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Old December 16th, 2006, 05:04 AM   #1
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Multiformat disc

This is 'old' news (Sept), so I don't know if it was already posted here. But here goes anyway;
http://broadcastengineering.com/hdtv..._hd_disc_wars/
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Old December 16th, 2006, 12:19 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Wyndham
This is 'old' news (Sept), so I don't know if it was already posted here. But here goes anyway;
http://broadcastengineering.com/hdtv..._hd_disc_wars/
Yep, old news...

This patent that was filed for here seems to be one of many patents being filed in the midst of this format war. Lots of hardware producers, studios, etc.. are hedging their bets by filing for patents on just about any possible idea that could prove to be a solution (or just a really good compromise).

In regards to this particular concept, there's too many unanswered questions, not to mention that I don't think the patent will be granted for this. First off, it's not a unique enough idea and it's trying to make joint use out of two separate standards that must be licensed. Beyond that, the concept falls short due to the shortcomings of DVD and HD-DVD layering abilities... DVD supports up to two layers readable per side. HD-DVD supports up to (theoretically) four layers in the whole disc, but all readable from one side. So far, no HD-DVD devices , discs, etc... have been produced or even demonstrated with more than 2 layers. BluRay layers are much thinner and can be applied directly onto one another for a theoretical maximum of 12 layers per disc. So far, production discs, units are stuck at 2 layers and quad-layer media and readers have been demonstrated.

Ultimately, I could see a disc that has dual-layer DVD with dual-layer HD-DVD behind that and then a dual-layer BluRay image on the flip side of the disc... It *MIGHT* fit... Maybe... And would make little sense due to the manufacturing costs of the discs. It would actually make more sense for the studios to release 3-disc sets of each feature film that contains one DVD, one HD-DVD and one BluRay. Studios don't like that idea though because they're sending out 3 copies of a feature in one package and Joe Consumer could keep the BluRay for himself, give the DVD to a friend that hasn't gone HD yet and the HD-DVD could be given to another person.

Actually, I think studios need to let DVD continue to just be DVD and not try to combine them with HD formats. Sell HD movies that have dual-layer HD-DVD on one side and dual-layer BluRay on the other... Play whatever side is required by your player.

And hybrid discs could be produced NOW rather than waiting for hybrid players, wich are probably still at least another 12 to 18 months away. We already have 3 major studios producing both formats, with more to join suit... Why not just start shipping universal discs? Cheaper for them, more sales in the end.
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Old December 16th, 2006, 02:56 PM   #3
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"Actually, I think studios need to let DVD continue to just be DVD and not try to combine them with HD formats. Sell HD movies that have dual-layer HD-DVD on one side and dual-layer BluRay on the other... Play whatever side is required by your player."

Jeff, I think that's the sanest thing I've read in this whole convoluted, still-evolving debacle.

Good point.
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Old December 16th, 2006, 05:49 PM   #4
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Trouble is, can the replication plants do that so easily?
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Old December 16th, 2006, 07:45 PM   #5
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I think the cashcows (consumers) may speak the ultimate lastword on the whole blue ray - HD DVD thing and hold off for long enough that a completely new low cost standard out of China may emerge and take the whole thing off the table anyway.

Or solid memory may completely take over, something like a memory card or an entire ipod/mobilephone which gets shoved into a blackbox on the rental outlet counter and when the money goes across, gets a download of the selected rental in return.

I think consumers are going to be less resistant to a complete changover to some hot new form of distribution rather than some more of the same.

Ultimately consumers will get sick and tired of being forced to invest in new standards and technologies because businesses and governments collude to sideline existing ones by making them redundent, mobile phone networks and analog TV broadcasting for example.

All of this assumes that western economies do not croak their last when the last jobs are exported, food for survival, let alone cheap asian sourced consumer goods becomes unaffordable, the nations fracture and slip into ferality.
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Old December 16th, 2006, 10:06 PM   #6
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Sense a bit of "attitude" in your post, Bob :-)

But yeah - I agree. I think it's a big ask to expect Joe Public to hand over $$$ willy nilly just because there's new tech available - and likely to be steamrolled at any time.

edit: The "studios" seem to be having to take sides - ie backing one horse or the other.
To hell with that - they should simply say, "We're entertainment providers. Give us the medium - we've got the content."
Nothings that simple tho' when your as massive as Sony ... they seem to be duty bound to try and dominate the world, from aquisition to delivery across all media - and anything in between. <rant off>

Last edited by Rob McCardle; December 16th, 2006 at 10:57 PM.
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Old December 17th, 2006, 01:04 AM   #7
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Yes, there probably is a bit of attitude there.

I come from a generation and environment, rural based, where all things material and capital were not simply used up and discarded but cared for and conserved as much as possible. Anything else is simply a squandering of the world's resources.

On reflection, the rest of my post here was waxing a bit too political and off-topic. I have opted for some self-censorship and it is now deleted.

Last edited by Bob Hart; December 17th, 2006 at 03:07 AM.
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Old December 17th, 2006, 02:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Wyndham
Trouble is, can the replication plants do that so easily?
I think it shouldn't be too difficult... BluRay replication already allows for dual-layer DVD on one side and dual-layer (theoretically up to 6 layer) BluRay on the other side of a disc. Given that HD-DVD construction is the same as standard DVD, just the foil layer lithography is done at a higher resolution, I don't see where there would be a huge re-tooling cost. HD-DVD required little change to production lines to upgrade from DVD replication... So production houses that are not already handling BluRay discs will have more costs ahead of them... But it may just be necessary.
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Old December 17th, 2006, 03:20 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bob Hart
Or solid memory may completely take over, something like a memory card or an entire ipod/mobilephone which gets shoved into a blackbox on the rental outlet counter and when the money goes across, gets a download of the selected rental in return.
I'm actually surprised that solid-state memory hasn't made in-roads into the video industry yet. It makes perfect sense.... 90nm ROM chips can already be made in capacities of 32GB. Much cheaper and more reliable to manufacture than FLASH memory too, especially if they're data-originated ROM chips (fabricated with the data in place and not programmed/burned). Honestly, with all the talk a few years ago about ram tech and memory capacities ramping up I was starting to think the disc was dead after DVD. There is currently no reason why we can't buy a 50GB ROM the size of a compact flash card for the same price as an HD-DVD or BluRay disc. ...Keep in mind, this is not FLASH memory where 8GB chips are just now hitting mass production for a few hundred $$ and 32GB is still the stuff of trade-show demos... But ROM memory, which in large capacity with fab'd data is fairly cheap and would get much cheaper if large studios jumped on it to create a consumer channel beyond the current industry niches it serves.

Reader hardware would be dirt cheap too - no blue laser diodes or any crap like that. Think the same interface used in those $25 USB memory card readers, but with a nicer insert/eject mechanism. So having not thought about it for a while, I'm glad someone brought it up. Makes perfect sense.

But even though ROM is cheap, I know that production costs on HD-DVD and BD discs is way cheaper. Dual layer BluRay discs are still in the $1.20 range to replicate and package with full color inserts and shrink wrap when purchased in 10K lot sizes. ROM still can't touch that... Maybe next generation of super-HD formats? With ROM, we're probably looking at $15 to produce a 32GB memory card and that would be with a significant consumer channel established. So I guess it's not quite here yet.

Quote:
I think consumers are going to be less resistant to a complete changover to some hot new form of distribution rather than some more of the same.
Yes, the disc is so familiar to everyone.... That and backward compatibility with DVD, CD is a must for the new format. Or at least it is until it takes hold. Although, going to HD would have been a great time to introduce a new format like a 1.5" x 2" x 1/8" rom card. Still sell CD/DVD players, but now they're HD players with 1080p upscale and HD output and next to the DVD/CD tray, they have a memory card slot.
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