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PC's Role Key in New Format War 180

Posted by Zonk
from the favoured-son dept.
An anonymous reader writes "With the PlayStation 3's launch still a ways off, Toshiba and Sony are turning to the PC as the next battleground for the DVD format. News.com reports that some manufacturers are, at least for now, planning to offer both options on upcoming desktop and laptop PCs. Only a handful of films and software are to be available for the formats this year." From the article: "PCs equipped with HD DVD or Blu-ray will cost several hundred dollars more than comparably equipped models with DVD drives--a factor that should keep sales relatively low this year as consumers wait for applications and video titles that can take advantage of the higher capacity."
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PC's Role Key in New Format War

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  • by yagu (721525) * <[moc.liamg] [ta] [ugayay]> on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @11:40AM (#15480267) Journal

    Disclaimer: following comments are based on the assumption these new DVD formats and drives for PCs support recording, an assumption not clear from the referenced article. If the drives won't be capable of recording, the incentive to consider either drive is even less.

    All the recent roiling around locking down digital formats, keeping them from consumers, begs the question, "why would anyone pay extra, especially a couple hundred extra, for a computer with a DVD drive they seemingly may not be able to use legally anyway?"

    The horizon is murky, it's not clear there will be much use for these new DVD drives be they blu-ray or HD.

    With the incredible leaps in hard drive capacity and declining cost per gigabyte of storage (remember when it was described in terms of cost per megabyte?), even the notion of using these new high capacity DVDs for storage/backup is not compelling. People are beginning to turn to Network Access Storage as that becomes more affordable.

    Also, there's is a growing trend in internet storage and backup, one I think will become huge. So, even MORE of a reason to not be interested in the new DVD drives.

    Factor in the historically slow speeds and high failure rates of recording to disc media (I've given up on this approach, I get a write failure or corruption failure on creating data DVDs of about one in ten at least, a prohibitively high failure rate in the data world), even MORE reason to not buy.

    As for gaming and movie viewing on PCs, ain't going to happen in huge numbers. People still prefer to watch their movies on real screens (bigger and bigger these days), and serious gamers tend to have their favorite dedicated game box.

    Finally, until the legislative dust has settled users don't and won't know if there's even anything they could legally record to the new DVDs. It's not entirely clear users are going to be allowed to even make a backup copy of a purchased movie.

    The industry, if they had half a brain, would be offering incentives to get buyers to go for their format, just for the sake of making the consumers roll the format-war dice.

    • "People are beginning to turn to Network Access Storage as that becomes more affordable."
      USB hard drive enclosures are another good back system for a home user. They are very cheap and seem to work pretty well.
      Yep I have to admit I am in the wait and see category. There is very little need for a higher density optical format loaded with DRM. I am hoping they will be as popular as the LS-120 floppy disk was.

    • Games (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MrSquirrel (976630) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @11:51AM (#15480378)
      I don't think this should have an impact on any games -- I don't know of any games that take more than 1 DVD (bonus discs aside)... There are games right now that take upwards of 5 cd's: when games take multiple DVD's I will consider it a good thing to have a next-gen drive in a gaming rig.
      • 2-DVD games are not uncommon on PS2. Shadow Hearts:Covenant and Star Ocean II from just my
        collection. I think God of War is on a dual-layer disc (European version with extra languages) and
        The Bard's Tale is definitely a dual-layer disc. I expect collections of series of modern games to require
        multiple DVDs anytime soon :)

        • The only reason there are multiple DVD PS2 games is because the PS2 has problem with Dual Layer discs... If you're reading DVDs with a more recent drive (read: a drive that works properly) then you'd only be needing one disc. Even still the total number of 2 layer/2 disc PS2 games is small. I can't think of a single Xbox 1 or Xbox 360 game that needed more then one disc.

          Also don't forget that an animation sequence using the game's own graphics takes up a whole lot less space then say a pre-rendered video
    • by FuturePastNow (836765) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @11:58AM (#15480457)
      They are talking about the recordable drives, which for what it's worth do not burn DRM to the discs you make.

      You're quite right that hard drives are getting cheaper and better for backup; I am myself building a file server, but high capacity optical disks have their place. I can hand out CD-Rs and DVD-Rs like candy, and these next-generation formats will come down in price if they survive.

      Oh, and as a competing anecdote, I've never had a failed write/corrupt DVD-R. It's been a couple of years since I last (accidently) turned a CD-R into a coaster, too. Maybe you should look into higher quality drives and media.
    • 1/10 failure rate? what kind of crappy media are you buying?
    • Maybe if you stuck to reliable media like Taiyo-Yuden instead.

      I personally don't have burn failures period. At worse, 1 in 1/100. Even if there's failures, the cost is counted in pennies making backups so cheap it's pointless to quibble over it.
    • Good write up and well thought out.

      The only place I somewhat disagree.. or have a different opinion/view is with data backup. I agree, DVD's completely suck, but so do hard drives for other reasons. Neither medium is great for long term storage. However, hard drives really don't have great capacity for data backup. DVDs aren't great either but there is a difference. DVDs are extremely cheap media these days. I have about 50GB of data that is extremely important to me that I'd like to maintain incremen
      • I generally disagree with you about HD vs DVD. Pricewatch seems to say a cheap DVD-R is about 22c in bulk, for a price of about 4.7c/GB and HDs @ about 26.5c/GB. Of course, especially with a scheme where you're going to routinely send remote backups, you've likely to write data to the HD more than 5.6 times. Oh, and mailing them doubles the cost. BUT, that's not the important part at all.

        The important part is that to weekly burn and mail a bunch of disks takes a bunch of time you're not accounting for,
        • The important part is that to weekly burn and mail a bunch of disks takes a bunch of time you're not accounting for,

          Let's not bring in "my time" since you don't know how I might solve that so it isn't a factor at all.

          I think the real problem here is that people do not acknowledge how poor magnetic media is at preserving data. It's very error prone and as bit densities increase the problem gets worse.

          I do employ an external HD for short term backups, while I store long term on DVD-R.. knowing that some will
    • by Eivind (15695) <eivindorama@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @02:00PM (#15481526) Homepage
      Very true.

      When CD-roms where being introduced, a single cdrom was larger than many harddrives.

      Now blu-ray and HD-dvd are slowly being introduced. Yet even today a single harddrive has a capacity 10 to 30 times larger than these media.

    • As for gaming and movie viewing on PCs, ain't going to happen in huge numbers. People still prefer to watch their movies on real screens (bigger and bigger these days), and serious gamers tend to have their favorite dedicated game box.

      Toshiba's HD-DVD player is powered by a Pentium M and an Intel chipset. I anticipate that 40-70% of HD-DVD and Blu-Ray "players" will really be some form of an HTPC.

  • Difference? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nickmue (905710) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @11:41AM (#15480276)
    How much of a quality difference are people going to be able to notice over conventional DVD? I know I can't be the only one who doesn't have a HD monitor.
    • Re:Difference? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LocoMan (744414)
      I have to agree there. I don't see PCs having as much of a pull on the HD-DVD Vs. Blue Ray war as consoles will (Xbox 360 Vs. PS3). In the movies section, anyone that will choose a format specifically to watch HD movies now won't want to see them on a relatively small 20" or less monitor, they'll want the whole home theater thing and will want to see them as big as they can. On the data side, I would definitively find an use for them (I work with video, which means VERY big files), but in the general audie
      • Re:Difference? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by thatguywhoiam (524290)
        I have to agree there. I don't see PCs having as much of a pull on the HD-DVD Vs. Blue Ray war as consoles will (Xbox 360 Vs. PS3).

        PCs won't have much effect on this until Apple ships a Blu-ray drive.

        You may scoff, but they have a long history of doing just that. And with Apple sitting on the Blu-Ray board, and Jobs basically being new High Overlord at Disney, I think Apple may be the piece of the highdef format wars that people are overlooking. If there are a flood of MacTels and PS3's with Blu-ray al

      • In the movies section, anyone that will choose a format specifically to watch HD movies now won't want to see them on a relatively small 20" or less monitor, they'll want the whole home theater thing and will want to see them as big as they can.
        That home theater setup is across the room, while the 19" monitor is 18" from my eyes. Also, the drives shouldn't really cost that much in a year or two.

        most people I know are just now getting DVD drives for their computers
        I've had one since 1999, and I didn't get a
    • by Were-Rabbit (959205) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:27PM (#15480663)
      Once you go into 1,024 x 768 resolution or higher, you're running HD because you've gone beyond 720p scanning. (PC monitors are progressive, not interlacing.) The size of the screen itself is NOT synonymous with the number of pixels on the screen.
    • HD monitors are probably a lot more common than HDTVs. Anything of a decent quality, 20" or over, and not older than dirt will probably support full HD. It's a whole hell of a lot cheaper than an HDTV, too, although granted not necessarily digital; I got my Sony 22" trinitron (refurb) for $250 or so. My monitor does 2048x1536 as compared to 1920x1080. It's true, though, that an absolute crapload of monitors go only to 1600x1200, which is 320 pixels short in the width department...
      • Most 20" monitors (including mine) I've seen only support 1600x1200, which is about the same overall resolution as 1080p, but in a different format. Widescreen monitors of that size will probably support 1920x1080p fine, and 1080p content should be noticeably better on even a standard monitor that size than non-HD content.
  • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @11:41AM (#15480279)
    It's heavily DRM encumbered.
    They have a history of disabling previously working hardware without warning (HDCP, Cablecards).
    The standards are not settled yet and very soon there will likely be a Dual drive.
    The average human can't tell the difference on a 55" screen across a 20' living room from a 720p.
    • Sony has put clauses in the Blue Ray licensing agreement that prohibits a manufacturer from building a drive capable of playing both Blue-Ray and HD-DVD. If they do, Sony can yank their Blue-Ray license.
  • Right Choice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by neonprimetime (528653) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @11:43AM (#15480304)
    Dell, the world's biggest PC maker, has said it is committed to Blu-ray - Wrong Choice
    Hewlett-Packard, the number two player, has said it will support both standards. - Right Choice
    • Re:Right Choice (Score:4, Insightful)

      by WinPimp2K (301497) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @11:54AM (#15480406)
      Well, fence sitting is a nice approach when you don't want to commit. And, given the current legeslative climate it is probably the best approach.

      If this foramt fracas were going to be resolved in the marketplace, the winner would be the player that got the most drives out there and in use. Don't try and even remotely recover costs on the first million units, but make darn sure you have a million units out there at 50-100 bucks a pop before the other camp ever knows what steamrollered them. Do what it takes, waive licemsing fees on the first million units and the first 50 million pieces of media, etc. For content, approach the studios about releasing 1 season per disc of old series.

      But, if either camp tried that tactic, the other camp would just make darn sure that massively released format would wind up incompatible with some legeslated requirement that has not yet been written.

       
    • If/when blu-ray wins then the resources that HP put in to supporting both standards will be a hit to them. HP is in a weird position because they helped develop the blu-ray standard and then in came Microsoft and said that they hate it because it runs Java. A ton of higher ups in HP love Microsoft and bet the farm with their company and Microsoft.

      In short it will come down to movies. It appears that the chicken and egg problem will be solved by the PS3, and thus it looks like this is one reason that blu
    • Dell, the world's biggest PC maker, has said it is committed to Blu-ray - Wrong Choice
      Hewlett-Packard, the number two player, has said it will support both standards. - Right Choice
      Um, no. Having one consistent standard makes it safe to buy a drive without worrying that you've just bought a Betamax -- and it makes it safe for studios to actually release movies on them. Having two competing standards is just about the worst possible outcome, especially if some titles are available on one, and some on th
  • by iminplaya (723125) <iminplaya.gmail@com> on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @11:46AM (#15480328) Journal
    I would like to see both of them lose. Don't buy this junk. And I do mean junk. This stuff will not be reliable. How long will it be before the next "new" format comes out? I saw talk of it somewhere. And even if not for the threat of progress, we shouldn't buy DRM'd hardware, no matter what. It's a shame that we are starting to see modern electronics as a "controlled substance".
    • Agree with the AC poster.

      We are getting some wierd moderating around here lately.

      There is no way the above post was a "troll".
    • How long will it be before the next "new" format comes out?

      Umm... Maybe another 100 years, when the broadcast standard is rewritten again for a higher resolution. These formats deliver the maximum HDTVs can display, and that's unlikely to change for a long time.

      The only possible forseeable event that might obsolete highdef video discs is cheap holographic displays, and I'm not holding my breath for that one.

      And even if not for the threat of progress, we shouldn't buy DRM'd hardware, no matter what.

      Right!

  • by 99luftballon (838486) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @11:48AM (#15480353)
    The Blu-Ray camp are trying to push their media into storage as fast as possible as well - I've had loads of briefings on how data centres will love Blu-Ray. Personally I have my doubts - Microsoft and Intel's support could prove crucial in making HD DVD the drive of choice for PCs.
  • by FuturePastNow (836765) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @11:49AM (#15480362)
    Sony said we didn't need a PC? [ign.com] The PS3 is supposed to be good enough for anything.
  • by TheNoxx (412624)
    I fail to see any point in either HD-DVD or Blu-Ray, particularly when they cost so damn much. I suppose for the few people that need to back up tons of data all the time, it'd be a good thing, but there's absolutely no reason for an average consumer to buy one. DVD movies don't need any improving, very few average consumers need anything more than writable CD's, or at the very most, writable DVD's. In fact, I can't think of a single thing that the everyday person would need either drive for.
    • DVD movies don't need any improving ...
      They most certainly do. Ever watch a DVD on an HD-TV? HD reveals all the glorious compression artifacts and pixelation of MPEG-2. DVD looks good on SD because everything gets blurred to shit. But HD-TV's need HD movies.
      • Can't say I've really noticed a difference. My mother just bought herself a large plasma HD TV, and when I went over and hooked it up and ran the DVD player through it looked pretty much the same as the HD cable channels. Progressive scan and high storage DVD's look pretty damn good, certainly good enough that you need to plop down a few hundred bucks.
        • High storage DVDs allow for a higher bit-rate, which will look better, of course. But try watching one of the Lord of the Rings extended editions on an HD-TV. All the action sequences get blocky-looking when motion starts picking up.
      • I have a (very good) 51" HD set, and the difference between an internally upscaled 480p DVD that is well-mastered and a high-bitrate DirecTV or OTA HD feed is very small for most material. HD makes a difference in field sports (ex: football, all types), but in most media it tends to get lost at "mortal" sizes. Now, if we're talking a 100"+ FP setup, heck yes HD makes a difference, but most people don't have those (yet).
    • If you're backing up tons of data HD or BD won't be a good choice for you either. Everything about both formats is utterly pathetic. Why would I want to buy HD/BD for backing up 60tb of data? That would suck, give me LTO-3 or some other high density tape. SDLT-2 is also good. The only trick will be the cost of media and by association the cost of burners. Everything says they are ridiculously priced thus far so tape will probably be the best bet especially if you look at the pricing on dual layer DVDs.
      • Yeah, I was thinking the same thing, but it was the only angle I could possibly think of as to why someone would buy it. Hell, I don't know why they stuck one of those things in the PS3 to begin with, for if I'm not mistaken, it's only going to be used for movies... although I could've heard wrong. There's just no market for these things. The most amazing bit is that there are two companies trying to be the first to fail horribly, rather than the usual lone-man fuckups of the marketplace.
  • by tygerstripes (832644) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @11:55AM (#15480420)
    "Oh, who can tell the difference between HD-TV and normal, eh?"

    Look, we heard that one before with CDs replacing cassettes/vinyl, and look what happened. Yes, it was (more) expensive initially, but there were small but noticeable benefits and, lets face it, we in the 1st World are consumer whores. Given the amount of time we spend watching TV as a society nowadays, I really won't be surprised when nearly everyone has a HD-TV in 3 years' time just for that improved resolution or whatever.

    Accept that it's going to happen. The only question left is which way the chips will fall. I would rather see Blu-Ray win out simply because it has a far better spec than HD-DVD, but unfortunately I think the gap between X-Box360 and PS3 release will push markets towards the latter. C'est la vie.

    Don't shoot the messenger.
    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:25PM (#15480650) Journal
      It's been addressed a lot of times, so I probably deserve to be moderated redundant for this, but here goes:

      CDs had significant advantages over vinyl:

      • CDs stored 74minutes of audio. Vinyl stored about 20 minutes per side. You had to touch your music player four times as often with Vinyl as you did with CD.
      • CDs were physically smaller.
      • CDs were more jog-resistent. You could use them while walking or in-car.
      • CDs supported skipping between tracks easily. With vinyl this required manually moving the needle.
      • (Later) CDs could be easily be ripped to a computer for creating playlists or transfer to a portable device.
      The quality (which is very subjective; some people find the digital distortion more irritating than analogue, some are the other way around) issue was much less important. DVDs had a similar set of advantages over VHS (smaller size, more durable, playable in more places). For a lot of people the quality was not important; my stepfather can't tell the difference between DVD and VHS quality, and very few people actually use the 5.1 output.

      For a next-generation format to succeed, it has to offer something other than increased quality. Sometimes it doesn't even have to offer that; compare SACD/DVD-A to MP3, for example. Direct-download of H.264 video would have the same advantages as MP3, as well as (potentially) better quality than DVDs. If someone decided to offer 720p H.264 downloads, I can see this eclipsing both formats. If not, I expect to see the movie industry wondering why there is so much piracy of recompressed HD-DVD / Blu-Ray films.

      • I think that HD-DVD and Blu-Ray will fill the same nitche that Laserdisk fit back in the VHS days: an expensive toy for people with expensive TVs.
      • Direct-download of H.264 video would have the same advantages as MP3, as well as (potentially) better quality than DVDs.

        No. Internet connections are currently fast enough to download MP3s without much hassle. Back when everyone was on dial-up, MP3 was a fringe thing.

        Unfortunately, we're almost all on dial-up, relative to highdef video. Not to mention that the cost of hard drive space, or multiple DVD-Rs, surpasses the cost of a pressed HD-DVD/Blu-ray disc.

        If someone decided to offer 720p H.264 downloads,

        • By the end of the year, every single one of my ISPs customers will be on 10Mbit connections, even those on the cheapest package. Right now, I am on a 4Mbit connection. 720p content with a 5.1 surround soundtrack requires just under 6Mb/s to stream live[1]. With my current connection, I could start watching a movie a third of the way into the download. By the end of the year, I will be able to watch one as soon as I click download, as will several million other people in the UK.

          At this encoding, it woul

          • Why would you want to bother archiving every movie though?

            Because most of us watch more than just the current Hollywood blockbuster remake crapfest.

            then I'd probably just delete them after I'd seen them and re-download them from whichever movie rental service I'd subscribed to if I felt the need to re-watch them.

            I wouldn't count on unlimited download subscriptions. The bandwidth costs are going to be far too high to support that, unlike music.

            Oh, and as for MP3 being a fringe thing when everyone was on dia

  • by mmell (832646) <mmell@hotmail.com> on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @11:58AM (#15480450)
    From us

    Collectively (as a nerd community) we should all refuse to purchase or recommend the purchase of either of these technologies until the DRM is either perfected or removed.

    Since "bits never die", the likelihood of the DRM being made even remotely correct is somewhere between 'slim' and 'none'. So that leaves . . .

    Not purchasing DRM-infested (crippled) hardware. Not recommending to our non-technical friends that they install such infested (crippled) hardware. Actively opposing the PHB's of the world who will start clamoring for a business use of such infested (crippled) hardware.

    Work together people - let's vote with our wallets, the way free enterprise is supposed to work!

    • For the same reasons (not a single cent towards the CSS chips/zoning bullshit etc) I don't even own any DVD hardware either, not just this even-worse-DRM-crippled versions, which I sincerely wish battling each other as hard as possible with a speedy death to both sides participating in the battle. Using CDs for critical backups, and over-the-network remote backups here.
      • Ok, yes, but there is alot of excellent hardworking people out there who deserve recognition, and with the current system, the way this works is for the artists to grab the change that slips thru the hands of the studio. Not enough, surely. Studio bullshit, formulaic crap but some excellence. What is needed is a fair redistribution reward system, a fair funding system and shunning studio cash grabs and techniques (ie theatre lockin, drowing low budget story focus with piles and piles of cash, etc). Most
    • Work together people - let's vote with our wallets, the way free enterprise is supposed to work! unfortunately the biggest part of society is the sheep and what the fringe does has no real effect on the market.
    • Work together people - let's vote with our wallets, the way free enterprise is supposed to work!

      Since your UID is in the 800,000s, I presume you weren't here when DVDs were comming out, a couple years before DeCSS was created, and when people were posting comments very similar to yours about DVDs.

      The "boycott" on DVDs was a long-running joke that would pop-up whenever anyone mentioned owning a DVD.
      • I for one did not buy a DVD-burner until DeCSS was out - in effect, I waited until the DRM associated with DVD's was (for all intents and purposes) removed or at least removable. While I can't speak for all assembled, personally that was the crux-point in my decision to purchase a DVD burner.

        Whether destined to succeed or fail, I can only do as I think is right. I'll purchase an HD-DVD or Blu-Ray device when I can use it to perform all of the functions which I legally have a right to, not before. I reco

  • ...need to learn from the past when all of them were releasing their own branded os/hardware/peripherals/etc back in the mid 80's. it was horrible. sony/hitachi/mastushita/NEC all had their own OS and apps-suites, most of them would not inter-operate. then apple came in and showed the japanese how double-byte computing should really be done. yeah, it was somewhat inelegant at the time with the special fonts and soft-keyboard for kanji/hara/kata, but it was AWESOME! of course with XP and OSX these problems a
  • When I first saw the article headline, I swear it read "PC's Role Key in New Formal Wear"

    I had about 3 seconds of excitement thinking about playing Tux Racer on my Tux, customized holographic clothing a'la Automan [wikipedia.org], and the possibility of hacking into the evening gown of a beautiful but dangerous female Russian spy.

    But then I remembered this [tronguy.net], and was glad I was wrong...
  • No Value Add (Score:3, Insightful)

    by slashbob22 (918040) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:05PM (#15480512)
    The bottom line is that they will have to provide some sort of "value add" to the PC consumer. Last time I checked, only a very select number of PC games even came on DVD. With the amount of content available on the Internet, the next-gen DVD formats are going to be video exclusive - which provides very little value add to my 20" monitor. No to sell the new format your audience is not the PC users it's your Couchaplex(TM) Home Theatre owners who have $$ to spare. On top of that, the Couchaplex users won't see the heavy DRM applied to the media like your PC users will. Once the word gets out that your PC locks down while the disc is in the drive, I dont think there will be many takers.
  • Who needs it? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ultramrw21 (889103) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:08PM (#15480531)
    Frankly, Im totally happy with the current DVD format, I can store all of my important files (and not so important) on only a few discs. Like most people in this country, Im gonna wait till ALL the components of a High definition entertainment system are at a practical cost, which IMO includes reading and writing drives for PCs.
  • Why choose a format? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ShadowsHawk (916454)
    I still use a DVD player, but my primary means of viewing is my DVR. Come the end of the month, my plasma will arrive and I will upgrade to a HD-DVR for $200. I'll get quite a bit more use out of that than I would out of a $900 player that makes me choose a format. Skip plastic and go digital.
  • HD vs Blu-Ray; which will you choose? I think I speak for the majority of people I know when I say: neither. Every single person I know is still using a standard 19" NTSC and most people don't have anything bigger than 30" in their living room. Most of them also have 19" monitors and very nice PCs, but I can't see them bothering to spend the money on any high definition drive or the media.

    High Definition is a rich person (or not so rich, but with lots of disposable income,) toy. And most people aren't gonna be buying into that fad until its a lot cheaper. Throw in the heavy backlash from the tech-savvy crowd because of DRM, the lack of a single standard format, and the high cost of media compared to "traditional" DVD, and its gonna end poorly for these companies.

    Very few people outside of video editing, etc, are going to take advantage of this technology for burning storage. And the PS3 may be linked with blu-ray, but that doesn't mean its going to drive sales of the media, outside of the games.
    • I guess it depends on what you define as "rich".

      You can get a very large phillips projection screen TV for 1199 from circuit city when it goes on sale on the major holidays. After taxes-- 1299. After taxes and service plan 1699.

      That's in the budget of anyone making 50k a year and up. If it is the main thing you want in life -- it's in the budget of people making a lot less-- probably down to about $35k.

      • and it's a complete ripoff when you look from that $1699 tv on one shelf to the $300 30" sdtv on the other.

        most families have kids.. you know.. kiiiiiiiiddddsss. they suck up a lot of money you know, you have to plan for their college, for your own retirmenet, pay a mortgage.

        within the budget? maybe in your dreams.
        • And yet people still manage to buy motorcycles, $2400 pc's, boats, vacations to disneyland, to europe, $200 shirts to go out in, $110 girls sandals, ... shall I go on?

          Even a person at $35k can typically afford a grand a year (under 3% of their income) for their particular hobby.

          It may be going to movies, it may be going out dancing on the weekend.

          I have a bud who makes half what I make and yet has a bigger TV, a newer house, and a really expensive telescope (over $3k). And he has a 2 year old. Clearly he'
        • Here is where the problem lies - if we were comparing "apples to apples" - that is, if the HDTV and the SDTV, both of the same size and weight, both using LCDs or plasma displays, you would have a point. However, I have yet to see a 30" SDTV LCD widescreen...

          Most of the time, for $300.00, that 30" SDTV is going to weigh a ton, because it will contain a glass picture tube. It will take two people to safely move it and set it up, each and every time you need to move it (unless you enjoy hernias for some stran

          • In a choice between a 30" SD tube and any sized HD projection TV, I'd buy the tube. Cost is not a factor. I will never own a self contained projection TV that uses any currently commercially available technology. No projection TV currently exists that doesn't suck to some degree, and the price differential has never been great enough to justify me settling for the limitations. Clearly many people disagree with me, or are better motivated by the cost difference, and that's their business.

            What I don't underst
    • by Nazmun (590998)
      I know anyone with a 19inch NTSC resolution. How many people do you know running at 640x480? Most people at the very least run 1024x768 (which IS HD) on a 19 inch monitor and a good deal run at leat 1280x960.
    • High Definition is a rich person (or not so rich, but with lots of disposable income,) toy.

      What I find highly amusing is that many slashdotters seem to disagree on this point. They talk about how they have HDTVs that cost them only $500, which is still twice the cost of a SD set with the same screen area. Meanwhile they ignore the fact that most people would rather have a bigger picture than a sharper one. Even I would rather have a big screen SD than a dinky little (by dinky, I mean anything less tha

      • You know, I am still trying to figure out where these $500.00 HDTV "fell off the back of the truck" sets can be bought. Even at Walmart, you are going to spend more than that for a cheap HDTV capable set. Meh.

        You are a lucky SOB to get a projector for $5.00 - I know I have gotten my share of "deals", but most of them have been in the VR HMD arena, not data projectors - oh, well. I myself am in the "market" now for a new TV - my 12 year old 27" is giving up the ghost, so I am looking into options. Currently,

    • High Definition is a rich person (or not so rich, but with lots of unsecured credit card debt and no savings) toy.


      There, fixed it for ya!

  • by NeuroManson (214835) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:27PM (#15480664) Homepage
    Seriously, HD DVD formats on a laptop are laughable. LCD displays are limited in resolution, and for that matter, so are current HDTV monitors/displays. Your HD DVD would look the same on a 17" widescreen laptop as a non HD DVD, unless you're lucky.

    The ONLY reason someone would want to pirate an HD-DVD format is to reduce its quality to be viewable on current technology.
    • Seriously, HD DVD formats on a laptop are laughable. LCD displays are limited in resolution, and for that matter, so are current HDTV monitors/displays. Your HD DVD would look the same on a 17" widescreen laptop as a non HD DVD, unless you're lucky.

      Virtally all laptops now support at least 1280x1024 (which allows 720p, or 1280x720), and many now come with 1920x1200 (allowing 1080p at 1920x1080).

      Now, will that look good on a 17" display? Across a room, from the TV stand to the couch - no. On your lap?
      • by cr0sh (43134)
        Although plenty of dongles exist to let you use an old NTSC TV as your monitor, any text thereupon needed at least a 40pt font for the barest of legibility, and the flickering of any sharp transitions (such as the edges of those huge letters) would give you a headache after five minutes.

        I won't argue with you that VGA->NTSC/PAL TV scan converters can be "crap" as far as output - I know I have seen my share to realize that (although AverMedia has put out some nice products in this area). I also won't argu

      • Virtally all laptops now support at least 1280x1024 (which allows 720p, or 1280x720), and many now come with 1920x1200 (allowing 1080p at 1920x1080).

        Also, any notebook with an HD DVD or Blu Ray drive can serve as a portable player that can be connected to many HDTVs. There are a lot of HDTVs out there without set top HD DVD players. Toshiba's and Acer's new HD DVD-equiped notebooks have HDMI outputs, so I can see them being connected to many HDTVs before set top players become common.

        I used to think the

  • Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD = DVD-R vs. DVD+R

    The only real winner is to support both formats...
  • I won't buy either. Why should I?

    Both are ridiculously crippled with DRM. Both are by a magnitude too expensive. Neither offers any value that a DVD doesn't. I don't watch movies on my computer. Software, even games, don't need more than a DVD or two can offer. Why bother going "either or" if the obvious choice is "neither"?
    • Neither offers any value that a DVD doesn't.

      That statement is not true. Both offer the ability to store full length movies at HD resolution.

      That's "value" - "worth in usefulness or importance to the possessor; utility or merit." It may not be value you're willing to pay for (I'm not either), especially considering the huge negative value the DRM offers, but you can't say that there is no value offered over a DVD.

    • I'm confident the price will come down, maybe pretty quickly. They do both offer value that a regular DVD doesn't -- assuming you value high-definition video, which I do. The DRM, though. . . That just sickens me. The whole "format war" and DRM sicken me because they're crippling a product we actually do need.

      I want to see the transition to HDTV be successful. We can't be stuck with NTSC from now until doomsday, that's just too depressing to contemplate. But if now isn't the time for HD, then when wi
  • So here's an interesting question - since Microsoft is a big HD-DVD backer, how well are Blu-Ray drives even going to work under Windows? Will XP or Vista ever ship with drivers for Blu-Ray burners?

    At least Blu-Ray also has Apple as a backer, that can make Blu-Ray support a first-class citizen on the Mac. They already have iMovie HD so they are ready to include Blu-Ray burners when the cost is low enough.

  • Now I'm an old fart, I could simply say "who needs it?".
    I liked films on video tapes. Watching them on DVD makes no difference in visual pleasure to me.
    Mind you, DVDs have a higher resolution (easier to make good screenshots), don't wear out (cool) and are much smaller. Thus I use them.

    Now, along comes a new format. Can do higher resolution on films. Has no other advantages, except a *lot* of hardwired protections. Thus I don't care at all.

    Data storage? What for? I have a simple software-RAID 5 on my Linux

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