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-   -   HD-DVD player demoed (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/general-hd-720-1080-acquisition/33011-hd-dvd-player-demoed.html)

George Ellis October 5th, 2004 01:17 PM

HD-DVD player demoed
Just a quick blurb on a show demonstrator. http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,118048,00.asp

Christopher C. Murphy October 5th, 2004 01:29 PM

As they say on Howard Stern's show..."that's hot".


John Lee October 5th, 2004 01:43 PM

None of these units are backwards compatible with current DVD's are they? I suppose it would be too "costly" to incorporate both a blue and a red laser into them.

George Ellis October 5th, 2004 03:07 PM

Actually HD-DVD should be backward compatible. Blu-Ray is a very different format and may not be backward compatible. HD-DVD disc can be produced on the same production line that makes current DVDs with a minimal change. It is expected that the production line can change over from one to the other in minutes.

Michael Struthers October 6th, 2004 03:39 PM

First one to make backward compatible players wins the game, imo. There are people with large amounts of dvd's in their collection.

Paul Henley October 6th, 2004 08:36 PM

<<<-- Originally posted by Michael Struthers : First one to make backward compatible players wins the game, imo. There are people with large amounts of dvd's in their collection. -->>>

I think it's going to take more than simple backwards compatibility in players. In recent months, Sony has pulled out all the stops in generating Blu-Ray support from consumers, movie studios and the electronics industry.

Posted below is an article discussing recent industry support of the Blu-Ray format. Several of the major companies supporting Blu-Rau are Sony, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi, LG Electronics, Matsushita Electric Industrial (Panasonic), Mitsubishi Electric, Philips Electronics, Pioneer Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sharp, TDK, and Thomson Multimedia.

You're right though, Blu-Ray and/or HD-DVD will have to develop a player that is backward compatible with existing DVD technology or it will become nothing more than a niche product for the techno-geeks and home theater buffs.

Competition is starting to heat up though. In late September, the DVD Forum approved the physical disc specifications for the rewritable version of HD-DVDs. They anticipate HD-DVD players will be available to the consumer in late 2005 and priced below 1000 dollars.

At the present moment though, I think Sony has the edge in getting Blu-Ray adopted. Several reasons, in addition to the first link posted above are: First, Sony has announced its intent to install Blu-Ray players into the next generation of Sony PlayStation 3 consoles. By default, thousands of gamers will have a Blu-Ray player installed and ready to use with their HDTVs (should they have one). Second, while HD-DVD is cheaper and easier to produce, the additional storage capability (15 to 30GB) is not significant enough IMO for most consumers to desire the change from their current DVD options. Blu-Ray on the other hand has 25 to 50 GB of storage space on its disk. With HDV right around the corner, the more disk space the better. And if that wasnít enough, they are also developing a future disk pushing that amount up to 200 GB! Third, Blu-Ray already has several players currently on the market in Japan. It will only be a matter of time before players reach the US and elsewhere (my guess is sometime in mid-2005).

Well, that's my take on it. Of course, I could be wrong.

Daymon Hoffman October 7th, 2004 02:04 AM

Yes i feel Blu-Ray is the smarter option. i'm really sick of these baby side steps all these companies are forcing consumers to take. i dont want to buy players and recorders and cams and burners and whatever else every 6 months when its only a small incrementle gain. I'd much prefer they release quality at one level... then work on creating something which gives us more to upgrade to. like paul's example of DVD to HD-DVD, sure its a fair jump in capacity but why bother when you can go to Blu-Ray and have a real gain and one thats much more suited to the future with storage demand increases.

As Backwards compatibility... i think its less ofa drama then what it gets made out to be. look at DVD burners.. every single one of them not only reads CD's but also burns them. Thats the least of the worries. just slap in the hardware to make it read 'old' stuff. Synch! I can actually remember reading about the Playstation 3 being backwards compatible with DVD's (Sony's stance is positive for legacy gear, PS1 in PS2 for example) even though it shaping up to be a Blu-Ray machine (go Sony i say!!! They cant seem to put a foot wrong ever since there foray into the consold market, and to me it seems logical that this will be another winning choice).

i dont nkow about you guys... but even SD DTV consumes my hard drive space like its going out of fashion. Even if i only record 4 TV Shows a week thats about 12GB/week (and i dont watch a lot of TV so i'm far from a heavy user in that regard)!

PS. I thought i also remember readong Blu-Ray was backwards compatible in one of those Sony Blu-Ray recorders they actaully have on the market in Japan or where ever it was (i seen pics with it etc and it said it was backwards compatible with DVDs and CDs to, i'll have to find that again). :)

Troy Lamont October 7th, 2004 03:36 PM


2.4 Will Blu-ray support playback of DVDs?

Yes, several leading drive manufacturers have already demonstrated drives for consumer products such as video recorders that can read and write DVD and Blu-ray Discs, so you don't have to worry about your existing DVD collection becoming obsolete. Although there is no requirement for Blu-ray recorders to be backwards compatible with DVD, the format is far too popular to not be supported. With the vast amount of Blu-ray recorders that will be coming out, this will be an important feature for consumers.
According to the Blu-Ray official website, Blu-Ray is backward compatible with mainstream DVD.

Panasonic already has a Blu-Ray player out in Japan that plays and records DVDs!


Daymon Hoffman October 7th, 2004 04:14 PM

yeah i new i wasnt going mad :P

Heath McKnight October 7th, 2004 08:44 PM

I saw that the makers of DVD (and now HD DVD) said in Mac World magazine, I believe, that the HD DVD format opens the doors to blu ray, red ray, H.264 and WM9 HD. We REALLY need one format, NOT so many...ARGH!


Joe Carney October 8th, 2004 10:37 AM

I agree, I see another DVD-A vs SACD type war coming where you pay extra to have all these formats in one player.

Peter Moore October 8th, 2004 11:15 AM

I am sure Blu-Ray playes will incorporate red lasers for DVD viewing as well, so I really wouldn't worry about this too much.

Paul Henley October 8th, 2004 11:28 AM

<<<-- Originally posted by Joe Carney : I see another DVD-A vs SACD type war coming where you pay extra to have all these formats in one player. -->>>

And as a result, the DVD-Audio and SACD war has only confused customers and ultimately has hurt bringing a new format into acceptance.

If high definition is to have any chance at being successful, all electronic industry parties involved (including the movie studios) need to come to a resolution and pick one format as they did with DVD and the compact disc. To the average consumer, DVD is already high quality. To throw at them Blu-Ray, HD-DVD and WM9 and expect the general public to figure it all out is insane. Most consumers will simply reject all the formats and stay with their current DVD players (as they have done with CDs over the higher quality DVD-A and SACD).

Not to mention that without a unity of effort towards one common HD standard, it will only slow down new products (i.e. high definition movies, players, and recorders) coming to market.

Daymon Hoffman October 9th, 2004 07:04 AM



These good points you note are also more reasons to make the new format a major jump forward in quality and features etc. Do it once.. do it right. And make the damn thing worth UPGRADING to. Then consumers (and not just tech heads) will have a reason and a desire/want to buy into a newer format.

Yi Fong Yu October 9th, 2004 09:02 PM

guys i think that no matter what happens now the next generation of DVDs (whether B-DVD or HD-DVD) is going to be rejected by consumers. why? if it ain't broke why fix it? most consumers don't see a problem with DVDs out today. why go through the hassle and upgrade for marginal (to their eyes) quality?

whether B-DVD or HD-DVD is backwards compatible or not is irrelevent. the question is are consumers able to tell the difference between regular DVD pic quality and HD-level DVD quality? imho i don't think so. perhaps if you did A/B but not if you watch one, stop and then watch the other. i don't think they are sophisticated enough to. i think the next gen DVDs will be current DVDs what Laserdiscs were to VHS, an 'elite' hobby.

that's exactly the situation with SACD/DVD-audio nowadays. it's one of those snobby hobbies. you don't see the HUGE difference going from tape or vinyl to CDs. from CDs to DVD-audio no regular average joe can tell the difference... except in surround sound... but how many cars now are rigged with it? most people spend time listening to music in the car not at home anymore. as soon as SACD/DVD-audio players are available for the car along with 7.1 speakers the format will be huge. that's one of the factors for CD's success as well, when the automobile could playback CDs, the format really exploded.

Paul Henley October 10th, 2004 04:12 PM

I have to slightly disagree with you Yi. The next generation of high definition movies can be accepted by the consumer. In fact, I believe the transition can and will happen, assuming of course that certain criteria are met:

1) As discussed previously, the CE (consumer electronics) industry needs to decide upon one format. Any protracted format war could cripple HDs acceptance with the average consumer.

2) The entertainment industry, specifically the MPAA, must stop the constant legal and governmental stone walling every time some new technology is developed. They have interfered with tech advancements even before the days of radio. Their meddling has already hurt the adoption of HD through draconian copy protection protocols (DVI) and endless litigation that have effectively nullified consumer ďfair useĒ rights and has crippled into obsolescence millions of HDTVs made prior to 2003 that were not equipped with DVI.

3) Player/recorders must be backwards compatible with existing DVDs. Target price for an average unit should be somewhere between 80 to 200 dollars. (Realistically, I know that wonít happen immediately, but it should be a goal within the next three years)

4) There must a long term plan within the CE industry to gradually replace on store shelves legacy DVD units with HD players. Thatís a no-brainer there. A similar scenario happened recently with the transition of interlaced to progressive players. Most consumers never even noticed the change. As long as criteria #3 is met, the transition should be seamless.

5) Studios gradually replace existing and newly released DVD movies titles with the HD versions Ė just like what happened between the VHS and DVD. Again, another no-brainer.

6) HD movie titles should be competitively priced.

7) And finally, Broadcasters need to up the ante in providing additional HD content. Because of costs, many have been dragging their feet, kicking and screaming every step of the way.

Assuming the above scenario is implemented, I believe the progression to HD will be easily accepted by the average consumer.

Now, in reference to whether this new disc format will be solely for the snobby hobby enthusiast. I donít think so. As with any new technology, the early adopters (the tech heads and niche market types) will always be at head of the line, but unlike SACD and DVD-A, where it took a discriminating ear to appreciate the difference in sound quality, the transition to HD wonít be as slow going. For one, HDTVs have become common place on most TV showroom floors across the US. From Best Buy, to Circuit City and evens Sears, HDTV is here to stay. The only roadblock presently is limited access to HD content and programming. With the arrival of the HD-DVD (or Blu-Ray), the CE industry will finally be providing a format worthy enough of showcasing on these new sets.

Just as the DVD spurned the home theater phenomena, I predict the arrival of the HD-DVD will finally propel HDTV sales to record levels. And of course with the acceptance of HD, the natural progression to HDV will finally become a reality to the mass market.

Just in case you are wondering whether or not the difference in DVD versus HD is significant, here is a recent article of an event where Sony showcased Blu-Ray to a group of home theater enthusiasts. Very interesting feedback from the attendees.

Well, Iím off my soap box.

Graham Hickling October 10th, 2004 06:35 PM

>>> Unlike SACD and DVD-A, where it took a discriminating ear to appreciate the difference in sound quality, the transition to HD wonít be as slow going.

I think this is the key point. There is always some guy who wants to have a BIG television in his livingroom to impress his buddies. And although an SD DVD will look OKish on his screen, his buddies will definitely be able to tell whether or not he has an HD player.

My prediction is that some sort of DVD-compatible HD player (not entirely convinced it will be Bluray) will take off at Circuit City and Best Buy as soon as it sells for under ... um ... let's guess .... $450.

Yi Fong Yu October 10th, 2004 09:46 PM


man how come DVI can't do meetings like that? check out the newest gear in groups get group discounts, etc. oh wait... we kinda do =).

all of your points exactly proves my points (even the link you gave me). every step that you listed is another hoop that the consumer has to wait for to upgrade to HD-based DVD. those 7 points are very massive steps to take every each one of them. by the time that actually solidifies and makes sense and happens we'll have added thousands of more titles to DVDs. when VHS first came out it was slow rollout of film catalogues. by the late 90s almost ALL film had been released on VHS from the late 1800s til the modern age. as of right now i personally know many 1900-1930s titles by key artists have not completely come out on DVD (like D.W. Griffith, who has his major works out but not COMPLETE works). by the time HD-based DVDs come out (in large quantities and widespread availability) we will have achieved nearly complete works on everyone on regular DVDs.

i think the biggest point we have to agree to disagree on is whether or not consumers (average joe not home cinema enthusiasts) will be able to tell the difference.

that and the fact that they have already re-purchase all of their catalogue in the HD format (like those in the HT forum).

the last two points i mentioned are massive problems HD-based DVD solution has to overcome and figure out for it to be as popular as DVDs are today to consumers. imho they should have had HD-based DVDs worked out in the late 90s to coincide with HDTVs so that HDTV can boost sales of HDVD and HDVD can boost sales of HDTV. now we're left with half-baked ideas and multi-format multi-platform and multi-confusion. thus i still don't think HDVD will be as popular as regular DVDs.

we shall have to collect our bets in a decade =). chris i wonder if this site will be around for that long?

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