Feeds

back to article Paramount poised to drop HD DVD

Paramount Studios could soon drop its support of HD DVD following Warner's recent backing of Sony's Blu-ray technology, effectively killing off HD-DVD and bring the format war to a definitive end. According to the Financial Times, in a story that broke only a few hours ago, Paramount is understood to have a clause in its …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Gates Halo

This is an easy rumour to end

Bill, Mr Microsoft, Mr McLargeHuge Philanthopist...Buy Sony, and then you won't need to pay them any royalties and then you'll have more cash to develop Africa with.

/Even though he wouldn't be reading El Reg, it's a genuine suggestion.

//Paris Hilton angle? Lets hope her sex tapes get released on Blu-Ray.

0
0

Oooohh - Burn!

"Paramount is understood to have a clause in its contract with the HD DVD camp that would allow it to switch sides in the event of Warner backing Blu-ray."

No wonder Toshiba are so pissed off. I bet that Paramount gets to keep it's 30 pieces of silver too....

0
0
Boffin

The inferior format is winning :(

Typical. They always support the one with region locking :(

Maybe cheaper region-free Blu-Ray players will start showing up now.

0
0

Oddly enough....

I was wondering yesterday if there was any pr0n on Blu-Ray yet, but I can't search from work.....

Of course it's rumoured that this will happen but I would suggest that it is merely a rumour and has not been taken from any reliable source. After all, it was the reaction of several people on The Reg when the Warner story was published, so it's natural to assume a rumour would develop.

So while it "might" be in the pipeline (I'm sure Paramount have taken serious notice of Warner's actions) I would not read anything into it until I hear something from Paramount themselves. After all, the FT story just seems to be entirely based on rumour as they don't offer any definitive facts or reasoning behind where their "info" came from.

0
0
Flame

lmao

Ho ho ho .... didn't see this coming :D

0
0
Coat

Re: Oooohh - Burn!

Surely HD-DVD is not the mesiah?

0
0

Damn it!

I thought the whole way the industy was heading was a media hub and you stream data to your media extenders and things like that.

Blu-ray is evil i guess it had to win. It's the most restrictive format. Oh well roll on the next gen slysoft, dvd decrypter and shrink programs...

0
0
Go

So now I might be able to get my HD SF?

All I want for Christmas is Battlestar Galactica and the new scans of the original Star Trek on HD, unfortunately Santa bought me a PS3.

Gimme Blu Rays so I can watch them legally?

0
0
jai
Silver badge

no certainty though

this is only speculation though isn't it?

someone's mate heard from their sister's mum's boyfriend who saw the contract over the shoulder of someone on the train that there might be a get-out clause.

i'm all pro-BluRay, but i'll wait until this story is backed up with a statement from someone at Paramount before i start cheering and hanging the bunting in the street

0
0

Those pieces of silver

The "bribe", if that's how you want to view it, was being paid as marketing and duplication assistance. If they're not going to make HD-DVDs, they don't need the money anyway.

0
0
Flame

hilarious!!

Paramount laughing all the way to the bank!

An Xbox with a Blu Ray drive on the horizon - M$ fanboys buying lots of humble pie and hiding in the corner eating it whilst sitting on their redundant hddvd drives.

whoooaa! too early in the morning for so much sarcasm..

nope - flame on

0
0
Boffin

Seriously...

...can this please be buried once and for all. I'm not sure I really care which way it goes, I do own a Poos3, but honestly don't care which format wins out, just as long as one does, and then we can all get on with our lives...

0
0

who gives a flying one?

Solid-state memory will win out within a year or two. So either HD-DVD or Blu-Ray, altho I wish HD-DVD had won as it's less restrictive and less proprietry.

0
0
Thumb Down

@The inferior format is winning :(

Inferior format? I'm not sure. They look pretty much the same to me, with BD having a larger capacity.

HD-DVD has the ability for region locking in it's specification. I would have thought it a little naive to have expected HD DVD products to have remained region free had they 'won the war'.

I have a laugh when i see Sony getting flamed for being the monster corp from hell....since when have MicroSh1t been our great benefactors? Or for that matter, any of the corporations involved?

Let's face facts, this isn't about HD formats - it's about the big film studios screwing us for more cash for the same films we already have on DVD (having replaced our VHS versions).

0
0
Thumb Down

Question

If this will allow you "to get on with our lives" it begs the question "Why was your life so affected by this unimportant nonsense?"

0
0
Thumb Up

@elfatbob

"Let's face facts, this isn't about HD formats - it's about the big film studios screwing us for more cash for the same films we already have on DVD (having replaced our VHS versions)"

With you on that one, but the longer they mess about the more DVDs I aquire the less I be spending on whichever HD format. And I won't by a HD/BR unit until it has record function and costs less than £100.

0
0

This post has been deleted by a moderator

jai
Silver badge

Re: who gives a flying one?

i'm not sure why everyone says solid state will superceed bluray (or hd dvd even)

i can understand it from a point of view of portable read/write storage. no one wants a camcorder that burns to a disc.

but are you saying that you'll be going to Blockbuster and renting a memory stick in the next year or two?

or that HMV will be selling movies on roms?

0
0
Paris Hilton

P0rn on Blu

I can't see the p0rn industry using Blu-ray too much, not many blue movies I've seen warrant the need for the extra space even if they are shot in HD, unless the porno is over an hour long but that's a rarity, surely?

(Had to be Paris as I mentioned porn in my comment, but think of Paris putting her coat on though).

0
0
Bronze badge
Thumb Up

It all goes back to the stone age

I bet whoever invented the wheel never realised that people would become so obsessed with round spinning things.

SS should supersede round spinning things easily - less moving parts, more robust media, no need for an expensive player - media and device all in one. Once the music industry gets over its current desparate attempt to turn back time and accepts the world of downloads and portable players is here to stay I would have thought the days of the CD are numbered. Once music goes movies, games and other software should follow.

Should do wonders for PC case design not having to have those opening bay holes.

0
0
Silver badge
Stop

@ Jai

No, what i think he's saying is that there wont be a local blockbuster in the future. We'll just load up an internet on demand service, and push the "Rent now for 99p" button, and then wala, We've got the film without even having to get out of bed.

Roll on Better Broadband and Download services! Physical media is dead.

0
0
Thumb Up

Paramount don't have any choice

What do you think will happen to their share price over the next year?

With HD-DVD sales only charting in 3 (very low) places over the holidays, and Blu-ray storming it (consistently in the top 5 on Amazon), as well as the cheap QVC tat players not selling as much as they thought, can there really be any other option for Paramount?

The amount they lost from PS3 owners not being able to buy Transformers is bad enough, but to release all their upcoming films on a underperforming and dying format would be business suicide.

No matter, i've stuck with VHS's as those DVD things have evil DRM and life-ruining region locking. Waaa waaa waaah.

0
0
Jobs Halo

$150,000,000...a title is required?

It just doesn't buy what it used to. Sorry Billy, you'll have to buy the other guy's toys.

0
0
Unhappy

Blu-ray is technically superior, but...

...a good chunk of that superiority, from the content provider's perspective, lies in the extra layer of content protection, which lasted about a week. They've also had to release two new revisions of the player specification since the first blu-ray players came out, meaning features you'll find on the $200 HD-DVD players you can sometines find in the states, are only available in brand new, premium priced blu-ray players.

A blu-ray win represents increased costs for consumers more than it represents an increase in quality.

I've been expecting Blu-ray to win for a while, but i'll still be disapointed if it does.

0
0
Stop

Better Quality???

I've compared a film on blu-ray and on DVD on my new 40inch 1080P....and there's not that much in it. The TV does a very good job of upscaling.....so my high def format for a while will be plain old DVD.

0
0
Stop

@Mark

And anyone who thinks that technical specs are the be all and end all is most likely suffering from the need to justify their purchases to themselves. Personally I have no preference for either format, but having watched "Planet Earth" on HD-DVD and Blu-ray side-by-side, I have to say that I can't see any difference. And if you're part of that bunch that believes it can tell the difference between PCM and TrueHD taken from the same studio master, at the same bit-depth and sample rate, then God help you.

0
0
Tim
Bronze badge

@The inferior format is winning 3

The extra space and/or bandwidth is never used. Almost all Blu-Ray and HD DVD releases have identical video encodings. In fact Blu-Ray generally wastes space on large PCM tracks that could be identical quality lossless TrueHD and take far less space (ah but then the PS3 doesn't bitstream TrueHD).

The only differences between the formats that count are...

1. HD DVD has no region coding, Blu-Ray does (and with Sony at the helm, they'll use their lawyers to kill anyone offering imports or cracks).

2. HD DVD is a complete spec, Blu-Ray still is not (and all but about one release is still profile 1.0, missing a lot of good features found on most HD DVD discs).

3. HD DVD is not propped up entirely by a games console that isn't fully featured, up to spec or even supports all the HD audio formats! (this is HD after all, you should get 'HD' in all aspects).

4. HD DVD is cheaper to produce, both in terms of discs and players, which is better for the studios, better for manufacturers, increases competition, and is better for the consumer.

5. HD DVD's interactive content is easier to develop than Blu-Ray's BD-J system. Again, better for everyone. Get releases quicker and cheaper for a start.

Everything you could want in an HD format is there in HD DVD *now*. With Blu-Ray you still have to wait for a complete spec system and players at the right price.

0
0
Bronze badge

Consumers Have Spent Money

Since there are consumers out there who have spent good money on HD-DVD players, and other consumers out there who have spent good money on Blu-Ray players...

obviously the government should just come down with a hammer, and forbid any studio to release any movie in either HD-DVD or Blu-Ray unless they release that movie on both.

Electronic equipment that uses metal and plastic and energy to manufacture cannot be permitted to become junk, that would be wasteful.

Of course, because governments need to respect copyright, HD-DVD would have to bring in region coding before it could take advantage of this law: we couldn't force studios to release their movies without region coding if they didn't want to

0
0

@Joe K

The high positioning of BluRay titles at Amazon.com won't be linked to their near permenant 2-for-1 sales they've been running since mid-November, would it? If I lived in the US I'd have a massive Blu collection thanks to that offer, but the duty and postage to ship them here is a killer.

0
0
Go

Solid state formats

Many, many years ago (so many that I forget how many it was), I found myself buying my first ever CD player. "This is it," I thought. "The future of audio reproduction is here. Vinyl is dead." I was so excited when I got the thing home that I nearly did a shit.

But I'll never forget what my father said to me. "Don't bother with that nonsense," he said, "it'll all be out of date in a couple of years. Solid state is the way to go, just you wait and see. It's all in the memory chips!"

Fast forward many, many years to the present, and people are still repeating the same old lines, just as they have done for years, and just as my dear old papa used to in the long, long ago. But nothing's really changed. OK, I've seen a couple of MP3 singles in HMV on USB flash drives, but no-one's pretending they're anything other than a gimmick.

So for all those who are saying "solid state is the way to" - I'm ready to believe you. But can anyone tell me when they think it's going to happen?

0
0
Boffin

@tim

@tim

Oh a very impartial account of the differences.......

My turn to add some points:

1) Blu-ray has greater capacity. This allows for better quality sound and potentially less compressed pictures. If HD-DVD dies (which I suspect it will), then studios will start using this rather than creating something for the lowest common denominator (HD-DVD). (PS Before you start talking about HD new found capacity claims, check the caviats!!) Think, Lord of Rings without switching disk??

2) The BD-J vs the Microsoft is a silly argument. Its a typical geeky my language is better than your language.

3) Yes Blu-Ray has region coding capabilities. But thats down to the Studio whether it is enforced. I live in the UK and have watched PLENTY of US sourced Blu-ray disks.

4) Costs, costs, costs.... its an economy of scale. In no time the cost differences will be negligable. Why go on about it.

All we really want is one format to win. I think thats going to happen and its looking like Blu-ray.

Personnally I think its a good thing its Blu-ray. Not just because I own a PS3 but because it seems to me the better albeit initially more costly format. If we all going to go over to something new, might as well be the better spec item.

@anyone who thinks media is dead

For those of you that think that really media is going to end soon, wake up and smell the coffee. Streaming HD on demand takes a huge amount of bandwidth. Imagine 20-40Mb/s. Thats a LOT of bandwidth. You could of course download the movie (say 30-50Gb) but then how many will you be able to store?

I like real media. I probably got 400 CDs and now Ive got a new HD setup will probably start collecting films. You can lend them to your friends to watch. At work theres 3 of us with PS3 and a continously film exchange ; cant see that happening with downloaded media.

0
0
Gates Horns

Thank god

Thank god I didn't decide to ride this technology wave. Hopefully the war will end soon, the winning format will settle down and prices will become reasonable. Then I might buy the relevant player. Until then, I'll just stick with DVDs and laugh at this continued onslaught.

0
0

So Microsoft will have to pay SONY for every Xbox?

That means that if the XBox gets a Blu-Ray player Microsoft will have to pay SONY for every Xbox they sell...

I wonder how much SONY will charge them?

0
0
Thumb Up

@ tim and hddvd list

only problem is:

hddvd isn't selling.

consumers vote with their purchases and not all blu ray titles are region coded - bbc's blue planet for example.

whether or not the firmware updatable 'prop-up consoles' are up to 'spec'(?) is of no matter they are in the homes now in apparently greater numbers(with regular updates increasing function), not in QVC warehouses.

if I was a movie studio putting out disks I'd look at the customer base.. where do I make most money, from the largest growing market and protect(as best possible) my output.

as a consumer I rent a couple of blu rays a month from lovefilm for 4 and a half quid, stream movies and music from my pc to it and play online where pc exploits are non existant- great etertainment for a 39 year old computer geek.

blu ray.

0
0
Stop

@inferior format & solid state comments

1) Inferior format? Say what? Blu-Ray has far superior bitrates both data and video, as well as far superior capacity. Both formats enjoy DRM in their spec, as well as region coding (used or not) and the wonderful Image Control Token (yes HD-DVD has this too). In my experience few people care about the region coding except a vociferous minority that populate blogs. Most people buying their movies at Wal-Mart or Asda couldn't give a toss as long as the movie isn't much more than 15-20 of your local currency units.

2)Solid state? Have you seen the cost of a 16GB memory stick? $300. For a paltry 16 GB. Blu-Ray has 51GB capacity. A 48GB capacity flash device would cost in the region of $900. Yeah, I can see that being practical. When you can get 51GB of soli state storage for the cost of pressing a single Blu-Ray on a commercial production line, then maybe, just maybe you have an argument. Until then, stop embarassing yourself.

3)Downloads are the answer? They are? What's the question exactly? Right now there are perhaps, at most 1% of all consumers with broadband links who have enough speed to make downloading truly HD content practical. The rest of us have a connection that will only work if further compression is used. Further compression invalidates that nice HD label as it will inevitably involve a loss in quality. Outside of the urban areas where it's easy for cable/DSL connections to offer multi megabit speeds you can't even begin to think that download will work for movies. Even if fiber penetrates the market in cities, the vast majority of consumers won't have it. The studios are not going to buy into a 'solution' that will exclude a huge proportion of the movie buying public.

Purchasing optical media at the local megastore will continue to be the norm until either a) 'Net links achieve 10's of megabits universally or b) solid state storage prices come down to the dime per GB range.

Lastly please let's everyone stop fooling themselves on this one. If you are still holding to the position that Blu-Ray(when compared to HD-DVD) is evil, technically inferior, DRM infested and proprietary, then you are being both opinionated (aka fanbois) and willfully blind to the simple facts.

0
0

Not for a while

I would say Solid State still has a couple of years to go before it goes cheap. The likes of Samsung will try and make as much money from it before prices nosedive like they always do in Memory.

As for porn coming to Blu Ray i would suggest wait unitl its all settled. HD DVD never had/have a sniff of getting Disney cause of the fact that they was prepared to licence to the porn industry

0
0
Flame

Lies, I tell you!

Tim, you're spouting off the same old tired lies we've been hearing for way too long, and I for one am getting tired of them.

Tim said: 1. HD DVD has no region coding, Blu-Ray does (and with Sony at the helm, they'll use their lawyers to kill anyone offering imports or cracks).

And what, 10 or 15 discs have bothered to use region coding to this point? That's what, 2-3%? And of course, the region coding has already been cracked. And don't forget that both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD support DVD region locking. If HD-DVD had survived, how long do you think it would have been before the studios had convinced Toshiba to modify their spec to include some kind of region locking?

Tim said: 2. HD DVD is a complete spec, Blu-Ray still is not (and all but about one release is still profile 1.0, missing a lot of good features found on most HD DVD discs).

So why did the HD-DVD camp deem it necessary to revise their spec to allow for a 3 layer disc if their spec is "complete"? Is the BR spec not complete because the BR camp is working on a 4 layer 100GB disc? The BR spec IS complete and functional. Just because BR is being enhanced does not make it incomplete. If it were "incomplete", we'd see what we saw with the early wireless N devices -- incompatibilities and patches to make one device work with another. This might have been a useful argument 2 years ago, but give it a rest. The spec is final, published, and engineering is moving forward.

Tim said: 3. HD DVD is not propped up entirely by a games console that isn't fully featured, up to spec or even supports all the HD audio formats! (this is HD after all, you should get 'HD' in all aspects).

BR supports more video formats than HD-DVD, and it supports the most important of the audio formats, specifically UNCOMPRESSED audio. If you've got uncompressed, lossless audio, why would you want more choices in compressed audio? Oh, wait, could it be because HD-DVD needs it because they don't have the bandwidth that BR has?

And the PS3 DOES support v1.1, the latest released spec. I don't know where you get your misinformation from...

Tim said: 4. HD DVD is cheaper to produce, both in terms of discs and players, which is better for the studios, better for manufacturers, increases competition, and is better for the consumer.

Cheaper in the short term. More expensive due to lower capacity and more restrictive bandwidth, resulting in multi-disc shipments when BR will still only need to ship one disc. With 60% more content on a BR disc (today; 233% more with 4 layer BR), studios will be able to save money longterm.

Tim said: 5. HD DVD's interactive content is easier to develop than Blu-Ray's BD-J system. Again, better for everyone. Get releases quicker and cheaper for a start.

The Microsoft proprietary HDi software relies upon software licensed from Microsoft to build content. BR's Java technology has had a slow start due to its steeper learning curve, but as more open source (and proprietary) tools are developed, and as the studios are learning how to work with the tools they've got, that curve will change. It may have been easier a year ago, but which product offers the best future-proof option?

Player pricing is a debatable argument, especially if you're basing it on the bargain basement clearance sale that WalMart had in November, when they clearanced out last year's HD-A2 to make room for its replacement. Desperation sales of obsolete hardware shouldn't be used to form your argument. Low end hardware costs between the 2 lines are within 1/3rd of each other. Do you really think that small a difference is going to matter longterm? I would say that low volumes because of an infantile format war caused by Toshiba's recalcitrance in going with the rest of the world would have more bearing on longterm costs.

Give it up, Tim. HD-DVD is dead. Your specious arguments are demeaning to you.

0
0

Ultra-Mega-Def

I think now would be a good time for someone to release Ultra-Mega-Def optical media that can store 500Gb per layer. If I can skip a generation that would be nice.

0
0
Thumb Up

Ha-Ha!

I don’t know why people get hung up on copy-protection/ DRM – if they build it, it will be broken. It has always been the way. There’s so much to gain from it being broken, that it simply becomes a question of how long it will take.

I can’t see downloads/ solid state becoming the norm for movies, not for a while anyway. There isn’t the impetus that there was with music. MP3s took off because people like carrying their music with them and MP3s meant they could take all their music with them – a fairly revolutionary idea. It hasn’t really stopped people buying CDs though. What are the advantages of movie downloads? Convenience? Not really, unless you have mega bandwidth. I have 10meg DSL and a DVD5 still takes half an hour to download at full speed. Streamable, but not in high-def, and all you have to show for it is a video file. Which brings me on to my next point – people like owning physical media. It’s all about the artefacts (apparently). As a film lover and collector, the idea of my entire library of movies being on a hard drive is unthinkable. I want huge box-sets with extras, artwork and so on that can sit on my shelf. It’s the same reason that vinyl records still exist.

I’m sure downloads will have their place for rental purposes, but physical media is here to stay for the foreseeable AFAIC.

Oh and a big Nelson-style “ha ha!” to all the HD-DVD advocates who didn’t see this coming.

0
0
Boffin

@ Simon Lewis

I was mocking this much-hyped deba...Oh, fuck it, why am I even wasting my breath* on you..??

* I know I'm typing and not speaking and thus wasting skins cells, it's just a figure of speach...Oh, fuck it, there I go again, wasting my preciouse fucking breath on you...

0
0

@ tim

nice debate eh?

@ anon coward ^^..

luv the 'ha ha'

@alphaman- kudos on the counter points..

off to watch black hawk down on blu ray

0
0
Unhappy

Misguided answers on both sides

Firstly, sorry Alphaman but your answer about region coding on HD-DVD's is wrong. The current HD-DVD specification (v1.0) which is the one in use by all HD-DVD manufactures since the initial release of HD-DVD (both discs and players) does not have any specification for any form of regional playback control.

There is the potential for the specification to be revised at a later time to incorporate some form of RPC but there would be no requirement for any of the manufacturers to issue an update to the players, and, as the HD-DVD specification explicitly states that subsequent versions of the specification must not make older players and implementations obsolete, I doubt that we will see RPC on HD-DVD in action.

At the moment only a very small fraction of Blu-Ray discs have regional playback control, however, 100% of the players have the implementation of it in place. This means that once the format war is over then the studios can release RPC enabled discs and then we'll be in the same place that we currently are with regular DVD's.

As for the Blu-Ray specification being complete, this is "technically" true. The specification for Blu-Ray is complete and has been since release, unfortunately, Blu-Ray doesn't call the player implementation as "specification" they call it a "profile" and this is still not up to 100%.

As an example, when Blu-Ray first officially launched, the only profile that was 100% defined was profile v1.0, however the Blu-Ray specification referenced 3 other profiles which were not yet finalised.

The v1.0 profile did not specify picture-in-picture, any additional codecs or even an internet connection. This profile was superseded by profile 1.1 (aptly named "Final Standard Profile") in November 2007, and the new Blu-Ray films being released are making use of some of these new capabilities. Unfortunately there is not a single Blu-Ray stand-alone player capable of being upgraded to the new profile. So, early adopters for Blu-Ray are left high and dry.

As for the software required for the interactivity. The HD-DVD and Blu-Ray specifications are both open, so there is no form of proprietary lock-in from either side. There is however one large advantage that HD-DVD has over Blu-Ray in this arena however. The HD-DVD interactivity specification is based on HTML, XML, JavaScript, CSS etc, which are all very light-weight standards and require very little processing power or memory to display and run. The Blu-Ray specification uses a nearly feature complete Java implementation including a custom Java Virtual Machine. As I'm sure we've all experienced, even on a pretty high spec'd current laptop, Java still runs like a stuck pig when trying to do anything multi-media related.

There are quite a few other little features in the HD-DVD spec that I feel give it the edge over Blu-Ray. For instance there is no requirement in the Blu-Ray specification for discs to have a lossless audio format, however all HD-DVD's must have a lossless audio option.

There is no requirement for Blu-Ray players to have an ethernet connection or any current player profile to make use of one. However you only have to look at the HD-DVD release of the latest Harry Potter film to see how this component has been utilised.

There is no inclusion in the Blu-Ray specification to allow the Java components of an interactive disc to remember the current playback state to allow auto-resume. Look at the interactive picture-in-picture features of the 300 release to see how much of a problem this is.

As it happens, I own both the HD-DVD add-on for the 360 and I also have a PS3. However, the only reason I purchased the PS3 was a gaming console, and the only reason anyone has for purchasing the HD-DVD add-on is to watch films.

0
0
Go

The spec

Go look it up:

"Apart from the requirements listed in this document it is required that the HD DVD Video application layer will support and improve upon features offered in DVD such as regional coding, multiple menu languages, soundtracks, subtitles, and angles that can be selected programmatically, by player default settings, or user input."

Unless I'm reading that wrong, region coding is in the spec, just no one uses it right now.

From Section 5 of:

http://www.dvdforum.org/images/Requirements%20Specification%20for%20HD%20DVD%20Video%20Application-July2005.pdf

0
0

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Thumb Down

Is there an echo in here?

Did you guys just cut and paste the same posts that you posted to HD-DVD/BluRay threads last month, and the month before, and the month before that?

It's the same noise, again and again and again.

0
0
Alert

@matt piechota - you're confirming my point... no?

Matt, the section you quoted is what I was saying that "There is the potential for the specification to be revised at a later time to incorporate some form of RPC but there would be no requirement for any of the manufacturers to issue an update to the players".

All they are doing in the paragraph you quoted is making a nod in the direction of RPC, but nowhere is RPC defined.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

On-demand HD is here

> For those of you that think that really media is going to end soon, wake up and smell the coffee. Streaming HD on demand takes a huge amount of bandwidth. Imagine 20-40Mb/s. Thats a LOT of bandwidth.

If you deliver it over IP. Lots of cable subscribers already get HD on demand over cable, at 1080i with very good picture quality (i.e., very hard to see compression artifacts.)

0
0
Paris Hilton

Inevitable?

When it was BetaMax vs. VHS it was hands down VHS.

BetaMAx had better picture quality but VHS was licensed to adult content providers and the licensing was cheap and easy to acquire.

In BD vs. HD, HD still licenses to adult content providers but licensing costs are similar and Sony is not a content producer and owns labels like Paramount.

If there is none there should be a rule that says as soon as a media type becomes a defacto standard perhaps by number of sales or number of titles they should have to license the technology for a universal disk.

These "standard wars" only benefit manufacturers since when a media type "loses" they get to sell everything over again to consumers who want a player with new features or as a replacement for an existing player that does not support the losing media type.

0
0

Inferior format?

What so many HD-DVD boosters seem unable to grasp is that it's a dead-end technology. It's little more than a glorified DVD, and it's extremely limited in future improvements. Blu-Ray already has a greater bandwidth and capacity than HD-DVD, and more importantly, has a good dead of room to grow as the specs are expanded -- it has the potential for over double the capabilities projected for HD-DVD. And unlike HD-DVD, will be able to handle the next-generation HD standard (1440p), while HD-DVD won't have that ability, and an entirely new format will be required. We all know how well that goes over.

As far as region locking, yes it is definitely part of the HD-DVD spec, and don't imagine for a moment that the studios would not implement it immediately if they had won the format war. In effect, the HD-DVD camp has already said that the only reason it hasn't been implemented yet is because it was one of the very few advantages it could get over Blu-Ray. But with few Blu-Ray studios implementing their region encoding, that advantage very quickly disappeared. In any case, the scare hype over OHNOESREGIONLOCKING!!1on3! is no different than it was when DVDs were originally released, and look how long that lasted.

Blu-Ray is by far the more future-proof technology, despite it's few small and easily circumvented shortcomings. Downloadable HD content replacing physical media is still a pipe dream; and will continue to be until high-cap broadband availability and reliability is increased by at least an order of magnitude.

0
0
Go

@seri - the spec

I read that as: you're supposed to support region coding. I frankly do not know enough about the format to say for sure, but it certainly sounds like region coding is already in the spec to me, even if all the current discs and players don't implement that part of the spec. All the people screaming about how 'there's no region coding in HD-DVD' seem to be standing on thin ice.

Region-coding is a non-issue for me, but driving the big LCD I just bought is. If BluRay has the potential for a better picture quality, I'm all for it if only one is going to survive. If I did end up with a pile of region-coded discs, I'd just buy an extra drive or two to read them. A BD-ROM drive is already down to US$190, so it's not *that* much of an expense, considering how much it would cost to have those import discs shipped over here with the exchange rates.

Speaking of cost, a quick look at Amazon shows that for the few discs I checked, the Blu-ray and HD-DVD versions are the same price. I thought HD-DVD discs were way cheaper or something?

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.