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Old May 18th, 2005, 08:11 AM   #1
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Sony/Toshiba HD-DVDs talks collapsing

From imdb.com:

Report: Sony-Toshiba Talks on High Definition DVDs Near Collapse

Despite a report last week that Sony and Toshiba were on the verge of announcing an agreement on a new format for high-definition DVDs, the London Financial Times reported from Tokyo today (Tuesday) that the talks between the two companies were close to collapse. The newspaper quoted Toshiba as saying, "We are continuing discussions ... but Sony is saying its own [Blu-ray] disc format will be the basis for a unified format while we believe it would be better to base the format on our [HD-DVD] disc structure." Last week's reports indicated that a compromise had been agreed upon in which Sony's Blu-ray hardware would be supported by Toshiba's HD-DVD software. However Toshiba said Monday: "Sony has not provided sufficient evidence of the superiority of its Blu-ray format. We believe Toshiba's [newly developed] 45 gigabyte disc will form the basis for any unified format."

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Old May 18th, 2005, 09:11 AM   #2
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Maybe I'm missing something (I ususally am), but I don't understand why the laser technology is important for High Definition DVD standard. It would seem that the important thing would be defining compression, menu structure, multiple language streams, etc. Today's 2X DVD player should be adequate for short programs. DVD players already handle a wide variety of discs (+-R, +-RW, DVD-RAM, dual-layer). Add two or three more - add ten more! What's the big fuss?
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Old May 18th, 2005, 09:40 AM   #3
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you pretty much said it yourself. It would work fine for short programs. The problem is coming up with a format that can record 1, 2 or more hours of HD onto a disk. The pits with a standard DVD are about as small as they can get with a red laser. That means unless we dump all of our gear and switch to a DVD the size of a laser disk you will not be able to fit a lot of HD video onto a DVD. The new HD-DVD's or blueray DVD's offer much larger space and multiple layers of recording.

As nice as it would be to have an in between version for DVD that uses current DVD's I don't think anybody wants to spend the time with that. They would rather just move onto to the next new format. Perhaps somebody will make an in between format something like when we had VCD's that will play HD on a normal DVD.
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Old May 18th, 2005, 02:09 PM   #4
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My opinion is this: Sony has spent a lot of money and a LOT of time developing this. They've been working on it for at least 5-6 years, unless I'm mistaken, because I could've sworn I read somewhere that Lucas didn't want to use regular DVDs for any release of Star Wars, because of the Blue Laser (their spelling) technology being developed. I'm sure Sony's involvement has a lot to do with that. (Sony, CineAlta, Ep. 2 and 3, etc.)

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Old May 18th, 2005, 03:26 PM   #5
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Oh, I have no problem with blue, purple, or any other color laser. It seems like the standard should specify minimum data rate capability, then go into detail about data structure, compression options, menu structure, etc. If I HAPPENED to have a short program, and today's DVD data disc (NOT dvd VIDEO disc) can meet the data rate needed, and it's big enough for my program, why should the standard specify blue - or any other color. A standard should allow the widest possible latitude of configurations, while still meeting the basic requirements (make HDTV pictures).

How about this? Load the decompression software from the first few spins of the disc. That way we'll be ready for MPEG 76.
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Old May 18th, 2005, 07:14 PM   #6
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David,

For any piece of hardware that stores data you need specifications/standards for both the hardware and the data structure. In order for many manufacturers to make HD DVD readers/recorders, the hardware specs of the DVD must be standardized. Blue laser technology is the technology that enables the high density storage of data on a DVD disc.

You need two physically different devices to read Sony's and Toshiba's HD DVDs. It's exactly like betamax and VHS -- they are physically incompatible.

HTH.

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Old May 18th, 2005, 08:33 PM   #7
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What is the difference!!!

For those who missed the original posts on the competing formats, there is not much difference in the overall size or capacity of the formats. Sony at 56 gigabyte, and Toshiba at 45 gigabyte. They both use blue lasers, Sony just uses the color blue in the name. My thinking is that either one would work to get our HD video out to the public and for ourselves. It is a big improvement in capacity and it is HD. Others with more expertise can fill in from here, on the size and data flow questions.

But, from what I know at this point:

The main difference between the two formats for our, or consumer purposes is that the Toshiba format uses processes that allow the DVDs to be made or manufactured on current DVD making machinery! That is, companies that make DVDs now, can then make the new format DVDs, with little change.

The new Sony format does not do this, and will require that those who make the DVD blanks have to invest in new machinery and processes. Having been in the manufacturing and machinery business, I can tell you that that not only means a longer time to get the new discs to market, but much higher costs to us the end user. Right now, DVDs for us to use are at mere cents apiece, but maybe you and I and your customers canít handle DVD blanks at $5.00 or $10.00 or more each, and for years to come!

Lets say the Toshiba format can be made on conventional machinery. That means that the major obstacle will be getting the drives that read the new discs to market. This will happen with either format. New blue laser = different drives, Sony or Toshiba! With Sonys format, all of the machinery that makes the discs will have to be built and the manufacturers will have to expend much capitol to upgrade and buy them or convert. This not only means that we have to wait longer to get the discs, but that they will cost us much much more, and the prices will not come down for a much longer time. By the time the prices do come down to ground level, a new format will be emerging and it will all be for naught. Anyone who thinks that Sonys format will be the end of DVD development is surely nuts! Next it might be a billion gigabytes on a sugar cube!

My thinking is that going with the Toshiba format, smaller capacity, but here sooner and cheaper, would be best. If you go with Sony, by the time that the discs and drives hit the market, and we can afford them, we will already be looking at a new and upgraded format, and we start all over again. We are all tired of buying that new computer and finding out only days afterward that it is outdated. This could be even worse, as it may not be just outdated, but obsolete and worthless.

Just my humble two cents, but my motto in life has pretty much always been onward and upward, but in the meantime, keep it simple stupid!!!! And, for those who might wonder, I have owned many Sony products, but not one Toshiba product that I can recall. My loyalty is with the practical.

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Old May 19th, 2005, 06:35 AM   #8
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If Toshiba wants to push the 3 layer now, then all bets are off in my book. The new 3 layer format will take the same retooling that Blu-Ray would, muting the point of why HD-DVD was better because of manufacturing. In the end, the materials would need to be replaced.

Counterpoint - but, if they delay the release of 3 layer, the current lines have the minor equipment swap to do single and dual layer with HD-DVD. Arrghhh...

Resolution - Dump them both and go with Pioneer's UV format. ;)
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Old May 19th, 2005, 09:36 AM   #9
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Pete,

Certainly, you're right about there being a need for hardware standards, but widening the standards allows for the future. In the beginning, there was the mass produced audio CD, then recordable CD, then dual layer mass produced DVD, then recordable DVD, then RW, +. -, et al, now recordable dual layer - and the newest drives do it all. I bet the new HD drives (whatever) will also handle all these formats. My point is, why limit HD to new high density discs if today's capacity and data rate are adequate for a particular purpose.
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Old May 19th, 2005, 09:58 PM   #10
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From what I understand, the Sony format will have more expansion possibillities. Having disks that support hundreds of gigabytes will be a big deal in the world of network servers and such. Having a single format that not only is poplular in the consumer enteratinment world, but the server world, and fianlly getting rid of tape (yes campers, tape is still number one in the server world). Thats what blue-ray could bring over Toshibas answer.
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Old May 20th, 2005, 10:57 AM   #11
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Technology should not be restricted to one single format (design or whatever...) which will give rise to monopolies. I would like to have both the formats, blue-ray and HD-DVD. I would like to have a drive that can support both these formats (read and burn etc...).

TOSHIBA go ahead with HD-DVD. You already got one customer.
SONY go ahead with the Blue-Ray. You too got one customer.

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Old May 20th, 2005, 06:28 PM   #12
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The talks failed already. That is why Sony and Panasonic announced they want Toshiba accept their format, to save face after brownosing Toshiba and Toshiba reject them. Why would not they reject them? Most studios back them up.

Sony need Blu Ray because PS3 is based on it and they can't delay release, because Xbox360 would eat too much their market share.

Most they probaly agree is HD players will accept both formats, similar as JVC-Sony HDV agreement.

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Old May 21st, 2005, 08:04 PM   #13
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My concern with Sony's blue-ray format is the angle Sony is going to be comming from. Sony is very big in media distribution, from movie/music/games. They are spending extra time trying to make their new format universal to protect their own intrests. They would like a format that would be hard to back-up(copy) as well as maintain a very high price/low availability to consummers.
Toshiba on the other hand just wants to make a sucessor to the current DVD, an evolution if you will. It is a sort of Betamax vs. VHS all over again. I think Sony, being of the the worlds largest media producers, isn't the ideal company to be in control of the delivery format.
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