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A Triple-Standard Disk 210

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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  • Licensing (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Future Man 3000 ( 706329 ) on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:11PM (#16134104) Homepage
    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 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?
  • 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?
  • by Last_Available_Usern ( 756093 ) on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:15PM (#16134140)
    "Warner's plan is to..." "This should reflect enough light..." " 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.
  • by rpax9000 ( 916267 ) on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:22PM (#16134189)
    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 standard to try to sell us content). In any case I just get tired of it. Which makes the iTunes download I'm in the middle of even more ironic.
  • All Crap (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Xybot ( 707278 ) on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:55PM (#16134396)
    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 shotgunefx ( 239460 ) on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:55PM (#16134397) Journal
    One for BluRay, one for HD-DVD?
  • 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.

What this country needs is a good five cent ANYTHING!