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A Triple-Standard Disk 210

Posted by kdawson
from the blue-plus-red-makes-purple dept.
On the heels of the news of Toshiba's proposed double-standard disk comes word that Warner Brothers engineers have applied for a patent on a triple-standard disk. The new disk would offer HD-DVD and Blu-Ray on one side and standard DVD on the other. From the article: "Warner's plan is to create a disk with a Blu-ray top layer that works like a two-way mirror. This should reflect just enough blue light for a Blu-ray player to read it okay. But it should also let enough light through for HD-DVD players to ignore the Blu-ray recording and find a second HD-DVD layer beneath." See the patent application, filed last month.
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A Triple-Standard Disk

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  • Or they could... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:04PM (#16134053) Homepage Journal
    ...include two discs in the Amaray case?

    [...]

    Naaah. That's too easy.
  • Not buying it. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    HD-DVD and Blu-Ray don't look any better than DVDs on my 27" TV and I'm not spending $2,000 on a TV just so I can drool over PlayStation 3 games. Therefore I would recommend that you not buy this product. Furthermore I haven't met a single person who wants an HD-DVD or Blu-Ray disc player due to the crippling DRM and marginal increase in quality.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I'm not spending $2,000 on a TV just so I can drool over PlayStation 3 games.

      Err, HD capable sets are doing just fine without PS3 and if you're fine with your NTSC signal on your 27" tv, then more power to you. However, just because YOU don't think it's worth it, just because YOU don't see a need to watch HD content doesn't mean squat for the rest of the populace. Fact is, lots of people are plunking money down for new tv's that are capable of playing HD, you the manufs don't really care about.

      BTW, t
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AuMatar (183847)
        Except we're not. Less than 10% of the US has HD. Less than 50% of new TV sales are HD. HD has failed in the marketplace.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          HD has failed in the marketplace.

          You're kidding right? HDTV capable set sales are increasing. Less than 10% of the market, of course, you're looking at an item that has massive market penetration, even 10% of that market is HUGE and it keeps getting bigger. Pay more attention at your local Walmart (which is an excellent indicator of what the "regular" folk are buying). More and more sq footage is being taken over by flat panel sets, most of them are HD capable (barring a few of the smaller lcd's or c
        • by forkazoo (138186)
          Except we're not. Less than 10% of the US has HD. Less than 50% of new TV sales are HD. HD has failed in the marketplace.


          And, just for shits and giggles... Is there any firm number on the percentage of sets with HDMI currently in use?
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by be-fan (61476)
          You're on crack. HD penetration has been growing tremendously quickly, to the point where the 10% number, which was accurate just a couple of years ago, has long since become obsolete. By the end of 2005, 17% of TV-owning households owned an HDTV. At this rate, by 2010, 57% of TV-watching US households will have an HDTV. That's less than four years from now.

          As of June, 41% of all TV sales in the US were HDTVs. Moreover, HDTVs accounted for 81% of TV sales by revenue. At a point when a cheap SDTV can be had
          • by Stripe7 (571267)
            How many of these SDTV's or HDTV's can display 1080p? Without that capability there is no reason to buy Blu-Ray or HD-DVD.
            • How many of these SDTV's or HDTV's can display 1080p?

              1920x1080 luma and 960x540 chroma, downsampled to 1280x720 luma and 960x540 chroma, is still a huge improvement over 704x480 luma and 352x240 chroma. In theory, a 1280x720 pixel LCD or plasma could use ClearType style rendering on the RGB subpixels and get the equivalent of 1920x720 luma. And yes, there are a lot of native 1080p displays in the wild, which double as computer monitors. Besides, even a cheap 1080i CRT displays 1080p at full resolution, wi

              • Besides, even a cheap 1080i CRT displays 1080p at full resolution

                Oh, I hope you don't try setting the input signal to 1080p on too many set top boxes to test this. Even on $6000 42" LCDs with HDMI (but only 1080i) - there ain't NO WAY a 1080i display is going to display 1080p signals. It'll just not work. Out of sync/signal out of range/'nuh uh uh'... there's a reason why 1080p is more expensive - despite the 'obvious' there is more to it than just 'same signal, this time not flickering'. For one, there is

            • by be-fan (61476)
              Uh, what? Even 720p is a huge step up from 480p. It's more than double the resolution, in fact, and the support of advanced codecs in HD-DVD and Blu-Ray results in even better picture quality than the resolution would suggest.
          • 25% of what you said seemed logical, 35.4% of what you said seemed to be plausable for arguments sake and with the remaining 39.6%, i refuse to believe, not yet, you haven't convinced me. Maybe in 2011 what you say might be 100% true. But for now that is how the statistics speak and incase you are wondering they speak for themselves.
            • by be-fan (61476)
              What the hell are you talking about?

              All the stuff I cited was from actual studies of HDTV penetration. See, for example, this article: HDTV Sales.
              • The point is, you cite percentages and estimations but you cite no sources, or provided links, so in my view its all made up.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by DaveWick79 (939388)
            The real question then, is what percentage of people have actually bought a new TV set during the past 2 years or so. if only 10% of the public bought a new TV set, then only 4% of the public has HD sets. And how many of those sets are 720p? Half? Now you're down to 2%. How many of those customers are in the upper middle class and higher and bought 2 or 3 HD sets. Now you might be down to 1% of households. Sure, it's growing, and will keep growing, especially as people are forced to replace analog se
            • by be-fan (61476)
              The real question then, is what percentage of people have actually bought a new TV set during the past 2 years or so. if only 10% of the public bought a new TV set, then only 4% of the public has HD sets.

              I already gave you the statistic for market penetration. 15-17% of TV-owning households have an HDTV, depending on the study (as of early 2006). That's households, not "percentage of TVs that are HD". That number is expected to reach 20% by the end of this year, not surprising since the 15-17% figure alread
        • It hasn't failed. It hasn't started yet. I know because I want it, am reasonably tech-savy, and don't have it. I will get it when it's straight-forward, predictable, doesn't involve modifying my house, and I can be pretty sure I'll be able to watch almost half the shows I watch in pretty-vision. That possible yet?
        • by westlake (615356)
          Except we're not. Less than 10% of the US has HD. Less than 50% of new TV sales are HD. HD has failed in the marketplace.

          TIME magazine's estimate was 20% of American households. TIME's most interesting take on the subject was that HD is taking hold across the board, as color TV did in the mid-sixties.

          Color TV was introduced into the American market in 1954.

          Sets cost $1000 solid as The Rock post-war dollars. Vacuum tube technology. Never Twice The Same Color.

          There was one manufactuer and one network bro

      • by AbRASiON (589899) *
        I've spent 3200$ on my HD TV and yet I still won't be getting blu-ray or HD-DVD
        I CAN enjoy my PS3 and X360 games in HD (I own neither console) but I'm more than happy with the quality of DVD on my TV as it is.

        Once you own a HIGH quality set and put even SD content on it, it really does scrub the picture up nicely.
        Sure HD would be better but no thanks, for the money I'm paying (hint: not much) DVD is more than enough.
    • want HD-DVD. More space means higher bitrates means better picture. Blockbuster dvds from major studios look fine on even a 27" crt. Obscure anime from small publishers look pretty awful. Anime distributers often don't have access to masters, let alone the time to do anything with them.
      • by Yartrebo (690383)
        Xvid/divx @ 640x480, 1024 kbps works pretty much perfectly on any NTSC set so long as there aren't any major mastering/encoding blunders and the source is clean (a well made DVD is usually a clean enough source) - there just isn't enough detail in NTSC to discriminate. DVD gives even better quality than that, but I doubt many will notice, no less care.

        Maybe if HDTV sets were more popular things would be different.
        • but DVDs are not encoded with Xvid or divx. Poorly encoded dvds don't give better quality than that. Reds and blacks are blocky, colors are faded, lines indistinct, picture is grainy, etc, etc. The Nadesico dvds, for instance, suck rocks. I notice on a mediocre 24" Sony. Anyone looking at them would notice, and anyone who's a fan of the series would care. My point is, you don't need an HDTV set to benefit from HD-DVD. If anime publishers had larger budgets (better encoding and/or fewer eps per disk), this w
          • by Fred_A (10934)
            You're assuming the encoding would be better in HD. It's quite possible that all you'd get would be larger blurs and better defined blocks. I'm not sure resolution matters half as much as the quality of the encoding and of its tweaking for the given source (you don't compress animation like you would a motion picture).
    • by Nazmun (590998)
      My ass. You can buy a 27inch HDTV for $500 or less and a LCD HDTV of 26 inches for $600ish.
  • by rpax9000 (916267) on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:07PM (#16134073)
    They can phase out old DVDs even faster now... you're paying extra for the HD content anyway, so why not buy the HD player? Seems like a new approached to planned obsolescence by Warner.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The cynic in me says these discs are being patented so that they may never be used, thus boosting total sales of regular discs. Want the special super deluxe edition? Only on HD-DVD. How about the extended directors cut? Blu-Ray exclusive. Collect them all, you greedy bastards! Pour your money into the industry in a debauched frenzy of consumerism!! Mwahahaha!!!

      Like I said, cynic speaking.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by rpax9000 (916267)
        I suppose this is an equally possible flip side.... I feel like any time I see a content provider patent a new tech, I get to thinking about how they are using it to maximize profit. Not that these businesses should have any other motive than profit, I don't guess, but at the same time I think we all need to be wary of any "technological advances" they are kind enough to offer the consumer. Of course, that leaves us with Sony trying to use content to sell us proprietary standards (rather than using a stan
    • by westlake (615356)
      They can phase out old DVDs even faster now... you're paying extra for the HD content anyway, so why not buy the HD player?

      Take a look at the A-list HD titles at Amazon.com. Tell me how much more you are paying for HD content today.

    • Actually, from what I understand, this is just one of those idea patents that we all love to hate. Most people around seem to assume that somehow vague idea patents are equivalent with software patents, but this is one of the proofs that it's not quite so.

      Basically what their patent says is "you know, if you could put a layer in between that reflects wavelenght X but is transparent to wavelenght Y, you could have one laser type (hence drive) read one layer and the other laser type read the other one." Which
  • Given that all of the players involved are interested in achieving "network lock in" with their proprietary technology and their proprietary players why would they incorporate all standards at once.

    Secondly, it obviates the need to replace all of your DVDs or buy a new player or two.

    Finally with all of the different standards, Sony might mess up their DRM and allow their drives to play the disk.

    Far too consumer friendly to work!
  • Licensing (Score:2, Interesting)

    If you buy a movie stored on one of these discs, do you have rights to six copies of that movie (the three on the disc + three archival copies?)
    • by Mercano (826132)
      What are these "rights" of which you speak? Even a school child knows that a media owner may only use the content as the copyright holder sees fit to allow them too.
  • by jpellino (202698) on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:11PM (#16134107)
    While working on the road for on The GLOBE Program, I routinely explained to fellow passengers that this was an unprecedented case of hundreds of thousands of kids collecting real environmental data in a dozen areas for use by top scientists, and was a cooperative project between EPA, NSF, NASA, NOAA, Dept of State & Dept of Ed. I soon learned the their universal, blinking amazement was never for the kids/schools/data part, but for the cooperation of 6 gummint agencies.

    This is like that. Someone dare propose that all three systems coexist in a win-win-win scenario? Surely these are the end times.
  • Confusion (Score:2, Funny)

    by corroncho (1003609)
    This one is really going to confuse my Mom!!!
    ______________________________________________
    Free iPods? Its legit [wired.com]. 5 of my friends got theirs. Get yours here! [freepay.com]
    • This one is really going to confuse my Mom!!!

      I don't think its just your Mom its going to confuse. This sounds like one of those solutions that is so smart it is stupid. I mean this means additional costs, not really knowing which component failed if something went wrong (so who do you blame) and the extra hasle when it come to dealing with stupid sales people or the kid at your local video store. It also means that it is harder for any one publisher to add an extra layer for their movie.

      In short, while an
  • Should? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CaymanIslandCarpedie (868408) on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:12PM (#16134116) Journal
    definition: "Should" - a work that should never be allowed in describing a patent.

    So they really haven't figured out how to do it? So what they file the patent hope they can figure it out and if not hope someone else does so they can sue them?
    • Re:Should? (Score:5, Informative)

      by kansas1051 (720008) on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:33PM (#16134265)
      definition: "Should" - a work that should never be allowed in describing a patent.

      Agreed, but its only the submitter who used the word "should" in relation to the benefit of the disclosed technology. The actual application is very clear that the technology produces a layered DVD and only uses the word should once:

      "It should be understood that the discs in the drawings have been simplified for the sake of clarity and that various layers, including glue and resin layers well known to those skilled in the art have been omitted. "

      Patent attorneys rarely use "should" in applications because an invention which only has a prophetic utility does not satisfy the utility requirement of 35 U.S.C. 101.

      • "It should be understood that the discs in the drawings have been simplified for the sake of clarity and that various layers, including glue and resin layers well known to those skilled in the art have been omitted."

        Hmm. I wonder if it really is obvious where the glue and resin layers should go, or if they're trying to bypass the disclosure requirement.

        • > "It should be understood that the discs in the drawings have been simplified for the sake of clarity and that various layers, including glue and resin layers well known to those skilled in the art have been omitted."

          I wonder if it really is obvious where the glue and resin layers should go, or if they're trying to bypass the disclosure requirement

          Congratulations! I think that weasel drawing just voided their patent. Either, the placement of the missing layers is obvious to a person skilled in the

    • by ColaMan (37550)
      I know, submitter was summarising, but

      1. "just enough blue light for a Blu-ray player to read it okay"

      Plus

      2. "But it should also let enough light through for HD-DVD players to ignore the Blu-ray recording and find a second HD-DVD layer beneath."

      Equals

      Discs that work on one player but not on another identical player. This will be a general nightmare for any owner of HD or Blu-ray DVD players, let alone retailers, who have to deal with a heap of "faulty" returns.
  • Curious... (Score:4, Funny)

    by steveo777 (183629) on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:13PM (#16134118) Homepage Journal
    Did anyone else imagine Wile E Coyote in a lab coat at the ACME factory?
  • by 2ms (232331) on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:13PM (#16134119)
    For one thing this probably isnt as perfect a solution as it seems because the disks will obviously be significantly more expensive than even the more expensive of either bluray or hddvd. For example, it will have to have that super expensive surface coating that bluray disks require since the wavelength of laser is so short (to prevent scratching).

    But the more interesting thing is that if these were to go mainstream among the media providers, then success of each format in terms of players sold will be determined much more simply by price relative to the other rather than by a combination of many more factors such as movie catalog/availability, disk cost, what kinds of disks friends have, etc.

    So, which of the two types of player is intrinsically cheaper and by how much? Does HDDVD have a huge advantage in the area of cost to manufacture players?
  • Not so. (Score:5, Informative)

    by rackhamh (217889) on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:13PM (#16134120)
    Once again Slashdot shows its abyssmal understanding of patents.

    This patent was not FILED August 10, 2006. It was PUBLISHED August 10, 2006. The actual filing date, shown later in the publication, is December 22, 2005.

    It may seem a trivial, but in the digital media market, eight months can make the difference between being a leader and a follower.
    • The published application was filed December 22, 2005, but it claims priority to a provisional application filed Dec. 23, 2004. So, this application will be treated as if it was filed on December 23, 2004, just over 18 months ago. (U.S. patent applications typically publish 18-months after the filing of the earliest application to which they claim - 35 U.S.C. 122)
      • by rackhamh (217889)
        But I wasn't talking about the effective filing date -- just the filing date of the linked document. You are correct, however, that for examination and patent term purposes, the date of the provisional filing is used.
  • by HTMLSpinnr (531389) on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:13PM (#16134125) Homepage
    How is this a step in the right direction - a common, unified standard? While this technology allows end-user technology ambiguity, it's not solving the dual standard dilemma. We need one standard.

    Also, how would a dual-standard drive handle this if one should ever come to exist? Would the drive automagically see the BlueRay disc, the HD-DVD, or simply refuse to play because both are present (really bad design)?

    And of course, will this increase the cost to the end user?
    • As anoying as two formats probably will be, its quite obvious both HD-DVD and blu-ray camps want to completly annihilate each other and exist in a monoploly.

      If this disk was invented and publishers not aligned with either camp decided to go multi-format on the one disk, what would the ramifications be if either consortium decided to make things difficult??
      Both sides have a lare amount of studios who could make things very difficult for anyone who didn't want to fall in line.

      This could have the making of ano
    • by RexRhino (769423)
      Why is the right direction one common, unified standard? Doesn't having multiple standard formats prevent any one single format controller to abuse their position in the market (for example, requiring DRM in PCs that play the format)? Maybe if there was a completly free and open format (like ogg, but for video disks), then it might be OK to have one format... But being able to use multiple formats on one disk seems like a good thing.
    • Let's say these discs become ubiquitous... and so would dual or even triple drives... as in, the vast majority of the market would have a dual (Blu-Ray / HD-DVD) or even triple (Blu-Ray / HD-DVD / DVD) drive. Wouldn't it make sense for a producer to think "instead of putting the same content on it in 3 different forms, why don't I put the movie on the Blu-Ray layer, the extras on the HD-DVD layer, and whatever else I can think of like a computer game or something on the DVD layer?"

      Then again, I hardly ever
  • by slapys (993739) on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:15PM (#16134134)
    Now studios can release one disc that is pretty much universally playable. This should go a long way to encourage the adoption of HD-DVD AND Blu-ray. If these discs become prevalent, and people realize that they could upgrade their DVD player to a Blu-ray player, and still play their last 10 movies, but in higher quality on their HDTV, they might actually consider the upgrade. As opposed to now, where people might not upgrade because they must buy NEW movies and start a NEW collection in order to enjoy what they see as "slightly" better picture quality over DVD (as well as massive DRM!).

    If I was a movie studio executive, I would support these triple-layer discs at any cost.
    • by GWBasic (900357)

      If I was a movie studio executive, I would support these triple-layer discs at any cost.

      From a long-term perspective, it's a rather short-sided move. The cheapest, simplest, and easiest approach is to only have one standard. This is for the following reasons:

      • DVDs, HD-DVDs, and BluRays use different techniques for menus, thus tripling the cost of mastering such disks, and causing inconsistant features.
      • The above disks will be more expensive to manufacture.

      Granted, only having one inventory item per ti

  • "Warner's plan is to..." "This should reflect enough light..." "...to read it okay." "But it should also..." I'm not even sure they believe it'll work either with as much speculative wording as that.
  • The only way either Blu-Ray or HD-DVD is going to gain enough momentum to become a standard is if they release it an a non obtrusive way. Most people simply wont spend the money on the new equipment needed and there is a strong reluctance to having to "upgrade" their movies to a new "standard" this give an option for those who might see a desire for HD support down the road without having to make a full commitment. I know that I would probably pay a few dollars more for the option of having the higer form
  • by kclittle (625128) on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:17PM (#16134151)
    "Warner's plan is to create a disk with a Blu-ray top layer that works like a two-way mirror. This should reflect just enough blue light for a Blu-ray player to read it okay. But it should also let enough light through for HD-DVD players to ignore the Blu-ray recording and find a second HD-DVD layer beneath."

    Oh, this sounds like just a wunnerful guarantee of problem-free operation on all the drives, Blu-ray or HD-DVD, that were designed and produced with really tight tolerances before this mutant format was conceived. No problems with marginal signals at all, nosireee, we promise.
    -k
    • by Ruie (30480)
      I had somewhat bad experience with regular double-sided DVD disks lately - several I bought were warped resulting in unplayable areas. Does anyone else have the same experience ?
    • by Babbster (107076)
      Yeah, see, none of that is a real problem because there are so few Blu-Ray/HD-DVD devices on the market. Believe me, there were DVD players produced in the early days that have huge problems with "modern" dual-layer DVDs. Even my Zenith, produced two years after DVD's debut, could barely handle some discs released towards the end of 2000 (and later, of course).

      Anyone who has bought (or will buy over the next year) a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD device should be an early adopter educated enough to know that a coup
  • It seems like 2 markets were formed when the companies couldn't agree on one HD disk standard. Some of the same companies that couldn't agree are now going to step in with disks that work in both markets. Kind of lame.
    I guess what I am saying is that if there was only BluRay, there would be no need for a disk that had BluRay, HDdvd and DVD. Convenient.
  • for next-gen media.

    If one studio attempts to license the proposed CD format, how will it get made in a low cost manner? More specifically, you will need at least one manufacturer to build the machine to burn the media on a large scale.

    Who in their right mind will build the production equipment for a -single- studio owned technology? Say they don't make the manufacturer pay extortion, what cd production house will invest in the hardware for a -single- studio?

    At this point some joker must have the patent fo
    • Maybe I'm missing something here, but I've seen and used many DVDs that are Widescreen on one side and Fullscreen on the other.
  • Underneath drm formats some standards are used.
    But this matters very little since those standards are hidden to the consumer or third parties.

    The result is a non-standard format.

    Only with a near monopoly can a non-standard survive.

    Normally, if company 'A' sells proprietary music files, and company 'M' sells the the same music in another non-standard format, and company 'X' sells similar media, company 'X' will win.

  • HV-DVD, Blu-Ray, DVD all on one disc. Cool.

    But with the studios and RIAA/MPAA being the way they are, you will be licensed to view/listen to only one format.
  • by hurfy (735314) on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:44PM (#16134340)
    Just what the shelf life of these would be. Assuming it works and they figure out how to press the disk it sounds VERY touchy.

    How much of a scratch would it take to mangle the BluRay data that is being read off this semi-transparent layer. I thought those were pretty sensitive to start with.

    How about the stability? Will any of the optical properties change over time of any of the several compononts involved? Will your new Disney disc last til your kid is out of elementary school?

    All sounds like trouble waiting to happen to me.
    Especially as the patent included a lot of SHOULDs to start with :(

    oh well, pretty much a mental exercise as i am not going for either one for quite some time.
  • Such an obvious way to make a consumer pay extra unnecessarily will help kill the next gen formats. And I think that's a good thing.
  • by TheSpoom (715771) *
    I call your triple-standard player and raise you a quintuple-standard BluRay/HDDVD/DVD/CD/floppy disk hybrid.

    Bonus: If you punch a hole in the lower right corner, you instantly get double the storage!
  • Wow (Score:4, Insightful)

    by db32 (862117) on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:50PM (#16134365) Journal
    So this actually looks like one of the first articles on slashdot that actually covers a real patent. Not some stupid lame one-click, conjugation, whatever other simple and obvious nonsense. This format for these disks actually seems fairly patent worthy.
    • So this actually looks like one of the first articles on slashdot that actually covers a real patent. Not some stupid lame one-click, conjugation, whatever other simple and obvious nonsense. This format for these disks actually seems fairly patent worthy.

      Keep dreaming.

      It covers a patent application. There has been no grant of a patent yet.

  • All Crap (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Xybot (707278)
    DVD, CD technology are both crap, I'd say at least 25% of the time I have problems with playing a DVD (especially if children have been near it).

    Surely we can come up with a better medium than these coasters. I have the feeling that 'Big Money' are more interested in built in obsolesence and format lock-in than in longevity and useability.

    I'm still waiting for a digital storage/retrieval medium thats better than a hard-drive, surely that can't be too difficult?
    • by westlake (615356)
      DVD, CD technology are both crap, I'd say at least 25% of the time I have problems with playing a DVD (especially if children have been near it).

      I am sure Edison heard the same complaints about his new wax cylinders.

      You want to protect those collectable DVDs? Pristine vinyl LPs? Keep them out of the hands of your kids. That is why you buy ot build the media jukebox .

  • by shotgunefx (239460) on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:55PM (#16134397) Journal
    One for BluRay, one for HD-DVD?
  • In other news, Toshiba and Schick have filed applications for approval of a proposed merger of their two companies. When asked about the merger Toshiba representatives replied that with Warner Bro's having added a third level Toshiba wanted to push the envelope even farther. Schick has already demonstrated a willingness to keep adding new levels in order to look new and innovative and Toshiba wants that kind of vision behind their own products, particularly as they look ahead to Quad-layer DVD's (to be call
  • I'm sorry but I don't want to handle media anymore. Today, I just rip my music CDs and use files from a huge library.

    So forget the whole "which standard am I going to buy" nightmare and the costly playback unit that goes along with that decision.

    Get your Mac mini and "iTV" right here. It gives you a really good operating system and amazing H.264/AAC streaming to your living room. It's an iPod for your TV.
  • by svunt (916464) on Monday September 18, 2006 @07:37PM (#16134610) Homepage Journal
    is a 12" vinyl record..on one side, backed by a laserdisc with an SACD embedded into its centre. When I buy one, it will come with a complimentary sample of the new "minidisc within a betamax" unit. Sweet.
  • this reminds me of the whole disposable razor crap.
    then:
    Mach 3 has 3 blades.. then shieck was like: well we have 5 plus one on the back because one blade wasnt that bad.
    now:
    we have DVDs on one side and cda on the back... to we have DVDs and HD dvds to we have HD-DVD-Rays
    are HD-DVD-Rays as bad as X-rays?
    ... okay now im rambling.
  • Even if such a thing could be done, it would probably be the WORST of both HD technologies. Perhaps a single layer of each? A single layer of Blueray is not enough for later. A single layer of HD-DVD is not enough for later. Then you get a damn "flippy disc", so there is no cool label, no side you can safely sit the disc on while moving them around, and no light protection if you forget and leave it on the desk and the sun shines on it for a while.

    On top of that you have to pile the licensing fees for a
  • by gsn (989808) on Monday September 18, 2006 @08:18PM (#16134819)
    The major studios might have been able to control piracy by phasing out DVDs and using BluRay or HD-DVD with HDCP (and BD+ or whatever they are calling it today) since no one has convincingly broken HDCP yet (not that I think this won't happen). The hardware control and the key revocation actually gave them a fighting chance technologically.

    This move is shooting themselves in the foot - lots of people on /. have said that the quality on DVDs is good enough and they wont upgrade - I won't because I'm a poor grad student who cannot afford to spend a 1000+ bucks on a HDTV because in the end its still a TV. Even if HDCP isn't broken they've left a gaping hole because CSS certainly is and so people can buy these combo discs and still pirate the DVD versions of movies using their DVD-RW drives like they are doing now.

    Ofcourse they are caught between a rock and a hard place - consumers don't want to upgrade from existing equipment that many of them think is good enough and the stuios want consumers to upgrade so that they can sell the same content again in a new format and control piracy more effectively - thus the combo disc. Ultimately the worst case scenario is people like the combo discs so they cant stop piracy and people still choose not to upgrade, and they have to sell these things at prices similar to regular dvds now or people won't buy it. I suspect this will likely happen if they implement this.
  • Warner's plan is to create a disk with a Blu-ray top layer that works like a two-way mirror. This should reflect just enough blue light for a Blu-ray player to read it okay.

    So if there are even slight imperfections or smudges on the disc from use, it will be completely unreadable and I'll have to buy another...

    Wait, why do I get the feeling this is on purpose...
  • ...why couldn't they just get together on HDTV or Blu-Ray in the first place?

    There's no such thing as a free lunch. If you can get this cobbled-together monstrosity to work, you could do something equally clever that would make better use of the storage capacity than storing three identical copies of the same movie in three different formats.

    As it is, the average DVD has glitches playing in some players. A randomly-selected DVD player probably has only a 98% chance of playing a randomly-selected DVD. It is
  • Do ya get the impression that when they are all done these disks and players are going to be more temperamental than anything we've seen before? You'll have to set your media center up in an Intel clean room to keep your player from skiping out to la-la land half way through the movie.
  • ... by the words "Warner Brothers engineeres"?

    The thought of the media companies creating the hardware on which we'll have(*) to use to to buy their content worries me.

    * Of course, "have" just means "until someone hacks a way around it".
  • Let me get this straight.. they're calling them "Double standard" disks? and no one thought that might be a bad name?

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