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Last-Minute Delays Looming for HD-DVD Launch? 109

An anonymous reader writes: "No official comment from Toshiba or Warner, but both Best Buy and Amazon revised ship dates for initial HD-DVD hardware and software on Friday, suggesting that high-def DVD enthusiasts chomping at the bit for next Tuesday's arrival of the first HD-DVD players and discs may have to wait a few days more."
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Last-Minute Delays Looming for HD-DVD Launch?

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  • Should have went with Fed Ex over straight parcel package!
  • by glomph ( 2644 )
    I'm sure the alpha-geeks will be camping around the block to be the first ones in line at midnight to get this fine technology!
  • by Martix ( 722774 )
    longer delay wont matter to me I dont want it with DRM Crap
    • Do does that mean you don't own a DVD player or any DVD movies? Both of them have quite a bit of DRM built in.

      Please don't say that DVD's are ok because the DRM has been bypassed because despite that, the DRM is still there, just in an earlier form of what these new players and disks will have.
      • I Do have DVD's and a DVD player.
        When i got them I did not know about DRM, Regein coding ect.
        But....I know alot more then I did back then and most are in that boat.
        I find that I can have Component out, Composite out and S-vidio out. DVD is fine for me.

        No down rezzing as with the HD-DVD and Blue ray. and the DRM in them is more evil.
        dont have to trash my 32in lcd tv eather because it wont be compatible.
        The standard DVD is going to be around for a longer then they would like you and i to beleive.

        On a foot not
        • I'd like to know where you got a 32 inch lcd that did 1920x1080. If it doesnt do that resolution, why would you care about down-rezzing. You wont be viewing the video in anywhere near it's full resolution anyway. Max of 720P (1280x720) with most lcd's.
      • As soon as the DRM can be overcome, then "fair use" is possible.

        Before then, it is just controlled encrypted data, which you may able to watch under certain conditions and restrictions: conditions and restrictions which are likely to change.

        The DVD format and DRM have become an unofficial open standard.
        • Fair use is possible but I'm pretty sure it's now illegal. I know it is within the US, unless you happen to have found a DVD that shipped without CSS encryption. In fact every once in a while, I'll have to hunt around for an update to deal with the latest thing.

          Fair use of anything is possible, but it's a matter of cracking your way into it and having a complete disregard for the other laws that make it impossible.

          • Illegal under what law exactly?

            No "cracking" is needed. You don't need to crack the encryption. It is public knowledge. Plenty of open source software allows you to decrypt movies, to allow you to watch your purchased movies with flexibility.

            • Perhaps the DMCA. Circumvention of copy protection includes cracking CSS. How to shoot someone is public knowledge, but that's illegal too.
              • CSS is just encryption. Discs can be copied without decrypting them. Instead of preventing copying the media, was CSS does attempt to do is prevent watching the media (on an unapproved player).

                The primary purpose of decrypting the media, is to watch it.
                If you bypass CSS for the purpose of making illegal copies, then perhaps you are "circumventing copy protection".
                But if you are just decrypting the disc to watch it (or remove commercials), you are just decrypting the disc to watch it (or remove commercials).
  • by DingerX ( 847589 ) on Saturday April 15, 2006 @10:06AM (#15135424) Journal
    Universal's "launch" title for HD-DVD is 'Serenity'. Mind you, I like Firefly and all that, but have I missed something? Is Serenity selling DVDs like hotcakes? Or is this Universal's way of announcing mediocre 'wait-and-see' interest in HD-DVD as part of the current format wars?

    Then again, I might consider an HD-DVD player to watch Serenity. If, of course, I could afford a TV that would play it back.
    • I'd say they have simply picked a title likely to appeal to early adopters of new technology.
    • by SEE ( 7681 ) on Saturday April 15, 2006 @10:16AM (#15135476) Homepage
      Is Serenity selling DVDs like hotcakes?

      It sold solidly in DVD upon release (extremely well in comparison to its box office) , and is popular with an audience that is relatively high on early adopters. It's a reasonable choice for an early HD-DVD release.
      • It's also a cult favorite. There are a lot of people who will buy both the DVD and the HD-DVD, just to say that they have them. It's a big screen special effects movie -- not as advanced as a Star Wars, but still keyed towards people who like visuals. Finally, Joss is probably willing to re-edit for HD-DVD, as he tends to be an early adopter. In fact, he might have already done that in the initial post-production period.

        Contrast it with releasing a more popular romantic comedy on HD-DVD. What have they
        • Well, The Matrix was supposed to be one of the early releases, and I think one of the Terminator films was as well. Of course, there were supposed to be discs on the shelves as of March 28th for HD-DVD players (which I'm not sure if their release was technically going to coincide with the titles, but it would be idiotic not to).

          Of course, while there's that cult following and relatively geeky and therefore early adopter audience, they're also targeting the people that are most likely to avoid the product

    • Sounds like the thinking is that both Serenity and very early HD adopters are geeky, and hence that movie being good geekbait. :-)
    • If you look at sales rank, Serenity is currently #32 at Amazon. Firefly is (still) at #14.

      Revenge of the Sith is only 49th.

      So yes, I'd say Serenity is selling very well.

      Firefly was also the 2nd most TiVo'd show while on Fox, so that shows that people who like Serenity have technology gadgets and disposable income.

      It makes sense to me.
    • this should also be noted: serenity on amazon is still listed as april 18th, tuesday.

      million dollar baby and all them were pushed back about a week ago, this is old news to anyone reading engadget.com. and certainly doesn't mean the doom of HD-DVD, since blu-ray is still set for june/july, AFAIK.
    • Then again, I might consider an HD-DVD player to watch Serenity. If, of course, I could afford a TV that would play it back.

      If you have an LCD (w/DVI) that's 17" or larger, then I think you don't need a TV to play Serenity using an HD-DVD player. I'm not seriously suggesting buying a $500 player (plus HDMI-DVI adapter) to watch HD movies on a 17" LCD, but I'm pretty sure it can be played (maybe not well). In case you missed the story:

      I'm su

  • On a slightly different topic, I wonder when, if ever, we will see storage alternatives you can actually use to make a full backup of a modern hard drive. I don't know about others here, but HD-DVD wouldn't even cut it for my laptop's comparatively small drive (by today's standards), let alone the 300-500 GB drives making their way into everyone's computers nowadays.

    I guess it's always been like this, thinking back to the floppy, CD, DVD, etc. Anyway. Not to say that HD-DVD won't help, but I guess the que

    • I was under the impression the many commercial institutions back up their financial & such data to tape.
    • It's a question of $/KB storage. Right now there's a perfectly viable backup media: another hard drive. External USB hard drives seem to run about $1/GB right now. Dunno what the pricing on a DVD burner is - less certainly when you figure in the swapping of media - but what you lose by paying less is the ability to have the whole drive on one piece of media.

      Back when CD-ROM *readers* were new I think average hard drive space was maybe 200MB? Well even a rev 1 CDR held 600+, which was plenty, but while CD
    • by SEE ( 7681 ) on Saturday April 15, 2006 @10:33AM (#15135543) Homepage
      Hard disks, unlike removable discs, have the advantage of being able to have the relation of the heads and media very, very precisely engineered, which means data can be laid more densely on the media. So unless there's a major breakthrough on optical density that has no magnetic denisty equivalent, fixed-media disk systems should always be able to handle more data than removable-media.

      As a result, the right medium for backup, assuming a willingness to make the investment, is and always has been tape. Because it packs much more surface area into a single reasonably-dimensioned package than can be done with a removable disc, it will always be better at holding bulk data.
      • Depends on circumstance. For a full system recovery, yes. If you have large amounts of data and are looking to recover a small portion of it, no. The lack of random access to tape makes it an excruciatingly slow process.
        • Tape drives do have random access, they can rewind. Of course, seek time is about 60 seconds on my DDS4 drive, but it's still a whole lot better than the time it takes to read the whole tape.

          If you have an index, and don't write your backups as one huge .tar.bz2 file, you can just tell the tape drive to seek to the right position.

          Granted, it's not nearly as nice as a hard disk, but not as bad as you seem to imply either.
        • We have relativly modern drives (Ultrium 2) with a relativly good backup software (Veritas BackupExec). Just a few days ago, i restored about 100mbyte, located in the middle of the tape. Time needed? About a minute of seeking to the right positions, a few seconds to restore the date, and another minute to rewind. That's acceptable for me.
      • Tape is the only format that can currently get anywhere near the capacity that's needed but surface area is only an indirect measurement. The point with tape is that's it's three dimensional, the tape is stored in a box where instead of the four or five layers you can get in an inch high hard disk you have over 2000 layers per inch because the tape is so thin.

        These DVDv2 disks are a step in the right direction, but the max spec is only for eight (IIRC) layers and even right now hard disks are bigger than

    • Tape. LTO3 can hold 400GB of data, uncompressed. Of course, it's expensive as heck, but it does exist.

      I recently got myself a DDS4 tape drive. I thought about my backups and came to a few conclusions:

      I'll never keep it up if it involves messing with a stack of DVDs.
      It's got to fit all my backups in one piece of media.
      It won't last if it interferes with my normal usage.
      I need to backup daily to get into the routine (too easy to forget if it's once a week or month)

      So, I looked at how much I had to backup, and
    • On a slightly different topic, I wonder when, if ever, we will see storage alternatives you can actually use to make a full backup of a modern hard drive.

      There is one: it's called tape. Only problem, you need to amortize the price of the drive across many media to enjoy the good price/capcity of the media. That's why it's only attractive for large systems.
    • There is an interesting format in research for just that, using hologrophy [wikipedia.org].

      It won't be anything to compete with BVD or HDDVD as a distibution format because they can't be pressed in their thousands like BVD and HDDVD can.

      I wonder what the absolute overkill would be for consumer grade storage mediums. The only thing that really fills the Hard Drives of today is Video, and I suppose that will only get worse the more we use HDTV.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 15, 2006 @10:11AM (#15135450)
    Actually, there are reports and pictures that people have already gotten a hold of HD-DVD players and discs ahead of the actual release date from their local Best Buy.

    See this page for more detalis/pics:
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=66 7248&page=1&pp=30 [avsforum.com]
  • Doom9 Comment (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ect5150 ( 700619 ) on Saturday April 15, 2006 @10:13AM (#15135461) Journal
    I thought this comment posted on Doom9 was interesting about HD-DVD:

    HD DVD was launched early. Yesterday, the first HD DVD players were being sold in Japan and a reader managed to grab one and two discs, and he was not pleased. I haven't managed to get any details yet as to which codec was used and if the disc was single layer or double layer, but 1080i content encoded with MPEG-2 to a single layer HD DVD would indeed be a disaster.. two times the space for 4 times the amount of pixels - you do the math.

    • I thoght it was well established that Hi-Def was still MPEG-2 encoded regardless of the media (Blu-Ray or HD-DVD)
    • 1080i content encoded with MPEG-2 to a single layer HD DVD would indeed be a disaster.. two times the space for 4 times the amount of pixels - you do the math.

      That is not necessarily true. Single-Layer HD-DVD is 15GB. 1 hour of full-bitrate broadcast HDTV is roughly 8.5GB (19.2Mbps) . So a 100 minute movie would be about 14GB. That leaves 1GB for menus and all the lame standard-def extras.

      Some will argue that 19.2Mbps is not quite sufficient for 1080i, but modern MPEG-2 encoders are greatly improved ove
    • Re:Doom9 Comment (Score:3, Interesting)

      by evilviper ( 135110 )

      a reader managed to grab one and two discs, and he was not pleased.

      Perhaps he didn't use the HDMI connector?

      but 1080i content encoded with MPEG-2 to a single layer HD DVD would indeed be a disaster.. two times the space for 4 times the amount of pixels - you do the math.

      This comment shows a serious lack of knowledge about how video compression works. Increasing the size of the picture does not require an equally large bitrate increase. A lot of MPEG overhead is fixed, and can't be reduced, no matter how l

      • Also, 1080i (1920x1080) is exactly 5Xs more pixels than PAL DVDs (720x576) at a 20% higher refresh-rate, and 6X more pixels than NTSC DVD (720x480) at the same refresh-rate. So, I don't know where that 4X came from.

        It depends an the content you're using. HDTV supports 24fps, the framerate movies are shot in. So for movies it would be more logical to encode a progressive picture at the lower framerate.

        But would the specs be able to handle 1080p24?
        • But would the specs be able to handle 1080p24?

          As far as I've heard, HD-DVD only supports up to 1080i, which means 30fps 3:2 telecined films. Meanwhile, Blu-ray is the one that will actually support 1080p.
  • I use Linux. I use it to enjoy all the video I watch. I don't own a TV - nor do I want one.

    It took ages before a geek named Jon made it possible for me to enjoy DVD discs on my entertainment system (not that it really matters since I playd DVD's on it like five times ever - I get most media from the Internet).

    So. HD-DVD is delayed a week or month. So what? I'd be amazed if I'm able to play those on my GNU Linux before 2008 - if ever - regardless of a short delay..

    (it should also be noted that I don't
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Sweet Beejezzus, who'd have thought it possible to fit so much elitist B.S. into a single posting? Nobody cares whether you have a TV or not, or why; or what you do to entertain yourself, or why; or what operating system you use, or why.
    • ok, offtopic as fuck but you said you were a linux geek so I might aswell ask and take the karma hit...

      I've got windows/suse 9.1 installed on my laptop and it uses grun to load up. I want to replace suse with a different version of linux... how do I do that without messing up GRUB and making windows not able to load (bearing in mind I don't have the windows CD) and what distro of linux should I choose as somewhat of a noobie? (ideally free in both senses)... and there goes the karma...
      • Depending on what version you choose, it will more than likely automatically detect Windows. Ubuntu is quite popular for novices and Fedora is also good. If for some odd reason the version just doesn't happen to detect Windows do this:

        Open a terminal as root or su into root
        cd /boot/grub
        Use your favorite editor (`nano`|`pico`|`kate`|`gedit`) grub.conf
        add the following lines

        title Windows
        rootnoverify (hd0,0) <~~ look at your current grub.conf to find out exactly this should be
        chainloader +1
        make
    • Good for you... (ugh.)

      But honestly, who cares? That's your choice of lifestyle.

      You could live in the woods and complain you don't get curbside garbage pickup, and it would be the same thing. Nothing would change unless you moved to a less rural area, somehow started a massive campaign to get curbside pickup, or funded it yourself.
  • by Idimmu Xul ( 204345 ) on Saturday April 15, 2006 @10:31AM (#15135536) Homepage Journal
    People are going to want to buy an HD-DVD player for their HD-TV, there are no Blue-Ray TVs to go with the Blueray players. I wonder how much of an effect that issue alone will have on the zombie masses?
  • Ummmm (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I already watch HD content on my computer for free. Why would I want to buy a player when I can just hook my computer up to my tv and play the discs from there?
  • Missing the boat (Score:2, Insightful)

    by javakah ( 932230 )
    My impression is that most people are fairly happy with current TV resolutions. They may not be great, but they are adequate, and in some ways it may be a mistake to go with higher resolutions. The future seems to be pathed not in more pixels, but in pixels that can go on a variety of devices. By this I mean people are more and more interested in watching TV or obtaining media from the Internet. To me, the HD-DVD and Blu-Ray debate has been almost comical, since companies are fighting over control of the n
    • I couldn't stand old big projection screens(big blurry images). Sure if your looking at a small screen from a distance it won't matter to you. But pixels most certainly are noticeable on bigger screens.
    • Actaully I beleive the market is splitting into two: easier portable media, and higher quality home theater.

      Less than a week ago we got a samsung 67" DLP, 1080p, for roughly $3300. Then we upgraded to digital cable, and got one of those HDTV cable boxes. As of right now, there are only a handful of channels in HD. We also have a 'sample' HD channel that is used strictly to show off the capabilities of HD - we call it the 'scenery channel.' The scenery channel is outrageous, we just turn it on and watch cam

      • I'd call myself a fairly early adopter when it comes to tech. I've got my Sony 50" LCD-proj HDTV with fantastic picture quality and this and that. I know the jargon, but its irrelevant for the conversation. Every time one of these articles comes up, I'm forced to be negetive. I don't like playing the cold hard reality, but here I go.

        I just can't help but to butt in to rant about how incredibly pointless all this is. An upscale DVD player plays movies on typical household tv's absolutely fine. When I say fin
  • Am I the only one.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cliveholloway ( 132299 ) on Saturday April 15, 2006 @11:19AM (#15135677) Homepage Journal
    ... who doesn't care one bit about HD DVD/Blu Ray right now? I get the feeling they're launching this new format to a population that largely doesn't give a toss. Very few people outside the tech/geek groups know about this.

    Look at HDTV. Very few rushed out to buy it. Most people just upgraded as their old TV died. Hell, there's still a majority of content not in hi-def.

    Oh well, at least I get to analyze another major industry change as it unfolds. Always interesting :)
    • When I can buy a SATA Optical Drive & I can walk down to the Videothek and rent a *good* movie and mount it on my OpenBSD system, then I will be interested.

      I am not buying a HD-DVD player, I will not mount any rented media, BluRay, HD-DVD, or just plain DVD, on my PowerMac (which is the device that dives my HDTV).

      oh... an I plan on buying another Hi-Def display from an early adopter who has discovered that legal media would display properly on it... this may not be happening next weekend but it will hap
    • You are not the only one. I too will not be adopting the technology for many years to come. I am quite satisfied with the quality and useability of DVDs. Actually, I don't mind VHS if it didn't take so long to rewind and fastforward. Most people are in the same boat as ourselves. The technology doesn't hold value and it costs a god-awful load of money. I don't really need to see blackheads on the actor's nose to enjoy the movie. And anyway, with DVD I can do what I want when I want with the content. That
  • Considering that many geeks like me have been all over HD DVD and Blue Ray technology for a long time now, offering Serenity at launch is a very clever move indeed. If HD DVD provides as great of a picture as it is cracked up to, geeks will be buying up HD DVD and players and a copy of Serenity like hotcakes.

    In fact, they oughta bundle some of these players with Serenity. How could a geek resist?

  • <Dr. Evil>
    Well no....not really.

    There's enough problems with standard DVDs and the DRM scheme (with an e, not an a). Yet here people are, ready to rush headlong into FURTHER enshacklement in this new medium.

    Wow. Higher resolution. Higher prices. Lower availability. Less rights to fair use.

    Whee!

    Color me unenthused.

    (Translation: Fuck that noise!)
  • Hey guys, bad news.

    Nobody's waiting. Nobody cares.

    Get your shit together, come up with a single format that is backwards compatible, provides a clear benefit, and doesn't screw things up, and THEN people might raise an eyebrow.
  • by suv4x4 ( 956391 )
    Needs to further comment.
  • HDTV is absolutely amazing. It is so fun to watch a sports game and see every detail of the players in the game. Technology advances are getting awesome.
    • nothing like seeing the nose hairs on large sweaty men, yep.

      does anyone have a link to one of those articles about the people who get paid to post stuff?
  • What's the over/under on a later release being caused by looking for more (useless) ways to prevent DVD pirating?
  • According to threads at AVSForum, HD-DVD players went on sale at Best Buy and the like, and some posters there have bought them and posted pics as proof. Doesn't sound like there's a delay to me.
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=66 7248 [avsforum.com]
  • I love technology and all (this is Slashdot) but I, for one, am totally not interested in these newfangled media formats, and I'm yet to hear of anyone in my circles who is. The current DVD resolution works just fine, thanks, and I'd rather the folk pushing these new formats take their DRM-encumbered junk and shove it where the sun don't shine (and I'm not talking the inside of a disk drive here.)

    I sincerely hope that most consumers think that this HD-DVD stuff is not worth dropping the cash, and stick w
    • Re:Not Interested (Score:2, Insightful)

      by AudioEfex ( 637163 )
      You're absolutely correct.

      There are a few home theatre junkies who have their undies in a wad over anything that some company tells them is "NEW!" - these are the people that spent $5-10K years ago for HD-TV before there was even content to be had (not that there really is now, as aside from sports freaks most people don't care). Those families picking up HD-TV's in Wal-Mart today? They don't give a fig about a new format. They just want a new, big TV to watch, again, the only HD-content they are likely
      • > not that there really is now, as aside from sports freaks most people don't care

        You apparantly don't have HDTV, because if you did, you'd realize that nearly every primetime show is now broadcast in HD... Do you care if CSI is in HD? Maybe not. But it IS there. The "there's no content" argument is dead, and has been for a year or so.

        > They are improvements only in picture quality, and not that great of a leap at that.

        Actually, they do improve on audio -- DD+. I don't know how mu
        • Thanks for your respectful reply. :)

          I know there is more content out there, but as I said, most people don't care if they watch CSI in HD or SD. It's sports lovers that are driving the HD content market at the moment.

          I was unaware of the audio improvements, but again, it's not something that's going to sell it to the masses. Most people don't have dolby digital set-ups, and I'd be willing to be the vast majority of consumers are watching on plain old stereo or surround.

          It's not that it's not a bit better,
    • I, for one, am totally not interested in these newfangled media formats, and I'm yet to hear of anyone in my circles who is.

      You aren't the market.

      The market are the families who paid $290 million USD to see Goblet of Fire in theaters and want the theatrical experience at home.

      RCA introduced color television in 1954. It took ten years for color to gain significant market share. Digital HDTV has reached that threshold in under five years.

      The current DVD resolution works just fine, thanks.

      Not on the 40 a

  • The Next Player... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Digital Vomit ( 891734 ) on Saturday April 15, 2006 @01:50PM (#15136111) Homepage Journal
    The next video player I buy will be one that obeys *me* and not the *disc*. I am so sick and tired of seeing the little icon that means "no, you can't do that" when I'm playing DVDs on my current player. Never, ever, ever again will I buy a machine that disobeys me like that. If I want to skip the FBI warning, I had damn well better be able to do so. There is absolutely no reason I should not be able to skip to the middle of the movie as fast as I can turn the machine on and press the FF button. None whatsoever.
  • by nbahi15 ( 163501 ) on Saturday April 15, 2006 @09:19PM (#15136218) Homepage
    I know it is incredibly common mis-usage at this point but the expression is 'champing at the bit' not chomping. Referece [langston.com]
  • I can't say this is true for all Best Buy's, but I work in the warehouse at our local BB and we received ours today on a drop shipment in time for our Monday ad (we are closed Easter Sunday). All the stores in our district showed an "On Order" status which means it arrives usually by Fedex or UPS and not on our normal trucks, which makes it hard to put a finger on an instock date because we don't control the trucks they are coming in on. However, all of the stores in our district should have gotten them t
  • Don't buy that HD-DVD player without reading this page [fuckbluray.com] first!

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