HD-DVD or Blu Ray?
Just wanted to start a bit of banter about the next generation formats - who is going to back what - and what are people most excited about?
I have heard that Sonic Solutions are releasing software that will enable authors to create projects on both medium...
Here is a link to an interesting recent article in BusinessWeek magazine on the DVD war between HD-DVD and Blue-ray.
[Dan Sheridan] "I have heard that Sonic Solutions are releasing software that will enable authors to create projects on both medium..."
You can get Sonic Blue Ray Creator to author blue ray DVD or HD Scenarist to author HD-DVD. You can't do both in the same authoring system. At least Sonic has one HD encoder that encodes all the mandatory video formats, so that will work for both types of DVD.
OK folks! Place your bets. (But I think you get better odds at the crap tables in Vegas than you will on the floor of N.A.B. trying to pick the winning DVD format.)
Personally, I think both Blue Ray and HD-DVD are going to end up as DVD-Audio and SACD did -- formats that few people care about.
Senior Editor/DVD Author
New York City
"Personally, I think both Blue Ray and HD-DVD are going to end up as DVD-Audio and SACD did -- formats that few people care about"
Really? With sales of HD TVs going up and up? With HD and/or blu Ray, I finally have a good reason to purchase a HD set. The new players will definetly have to play SD disc.
I'm torn between both at the moment. I'm not liking HD-DVD cause its been developed my Microsoft, and will probably be full of critters... then again I'm not a fan of proprietory formats such as what Sony brings to the market like UMD, Mini-Disc etc...
Too much choice - I was kinda hoping that they would standardise one format and that be that... i've been reading that some crazy scientists have been working on the next generation of HD called non other than UHD - Ultra HD. Apparently they ran out of room for further testing as 18mins of footage was about 36 terabytes at a crazy res of 4440 x some other big number... Probably have to wait until us consumers are happily spending time on our 40gbps broadband lines... ;p
Really good question. Personally I have to agree with these formats becoming more like SACD. I could see them being great for about a year. But this time next year the 50GB capacity of Blu-Ray is going to seem kinda small. If it were 500GB or 1 TB I'd say that's a format that we could keep for many years. Who wants to go out rebuy all of your favorite movies again knowing there's not a long lifecycle.
"I'm torn between both at the moment. I'm not liking HD-DVD cause its been developed my Microsoft, and will probably be full of critters... then again I'm not a fan of proprietory formats such as what Sony brings to the market like UMD, Mini-Disc etc... "
Well HD-DVD wasn't developed by Microsoft, but rather Toshiba. Microsoft's contributions have been the interactive layer called iHD as well as the VC1 codec. Otherwise, this is the DVD Forum's format.
Blu-ray also shouldn't be confused with past proprietary formats from Sony. It was codeveloped by a great deal of companies in the Blu-ray Group, more overall support from CE companies and Studios than HD-DVD.
With that being said, if you just compare both formats side by side, Blu-ray is clearly the winner.
BD has more capacity per layer and has shown potential for more layers down the line with dual-layer (50Gig) being ready for mass production while HD-DVD is stuck at 30 Gig dual-layer and their 45Gig 3-layer still being in the lab. In BD's lab is a 4-layer 100Gig disc as well as a dual sided 200Gig disc. Will be a long time before those are ready for the public, but the potential is there.
BD has a higher data transfer rate than HD-DVD allowing higher bitrate of both audio and video.
BD has the majority of Studio support with only Universal being the last stubborn studio to off support.
BD will be 1080p from the getgo. HD-DVD won't be until second gen players.
HD-DVD does have the price advantage for their early players. $500 for their stripped down entry player, and $800 for their upper model which is still not fully featured. BD is coming in at $1000 for a full featured player and up to $1800 for Pioneer's Elite. However, come November, the PS3 which is still being promoted as a full featured player, will come in at a guestimated price of $500.
Movies are looking to be identical in price for both HD-DVD and BD.
But then there is always a grey cloud and that being ICT (Image Constraint Token) which as someone else has mentioned, will downrez all HD content to 540p if being displayed through a non HDCP capable connection. There is an estimated 12 million HDTV's out there that are not HDCP capable. That is a huge consumer base to be shitting on so early in a format war. Right now a few studios have stated that they will not use ICT on movie releases....yet. Doesn't exactly give you a lot of confidence now does it?
I for one have 3 HD capable tv's. 1 rear projection, 1 front projector, and one HD widescreen computer monitor. None are HDCP compliant but fully capable of 1080i, 720p, and 1080p respectfully. I won't support any Studio that enables ICT ever, even after I eventually upgrade my equipment to HDCP compatible displays. But until both formats are out and we actually see final product and disc reviews are out, I'll wait on the sidelines...rooting for Blu-ray.
I don't see either format becoming a viable archiving format for quite sometime, until their blank disc prices plummet. By that time, there could be something better out for disc storage, but don't expect any new format to compete with HD-DVD and Blu-ray on the home video front. Too much politics with the Studios for a 3rd party to just come in, even if the format is much much better. For HD on an optical disc, we are stuck with HD-DVD and Blu-ray and I choose the one that offers the most potential.
Remember that sales of surround audio systems are going up and up also. But look in a typical store like Best Buy. You will find 600-1000 ft. of counter space devoted to selling audio CDs. You will find 20 ft. of counter space for DVD-Audio and SACD discs combined. Some music stores have stopped selling these discs entirely.
Several months ago, I purchased a DVD player that also plays DVD-Audio and SACD. Because the output of the highest quality tracks is crippled (analogue out only), my system has a bass management problem when playing these discs. Combine that with the very limited availability of content, and you will see why I won't buy any more of these discs.
Remember that the record companies want your dollars, while they really don't want you to have very high quality content (because you, the customer, are assumed to be a thief and will make enough copies of their discs to run them out of business). And each manufacturer wants you to buy only their format and not the other company's format.
Does any of this sound like what is developing in the world of high-def DVDs?
The film studios and electronics manufacturers already can down-rez your HD movie to 25% of normal if it is played through the analog video outs. And if the mothership back in Hollywood decides that you are involved, however remotely, in piracy, they can disable BOTH your hi-def DVD player AND your really expensive flat screen TV. That is what HDCP is for. Every new movie DVD will have an updated list of devices that need to be disabled upon insertion of the DVD.
The music and the film/video business are the only industries that operate under the principle that their customers are the enemy and their competitors are their allies.
Remember that all of this will be in the stores on May 23, 2006. Get your checkbook out and be ready to write some big numbers on it!
Senior Editor/DVD Author
New York City
I think it will be much bigger than DVD-Audio and SACD. I think consumers are wowed by the image of HD but not by the advantages of a few extra bytes on their music track. Actually, we're pretty used to low rez audio with iTunes.
I haven't heard anyone talk about which format might win on the DVD-burnable front...I give that one to HD-DVD, but they will inevitably both be out there. Look, we have DVCPro 50 and DVCAM and we all have to play nice with both of them. We have DVCProHD and HDCAM..ditto. I am currently backing up project files, AE files, PSD etc to DVD-R. It's a pretty good system, but I wish I had higher capacity. Enter either of the HD disc formats and I have my upgrade. It will be interesting what Apple decides.
I am not as much concerned with what movie to buy, or if they will let me copy it etc. I want a reliable burnable disc format with 25 gigs or more. I think we will all have that.
But economy is important too. Which ones players will be cheaper? so far it looks like that nod is to HD-DVD. How about media? Cmon, people still complain about the cost of DVCAM tapes versus mini DV. You think it won't come down to price...a little?
I think the better value will win, and people will pay attention to that.
I do not think either format will go the way of DVD-Audio or SACD. Seeing is believing...evidently hearing is not believing.
I think Noah is right.
The jump from the DVD-5 or DVD-9 we know now to a mere 25 or 50 GB is a big jump, but that means the DVD`s capacity is now only getting up to pace with iPods and the like... So this also leads me to think that the life-cycle for these products could be very short?
The succes of HD-or Blu Ray will all depend on content and when and how fast it will become available. The big numbers of consumers is not waiting for a new format but for new and more and only in third place better looking content.
We master a lot of DVDs that go with magazines or are sold by these. The best selling DVDs being those that are fully packed (4hours on a DVD-9) with original content that readers/viewers cant find easily anywhere else, but sometimes part of the content comes from VHS, or (older)low quality material on beta sp. This makes the DVD not less succesfull, on the contrary.
As an authoring facility we will need to be able to offer both standards; but the consumer will decide who is going to win.
The time to market (of the HD or BD content not of the HD or BD machines) will be one of the biggest issues that will decide which format will lead the way. Having two competing formats coming out at the same time could be a negative factor for both the formats.
I look forward to seeing the developments at NAB.