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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 on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:05PM (#16134057)
    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 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.
  • by John.P.Jones (601028) on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:08PM (#16134079)
    No, you see then the purchaser could seperate the discs (give one to a friend). Obviously the studios would not like this...

    You aren't thinking nearly evil enough to be a film studio. :)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:11PM (#16134106)
    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, the largest set in my house is a 27", but it gets used maybe 1/10th the amount that our 21" tv is. So I'm just as much a luddite as you. But it's obvious that every passing day, you and I are increasingly the minority.
  • by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenis@@@gmail...com> on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:12PM (#16134112) Homepage
    Or they could stop acting like children, sit it down, discuss the technical and logistical merits of both and DECIDE ON ONE STANDARD FOR NOW. ...

    Just saying.

    Tom
  • 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?
  • 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 AuMatar (183847) on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:15PM (#16134137)
    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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:16PM (#16134146)
    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.
  • 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 triso (67491) on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:19PM (#16134165) Homepage
    ...include two discs in the Amaray case?
    They would have to charge extra for this since you could give one away. That would cause some revenue loss.
  • by AusIV (950840) on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:22PM (#16134185)
    Or they could stop acting like children, sit it down, discuss the technical and logistical merits of both
    In my experience, children are better at compromise than adults who have money invested in something.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:59PM (#16134414)
    This isn't about technical and logistical merits, it's about who owns the patents and the next standard.
  • by kinglink (195330) on Monday September 18, 2006 @07:38PM (#16134614)
    Or have a preference. Adults defend worthless stuff to their death. I mean sony has been constantly making bad moves and there's still people who say that they haven't even made the first mistake. Sad
  • by DaveWick79 (939388) on Monday September 18, 2006 @10:09PM (#16135291)
    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 sets with digital.

    So where's the market for Bluray and HD-DVD now? DVD looks fabulous at 720p, it already has the resolution for that. Why do I need HD-DVD or Bluray? I think they have plenty of time to work out a resolution for this. If a dual layer disc with both formats is the ticket, fine. Just don't make me pay the freakin' royalties for each format on each disc I buy. I'm not paying $40-50 dollars to buy a movie. And while I'm on the subject of 'not paying for', I don't think the HD players are going to really become sellable until they are under $200 with low end models under $100. If they want to replace DVD they are going to have to make it so that it's not worth it to pay just a little bit less for DVD.

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