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Blu-Ray/HD-DVD Talks End 389

Posted by Zonk
from the begun-the-format-wars-have dept.
Last minute talks to unify the HD-DVD and Blu-Ray formats have failed. Matsushita, owner of the Panasonic brand, has stated 'the market will decide the winner.' From the article: "The two sides held talks last year in the hopes of avoiding a prolonged format battle similar to the one between Betamax and VHS videotapes in the 1980s, knowing that it could discourage consumers from shifting to the advanced discs and stifle the industry's growth. But the talks soon fizzled out, with each side reluctant to establish a format based on the other's disc structure. At stake is the $24 billion home video market and a slice of the personal computer market as PCs will be equipped with Blu-ray or HD DVD optical drives."
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Blu-Ray/HD-DVD Talks End

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  • Re:Games?? (Score:3, Informative)

    by falcon5768 (629591) <Falcon5768.comcast@net> on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @02:28PM (#15206921) Journal
    because in the end it will be game systems that decide this, with the PS3 having a Blue-ray drive out of the box, and the 360 having a HD add-on before the end of the year.

    Its not a unknown fact that for many people, the PS2 was their first DVD player.

  • Third way (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @02:31PM (#15206949)
    Samsung long ago announced [theregister.co.uk] that if the two high density blue laser DVD camps couldn't make up and get along, that they were just going to go ahead and start building drives capable of playing both hd dvd and bluray. That is to say, if the two camps cannot unify, then Samsung will unify them whether they want it or not. At least one other manufacturer whose name I forget has announced similar plans. I cannot help but wonder how popular this approach will become.

    I also cannot help but wonder, faced with two contradictory and low-uptake standards, how many stores will actually want to stock hddvd or bluray discs? It seems to me that the only chance either HD-DVD or Blu-Ray has of actually getting widely stocked is by making dual-capability DVDs that can be played on either a next-gen dvd player, or a current gen dvd player (both next-gen formats support this; it's done by burning a disc with one layer of DVD and one layer of hddvd-or-bluray).
  • by SuperKendall (25149) * on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @02:41PM (#15207042)
    ...HD-DVD has friendlier copyright and already has fabs producing cheap media...

    I wish people would stop propogating the myth that HD-DVD has "better" copyright abilities. Both formats use the exact same DRM scheme. Both allow managed copy (HOWEVER please read up on what managed copy really means, it's not like a REAL copy ability).

    Heck, Blu-Ray discs from Sony (at least at first) will let you have full res video over analog connections, have any HD-DVD studios followed suit? That would seem to tilt the copyright niceness a little towards Blu-Ray, though not much... both are pretty laden with protections.
  • Re:Just fine (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @02:46PM (#15207083)
    The codec is different? Bullshit. Both support MPEG-2, WMV9 (aka VC-1) and MPEG-4 AVC.
  • Re:Just fine (Score:5, Informative)

    by amliebsch (724858) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @02:56PM (#15207165) Journal
    Correcting myself: I misremembered - while HD-DVD will can use a single-lens assembly with both red and blue for backwards-compatibility, the HD laser is actually blue. So you were right about the laser!
  • Re:Third way (Score:4, Informative)

    by jafac (1449) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @03:01PM (#15207206) Homepage
    Actually, I heard Samsung decided not to go ahead with the Combo player due to some hidden licensing issues.

    But LG Electric is going to produce a combo, and they decided to challenge those licensing terms in court.

    As for Matsushita, fuck them. in both eye sockets.
  • by amliebsch (724858) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @03:06PM (#15207259) Journal
    You're confusing HD-DVD with HD DVD-9 (admittedly an easy thing to do.) HD DVD-9, which uses MPEG4 based encoding on standard DVD, is pretty much moot. HD-DVD is an actual physical media format that uses a blue laser and can hold more physical bits.
  • Re:Just fine (Score:5, Informative)

    by ivan256 (17499) * on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @03:07PM (#15207262)
    That was true... They changed to the blue laser during early talks to try and merge the formats, and Blu-Ray added a red laser for DVD backwards compatability. So now both formats use a blue and a red laser.
  • by SuperKendall (25149) * on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @03:11PM (#15207286)
    So since people seem to be confused about what managed copy really means, here is a great primer [tgdaily.com] on the state of managed copy as of March 2006.

    Summary:

    * Both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray use the same AACS standard for copy protection (and thus managed copy protection)

    * Players out now cannot do managed copy because the standard is not done - it's hoped the ability can be added later in a firmware update.

    * Managed copies will likley require an internet connection so it can "ask" to make a copy, and possibly also involve payment for the right to copy.

    Some good technical details there on how the system might end up working.
  • Re:Just fine (Score:5, Informative)

    by evilviper (135110) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @03:16PM (#15207318) Journal
    Good old Drinkypoo...

    The disc is different,

    HD-DVDs are just a minor upgrade to DVDs, so it's not a stretch to have Blu-ray drives reading them.

    the data layout is different,

    That means absolutely nothing. It's quite easy to handle various layouts. DVD players handle VCDs, SVCDs, JPEG/MP3/WMA CDs, and DVDs, with no problems. I've never yet seen a disc misdetected.

    the codec is different...

    Completely wrong. They both mandate EXACTLY the same video codecs, and of the same audio codecs as well (audio codecs are trivial next to the complex video codecs anyhow).

    EVERYTHING is different.

    "Everything" meaning "Almost Nothing".

    Don't let ignorance stop you from spouting off, though.
  • Re:the 'market' (Score:3, Informative)

    by nightsweat (604367) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @03:25PM (#15207396)
    I think you can add SACD and DVD-Audio to that list soon.
  • by Peteee (945896) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @03:39PM (#15207519)
    I'm in favor of all out Blu-Ray. Blu-Ray is an actual technology to fit more data onto a disk. HD DVD is simply a format. You can still store HD DVD format using Blu-Ray technology. Also, HD DVD can only store between 4 and 7 gigs per disk. Blu-Ray uses a 405nm blue laser, and can store 15 gigs on a one layered disk, 30 gigs on a dual layered disk.

    Thats so wrong I dont know where to start.

    Normal DVD's: 4.7GB (9GB dual layer)
    Blu-ray disc capacity: 25GB (50GB dual-layer)
    HD-DVD disc capacity: 15GB (30GB dual layer)

  • Ignorance (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @03:49PM (#15207618)
    Unfortunately, these kind of drives will be a lot more expensive to produce since they will have to support both laser wavelengths.

    Blu-ray uses a 405 nm laser wavelength.

    HD-DVD uses a 405 nm laser wavelength.

    There is no difference between the HD-DVD and Blu-ray lasers besides their numerical aperture characteristics, which is less of a problem.

    In the meantime, both blu-ray and hd-dvd drives will already have to supply multiple wavelengths, because CDs, DVDs, and hddvdbluray all three use different wavelengths-- and next-gen DVD drives support all three. Is the difference between three lasers and four that enormous?

    The massive amount of marketing which has served to outline the so-called "differences" between these two formats has made it very easy to obscure the plain fact that these two formats are almost entirely indistinguishable from an engineer's perspective.
  • Re:the 'market' (Score:5, Informative)

    by Webmoth (75878) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @04:29PM (#15207962) Homepage
    In consumer electronics, there are two factors that generally direct which format becomes standard: time-to-market and licensing.

    The first-to-market standards proposal has a good shot at winning, because by the time other competing proposals get to market, the first one has so much market penetration that nobody wants the second for fear of incompatibility.

    Licensing models that are less restrictive and more open also tend to find favor among consumers. The less cost and hassle the consumer experiences wins product loyalty in the marketplace.

    Consider a few examples:

    VHS vs. Betamax: Sony was first-to-market with Betamax in 1975, followed in 1976 by JVC with the VHS format. Based on time, Betamax should have become the standard for magnetic recording of video. However, Sony made a mistake with licensing: only Sony would produce Betamax tapes and devices. JVC opened up their technology to licensed manufacturers, allowing for competition in the marketplace which drove the prices of VHS far enough below that of Betamax (and increased the features) to influence the marketplace to invest in VHS technology. Because at the time Betamax devices were still expensive, there was little market penetration for JVC to overcome. In summary, the open standard won.

    DVD vs. Divx (not the codec [divx.com]): Does anyone remember this debate [sfgate.com]? Those who do, remember that these two competing CD-like digital video distribution technologies were in a little war for the consumer's pocketbook. Both technologies came out about the same time, so time-to-market wasn't an issue. The issue was Divx pay-per-view licensing model: instead of buying a video once and wathing it an infinite number of times (as with DVD), the consumer would buy the Divx video fairly cheaply but then pay something every time it is watched. Needless to say, this went over like a fart in church. DVD won based on its superior licensing model.

    AM Stereo: I'm not up on the licensing models or time frame of the competing AM stereo technologies, but they were both late-to-market in relation to standard AM radio. There was already HUGE market penetration of standard AM broadcast equipment and receivers; few people saw benefit in replacing that equipment. Had there been just one proposal for AM Stereo, and had it been completely open, it is still doubtful it would have ever caught on.

    Microsoft vs. Linux (Gates vs. Torvalds):consumer but it poses problems for developers who, for economic reasons, wish to maintain security over their intellectual property. It is for this reason that many hardware manufacturers do not support Linux: their legal departments cannot confidently say that their intellectual property will be protected if they provide Linux drivers for their products. In this regard, Microsoft's licensing model is superior to Linux's for the developer.

    So in the Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD debate, who will win? Which proposed standard will be first-to-market? Which will have the less-restrictive licensing model? What about the third factor, technical superiority? What about the fourth factor -- does the public even want it (think DAT or video phones)?

    ~Jon
  • Re:Just fine (Score:3, Informative)

    by StArSkY (128453) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @06:22PM (#15208643) Homepage
    Last I looked, they hadn't decided on a codec for blu-ray and they had decided on one for HD-DVD, and there was only one.
    Well You obviously haven't been looking for a *while* and therefor shouldn't post on stuff like this. BD-Rom supports MPEG2 (dvd), Mpeg4 AVC (H.264), and VC-1 (MS WMP9) And HD-DVD supports EXACTLY the same.

If it happens once, it's a bug. If it happens twice, it's a feature. If it happens more than twice, it's a design philosophy.

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