Great for more widespread offsite distribution.

HD-DVD Already done? (1)

GreenEnvy22 (1046790) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841936)

I have a Toshiba A200 laptop here with a HD-DVD drive and radeon hd 2400 graphics. The drive looks standard size to me, but thats just judging by whats visible with it open, I have no desire to pull this out of the laptop to check.

Re:HD-DVD Had Slim Drives A Year+ Ago (0, Flamebait)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 6 years ago | (#21842620)

HD-DVD has had slim-line drives for over a year now.

Here's the state of things-

-HD-DVD discs are more reliable, are more easily made as combo discs (meaning DVD and HD-DVD on the same disc, which is critical for households where they might want to play it in classic DVD drives as well).

-The HD-DVD standard has been much more mature than Bluray.

-HD-DVD has no region coding.

-HD-DVD is less DRM encrusted (Bluray has an "adaptive" DRM, which I guarantee will lead to a divx-like phone home scheme).

-HD-DVD drives are cheaper to make, owing to the red laser.

-HD-DVD media is cheaper to make, especially combo discs.

-HD-DVD is a creation of the DVD consortium.

-Production HD-DVD now holds more (51GB) than Bluray, although it's academic as not even a 4 hour top-quality VC1 movie needs that much space.

Bluray is yet another desperate attempt by Sony to own the market, and the only cheerleaders of Bluray are nerdly husbands trying to validate their purchase of a PS3. If Microsoft had included HD-DVD in the XBOX360, Bluray would have already been relegated to the dustbins of yet-another-failed-Sony-format.

Re:HD-DVD Had Slim Drives A Year+ Ago (2, Informative)

rwhealey (957969) | more than 6 years ago | (#21842824)

-HD-DVD drives are cheaper to make, owing to the red laser.
Incorrect. HD-DVD uses a 405nm laser, which is on the violet end of blue. It's the same laser that Blu-Ray uses.

Sources: http://www.thelookandsoundofperfect.com/overview.html [thelookand...erfect.com] http://www.steppininit.com/tay/hd_vs_blu-ray/about_hd-dvd.html [steppininit.com]

Re:HD-DVD Had Slim Drives A Year+ Ago (1)

Envy Life (993972) | more than 6 years ago | (#21842866)

Given the fact that you give not a single advantage to Bluray, I'll just assume you're at best a Toshiba employee, or at worst a troll.

Re:HD-DVD Had Slim Drives A Year+ Ago (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843506)

Given the fact that you give not a single advantage to Bluray

The post was an obviously intentional attempt to cheerlead HD-DVD. I wasn't looking to provide a balanced summary.

Re:HD-DVD Had Slim Drives A Year+ Ago (2, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843278)

While I've made my choice for HD DVD [slashdot.org] , many of your comments are exaggerations or just plain silly.

HD-DVD and Blu-ray disks are about as reliable as one another. Blu-ray disc manufacturers use a protective coating to ensure reliability, whereas HD-DVD discs don't require it as they don't store data as close to the surface. The net affect is both are about the same.

HD-DVD and Blu-ray both use the same blue-violet lasers. The drives are not "cheaper to make", they're close to identical except for the differences you'd expect from slightly different formats designed by two groups aiming to do the same thing. HD-DVD discs are cheaper to make, although dollar-per-megabyte they come close in price. But the drives have no price advantage. I'm not sure why you think combo discs would be cheaper than regular discs, as you imply above, but a combo disc costs about what you'd expect a double-sided HD-DVD to cost.

Production HD-DVD does not contain 51GB. Production HD-DVD is still two layer. Three layers is coming, but there's some debate as to whether existing players will support it, and that's holding up production use. Three layer HD-DVD is coming, but lay off the word "production" until it actually goes into production, ok?

Re:HD-DVD Had Slim Drives A Year+ Ago (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843658)

many of your comments are exaggerations or just plain silly

Guilty as charged.

I'm not sure why you think combo discs would be cheaper than regular discs, as you imply above, but a combo disc costs about what you'd expect a double-sided HD-DVD to cost.

HD-DVD combo-discs use the same process and fundamental technologies on both sides, and were a proven capacity at the outset. Bluray combo discs were hypothetical until relatively recently, requiring a transparent bluray layer in a much more difficult, expensive arrangement.

Re:HD-DVD Had Slim Drives A Year+ Ago (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843696)

Ok, looks like I misread that. I thought you were comparing combo discs to regular discs, rather than HD-DVD combo discs to Blu-ray combo discs (does anyone even make those?) Sorry about that.

Re:HD-DVD Had Slim Drives A Year+ Ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21847596)

The net effect of the protective coating on Blu-ray is not "about the same" as HD-DVD. Blu-ray discs are scratch-free, HD-DVD discs are not. Stop dreaming.

Re:HD-DVD Had Slim Drives A Year+ Ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21848010)

FWIW, a manufacturer can put scratch-proof coating on HD-DVDs if they want, with Blu-ray it's necessary.

In practice, the kind of damage that would ordinarily happen to a CD, DVD, or HD-DVD will damage a Blu-ray disc too. Yes, you can find edge cases where it's possible to damage an HD-DVD disc and not a Blu-ray disc, but they're not exactly going to happen accidentally. People don't normally apply steel wool to their DVD collection.

So yes, they're about the same. In terms of non-deliberate damage, which is what's important here, both formats are pretty much equal.

Re:HD-DVD Had Slim Drives A Year+ Ago (1)

croddy (659025) | more than 6 years ago | (#21844298)

Please. Do NOT call DVD "classic DVD", as though HD-DVD is in some way related to DVD. The HD-DVD format has a couple of things in common with DVD (e.g., circular, mostly polycarbonate), but your choice of phrase makes about as much sense as calling a CD an "HD-LP record".

Re:HD-DVD Had Slim Drives A Year+ Ago (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 6 years ago | (#21845086)

Please. Do NOT call DVD "classic DVD", as though HD-DVD is in some way related to DVD

HD-DVD was created by the DVD consortium as the next generation of DVD. It is DVDv2. It absolutely relegates DVD to a "classic" status.

Re:HD-DVD Had Slim Drives A Year+ Ago (1)

Half a dent (952274) | more than 6 years ago | (#21847344)

Hmm, new vs "classic"? Anyone else get a feeling of deja-vu?

Blu-Ray + HD-DVD (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 6 years ago | (#21842140)

No thanks. I'll wait for the standard form factor combo drives.

Interesting (0, Flamebait)

ArikTheRed (865776) | more than 6 years ago | (#21842186)

Not to get into a mod-debate, but why is every post mentioning BRs DRM getting modded troll? How about this for a troll:

BR = DVD * 6 + DRM

Re:Interesting (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21843236)

It's because this is talking about a Blu-ray drive which is useful for burning GBs of stuff to give away. It should be obvious to anyone with half a brain that DRM comes in at the software layer and only comes into play when running software to watch movies produced by studio. It has nothing to do with burning a BD that only has, say 20 GB of home movies that need to be edited.

Can't tell how slim it is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21842308)

I can't tell how slim it is without the obligatory Japanese spokes model holding it and smiling.

i dont get it (1)

crashelite (882844) | more than 6 years ago | (#21842406)

http://store.fastmac.com/product_info.php?products_id=338 [fastmac.com] last time i checked that will work in my mac book pro with out having to mod its case... or a mac book ... or almost any mac.... oh the star at the bottom says no support for pc... but it says it will fit and its been out for a while. i guess there is no love for hd dvd in this world since it is a inferior product

9.5mm vs 12.5mm (2, Informative)

illogict (889976) | more than 6 years ago | (#21842670)

AFAIK, all currently available Blu-ray drives were 12.5mm-high: that is the height of most laptop optical-drive units (for nearly every consumer-oriented laptop), whereas those that are professional-oriented (Lenovo and HP) are 9.5mm high. The question is that HP has been offering a Blu-ray drive on some of its laptops (8510w and 8710w) for several months, meaning that Blu-ray 9.5mm-drives have been already available for at least several months...

Re:9.5mm vs 12.5mm (1)

jabuzz (182671) | more than 6 years ago | (#21844568)

You are indeed correct, the standard laptop optical units are indeed 12.5mm high. The 9.5mm high ones are for sub notebooks and the ultra slim models. Though I would note that Toshiba do a 7.6mm DVD drive that they include in their Portage R500 range.

Why Does "Thin" Override All other Concerns? (3, Interesting)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843940)

Is it just me or does anybody else find this extreme thin fetishism to be a little bit out of control? I can see how thin, in the absence of other considerations, can be desirable from the standpoint of it takes up less space in my pocket or on my desk. However, we see device manufacturers producing products which overheat and die because they wanted that last 2mm of thinness instead of a long lasting and stable product or they put a really small battery in the device, substantially reducing uptime when running on battery, simply to save that few millimeters again. I wouldn't even mind so much except that it is becoming difficult for people like me, who value other qualities besides just "thinness", to find the electronics that we want at a reasonable price instead of planned obsolescence consumer grade junk that sacrifices the functional characteristics of the device for the physical looks and dimensions of the device (among the least important characteristics in my opinion).

Re:Why Does "Thin" Override All other Concerns? (1)

darkwhite (139802) | more than 6 years ago | (#21846422)

My laptop, and its Ultrabay devices, is 5 years old. It is just over 1 inch thick. I carry it every day in my backpack, etc. and will not buy another laptop thicker than this. The only way to make a laptop as thin as this with an optical drive is to use the 9.5mm form factor. In the 5 years of heavy use, I have not had an optical drive failure nor have I heard of one. It certainly doesn't overheat at all.

On a related note, I'm getting increasingly annoyed with the computer case manufacturers for not including 12mm as the standard optical drive form factor in desktops. Given your apparent lack of appreciation for mobility, you probably don't know that the main limiting factor for further reducing the sizes of MicroATX cases is the need to house a huge optical drive.

Re:Why Does "Thin" Override All other Concerns? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21851352)

the main limiting factor for further reducing the sizes of MicroATX cases is the need to house a huge optical drive.

I use an Antec NSK3400 mATX case and just don't bother with an optical drive at all anymore. Aside from the case being very cramped as it is, which encouraged me to forgo the drive, what's the point of it? (Granted I don't watch DVDs.) My OS (Debian) installs off USB, and grml boots off USB too, so that's my livecd/memtest86 needs covered. I do have an IDE->USB2 adaptor so I could hook up a drive if I needed, but when I think of the size, noise, vibration, issues with dust/fingerprints/bad burns, the slow speed etc, it's not worth it thesedays. Flash memory and big HDDs are the way.

The bigger issue is the fact that these small cases come with mounting holes for 3.5-inch drives, but not the smaller, cooler, vibration-free 2.5-inch laptop drives. I had to buy a kit to mount mine in the case.

Re:Why Does "Thin" Override All other Concerns? (1)

jgoemat (565882) | more than 6 years ago | (#21846488)

I think the main reason they were making them this small was to fit in existing form factor products. For instance, now you could simply check 'blu-ray drive' when designing your laptop at Dell and they'll give you one instead of the standard DVD drive. This makes it interchangeable without having to design a special laptop housing just for the blu-ray drive.

However, we see device manufacturers producing products which overheat and die because they wanted that last 2mm of thinness instead of a long lasting and stable product or they put a really small battery in the device, substantially reducing uptime when running on battery, simply to save that few millimeters again

Then it was poor design. Making a device 2mm thicker will not solve battery or heat problems.

Re:Why Does "Thin" Override All other Concerns? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21848160)

The story here isn't that it's thin, it's that the drive fits a certain form factor. That means it fits in a pre-defined space that is standard in every laptop. Would you want to worry about drives that come in all different shapes and sizes and have to design your PC around the parts you include in it, or do you want stuff that's actually designed to fit together?

now give me a combo drive (1, Interesting)

amigabill (146897) | more than 6 years ago | (#21844552)

Now, combine this with HD-DVD and standard CD/DVD* in a single drive and I'll consider it. Make me choose one or the other and I decline them all.

fp Fucker (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21844626)

prima donnAs to and as BSD sinks serves to reinforce raCist? How is

9mm is thinner than the more common 12.7mm (1)

Andries043 (1209774) | more than 6 years ago | (#21850804)

9mm is not a very common standard and is mostly used for smaller laptops. 12.7mm is the most common standard and used in most laptops.
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