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DVD Truce Between Blu-Ray and HD-DVD? 255

An anonymous reader writes " Reuters is reporting that Toshiba and Sony are in talks about reconciling the two next-generation DVD formats. Ideas floated in the article include a unified DVD arch which could use "Blu-ray's disc structure and HD DVD software technology" (Sony's idea) or "HD DVD disc structure and employing Sony's multi-layer data-recording technology" (Toshiba's idea)"
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DVD Truce Between Blu-Ray and HD-DVD?

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  • by grungebox ( 578982 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @01:06PM (#12303708) Homepage
    Perhaps Sony's learned lessons from "Beta" and "Memory Stick".

    Beta, yes. Memory Stick? Last I heard they were sticking to their guns, mostly because I think their memory-stick-requiring products like digital cameras, digital video cameras, and the PSP, use them. Doesn't mean memory sticks don't suck, just that Sony hasn't backtracked on the memory stick yet.
  • by ekuns ( 695444 ) * on Thursday April 21, 2005 @01:15PM (#12303793) Journal

    Collusion is illegal when companies are working together to keep another company's product off the market by predatory pricing, for example. But when two companies (or consortiums) work together to choose a common standard, that is just plain good sense. The companies are wisely (I hope) seeing that the market will not welcome competing standards, and that the market (and thus their pocketbooks) are bettered by there being exactly one new DVD standard. There is no illegal activity here because no-one is being prevented from doing anything and they are not controlling prices by choosing to implement a common standard. There is no anti-competitive behavior.

    Now, if the companies fixed the pricing of this standard and refused to allow anyone to undercut the pricing and used their size in the marketplace to control the availability and cost of the new DVD players, that could be collusion. If they were somehow working together (like a cartel) to prevent another company from competing in the marketspace, that might be collusion. (Depending on the tactics, etc.) However, just agreeing on a common standard does not collusion make.

  • by Mycroft_VIII ( 572950 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @01:24PM (#12303874) Journal
    I can't speak athouratatively (IANAL, etc.), and most certainly not about non-US laws, but as I understand it monopolies are allowed (in some cases at least), they just fall under much tighter rules and such when they occure.
    Microsoft didn't get in trouble for being a monopoly, but doing illeagle things with thier monopoly derived powers.
    Plus I don't think this is a monopoly situation in any case, it's more of a standard format that everyone can compete under. For example no-one seriously complains about the keyboard monopoly, yet 'multi-media' buttons aside most keyboards follow the same general qwerty layout with the row of function keys at the top, the arrow keys in the lower right and the numpad in the far right and so on.
    They only way this could be a monopoly is if only ONE source to aquire the disk's and players existed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 21, 2005 @01:38PM (#12303994)
    This matters very much for Sony. The PS2 wasn't such a big deal in North America because we mostly owned DVD players when it came out. Not so in Asia where DVD penetration was very low before the PS2. Then Sony came out with a top-notch game machine that was also a DVD player for the same price as a DVD player. They immediately had penetration in most Asian households.

    They want to repeat this success, but this time they want to rule North America as well. So it is of absolutely critical importance to them that the PS3 contain whatever the nextgen DVD format is, and that it be one of the very first to market.
  • by tsalem ( 813623 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @01:45PM (#12304060)
    Wrong. [] It uses a blue laser, and is 15 GB for a single-sided disc and 30 for dual-sided. I agree that Blu-Ray is better, but try and get the facts straight.
  • by Beatnik6 ( 877907 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @01:48PM (#12304084)
    Actually, HD-DVD uses the a 405nm blue laser, as Blu-Ray does, and stores 15GB (single-layer) or 30GB (dual-layer) per disc. The discs themselves have significantly different configurations, which is why the storage capabilies are different. Regards...
  • by ILikeRed ( 141848 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @01:50PM (#12304104) Journal

    It is a poor article. I think the real sticking point is over software controls, and whether the systems will be running Java, as Sony wants, or MSTV system, designed by Microsoft.

    A better article is here from the EETimes [].

    I'm not sure I am excited by either prospect, but I worry more about the Microsoft licensing.

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