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DVD Forum Approves HD-DVD Standard 333

Posted by michael
from the profit-margin dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Toshiba Corp. and NEC Corp. said Friday that the DVD Forum, an international association of electronics makers and movie studios, has approved the two Japanese companies' standard for next-generation DVDs. It has always annoyed me that DVDs are not the same top resolutions as High Definition TV. Maybe this will fix it." Well, better get to work rebuying your entire video collection, again.
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DVD Forum Approves HD-DVD Standard

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  • DVD (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 28, 2003 @04:26PM (#7583762)
    I hope the standards are open to the public and don't need extremly high licensing cocts.
    • That'd be terrible! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SHEENmaster (581283) <travis@u[ ]edu ['tk.' in gap]> on Friday November 28, 2003 @04:38PM (#7583824) Homepage Journal
      Suddenly the DVD industry would have to deal with people stealing movies, like stealing cable. Then all the movie companies would die off, like cable companies have, and the DVD would be as extinct as cable!

      Ironically, if they make the standards open, they can export powerful enough crypto to prevent cracking.
      • by gl4ss (559668)
        well that does hardly matter since vhs already killed the movie producers...

        err...

      • well increasing the data size five fold every few years is a good way to curb piracy ... DVD-R's are already too big for broadband unless you got alot of time on your hands. imagine trying to trade HD-DVD-R's ...
        • by Mod Me God (686647) on Friday November 28, 2003 @05:13PM (#7583984)
          DVDs are not too big for broadband. MPEG-2 (DVD) can be converted to MPEG-4 (Xvid, DivX 5x or whatever) more than ^1/4 size but little reduction in video quality (and hey, AAC audio is on many Kazaa'd .AVIs, MP3'd audio is not awful).

          So on a entry level broadband (512kbps) I can dl an almost DVD quality movie in 3 hours (no extras, but extras suck compared to the finished product).

          DVDs (DVD-Rs being writable DVDs) can be reduced to VCDs with a few bells and whistles. there is not much scope for size-bloat to prevent size-reduction and pirating.

          In HK (used to live there) you could buy _legal_ VCDs (menaing guaranteed quality, recoursability, etc) of the latest DVDs a month after DVDs hit the streets at only US$3/movie. HK has a lot of piracy, but this policy benefitted the legal distro channels and originating studios a lot.

          • AAC/AC3. (Score:3, Informative)

            by Grendel Drago (41496)
            Don't you mean AC3 audio? Lots of major DVD-rips releases are done with the original AC3 audio (possibly downsampled or compressed, but frequently just copied off the DVD), but I've never seen AAC audio on one.

            --grendel drago
          • by jest3r (458429)
            DVDs are not too big for broadband. MPEG-2 (DVD) can be converted to MPEG-4

            Of course they are - thats why you converted it to MPEG4 ... to lower the filesize.

            People on really highspeed networks trade ISO images of DVD's to burn onto DVD-R ... but at 4.7GB a pop they are pretty large for the average joe.

            HD-DVD will up the ISO size to almost 25GB per layer.
    • by saden1 (581102)
      I guess they are trying to kill China's new EDV initiative before it gets started.
  • Re-buying (Score:5, Informative)

    by freeweed (309734) on Friday November 28, 2003 @04:26PM (#7583763)
    Well, better get to work rebuying your entire video collection, again.

    Toshiba/NEC's standard is fully backwards compatible with the existing DVD standard. What this means is, unlike Blu-ray, you can watch your old movies on the new players. No need for re-buying, unless you're bored :)
    • Re:Re-buying (Score:3, Informative)

      by Nazmun (590998)
      But your old stuff will not be in high definition video. You have to rebuy to get the new super high def video.
      • Re:Re-buying (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Shaklee39 (694496)
        Soooo what is your point? You think all video media should be able to make itself better when a new standard comes out? You will still be able to watch the old dvds as clear as they were when you bought them, however, now when you buy any new movies you can grab ones with higher resolution.
    • by Fortyseven (240736) on Friday November 28, 2003 @04:30PM (#7583783) Homepage Journal
      I think they mean, repurchasing all your favorites in the new higher res format...

      Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope: The Super-Hyper Fighting Edition: Directors Cut: XTREME Really Wide Screen High Definition Rerelease ULTRA-EX2
      • Re:Re-buying (Score:3, Interesting)

        by NoodleSlayer (603762)
        Well I think a number of the movies I have therw wouldn't even be a point to buying a high-rez version because the source video isn't that good quality, especially some of the older stuff, so as long as the new players can play the 'old' DVDs should be much of a problem.

        And this include Star Wars and practically every other movie that was made before the mid 90s. I look at a number of my DVDs and I can see the film grain on them because of the transfer from the source material, putting these in higher re
      • by sharkey (16670)
        Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope: The Super-Hyper Fighting Edition: Directors Cut: XTREME Really Wide Screen High Definition Rerelease ULTRA-EX2

        I've heard Greedo shoots at a sensitive, non-violent Han, misses, then chokes to death on a jalapeno popper. Han never has to dirty his hands on a dirty, dirty gun.

      • Re:Re-buying (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AKnightCowboy (608632) on Friday November 28, 2003 @05:30PM (#7584054)
        Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope: The Super-Hyper Fighting Edition: Directors Cut: XTREME Really Wide Screen High Definition Rerelease ULTRA-EX2

        Then you need to buy the entire remastered original Trilogy in the keepsake collectors box set. Several months later they'll release the entire remastered Star Wars episodes I-VI so you'll need to buy it again. Can't keep up with all these releases. How about just releasing a movie once with all the stuff you want to put in it including commentary without coming back 6 months later and re-releasing a completely new version with new commentary? Damn money whores.

    • I know i already posted here to clarify a previous point but this is a totally different point.

      Why does Blu-ray prevent you from playing other new movies? No matter what the new standard is for the new dvds you still need the old laser to read older dvds as does current dvd players for cds. I know that blu-ray can be more expensive then this standard because production of dvds here can be done with older equipment according to the manufacturers but no mention of the new laser being able to read the dvd f
      • Also with time I would not be surprised if we had tuneable lasers. This would allow total compatibility with the older generation of disks.
      • Blu-Ray uses a cartridge to hold the discs. I imagine that if it had caught on you could get caddies like the ones that old CD-ROM drives use, but maybe not.

        I'm really disappointed that it was not selected. DVDs are fragile enough in terms of potential for damage by scratching. HD-DVDs will probably stop being readable if you breathe on them or handle them without wearing protective gloves.
    • Re:Re-buying (Score:5, Insightful)

      by shirai (42309) * on Friday November 28, 2003 @05:37PM (#7584096) Homepage
      Sorry, but just because Blu-Ray is not inherently compatible with the current DVD format DOES NOT MEAN that DVD compatibility will not be offered in Blu-Ray players.

      CD is NOT compatibile with DVD (wavelengths, format, etc.) and yet we see practically every DVD player capable of playing CDs.
      • Re:Re-buying (Score:4, Interesting)

        by LeninZhiv (464864) * on Friday November 28, 2003 @11:40PM (#7585597)
        If you've seen a prototype blu-ray player you'd know that's not true--they're not simple optical disks, so unless there are two drives (like a dual DVD-VCR player, which costs considerably more than a solo player), then the OP's assumptions were correct.

        Blue ray disks come in a built in protective plastic case, like 3 1/2 inch floppies. This is because the very small track widths make error correction so much more difficult. Even with DVDs there have been a lot of consumer complaints over how easily they scratch, and hi-def disks (in any format, unless someone comes out with one on a laser-disc size platter) are going to be that much more fragile, so this change is not as boneheaded as it sounds.
        • Re:Re-buying (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Barbarian (9467)
          They can make an adapter cartridge that you put the DVD into before placing it in the player. Remember the CD recorder drives that had these cartridges once?
    • No need for re-buying, unless you're bored

      And/or you don't want the HD-DVD Edition of the Alien Series.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 28, 2003 @04:27PM (#7583764)
    "I have to buy my entire movie collection again". Yeah sure, if you always want the best quality available.

    But why would that make your current collection "look like crap"? It's the same DVDs you've been watching (or rather, collecting) since the beginning.
    • by pla (258480) on Friday November 28, 2003 @05:48PM (#7584146) Journal
      But why would that make your current collection "look like crap"? It's the same DVDs you've been watching (or rather, collecting) since the beginning.

      Think of a video game you enjoyed from the early 90's, something that had amazing graphics and you just stared at the eye candy for hours when you played it.

      Try playing it now, on a modern PC, after having seen a few modern games. They look like crap, not even worth playing unless they included a great story as well (for me, the original "Unreal" kinda ruined all earlier games, at least as far as appearance goes - Pathetic story line, but so pretty...).

      The same goes for TV. Most people still use plain old analog NTSC or PAL TVs. We expect, and automatically filter out, a low level of static, and expect a fairly low resolution image. To prove that to yourself, check out an NTSC screen capture on a modern PC monitor - They look like tiny little pictures with horrible graininess.

      So yeah, the picture itself won't change, once we all have real digital HDTV playing capabilities. But our expectations will change, and what we currenly have will seem woefully inadequate, just like that classic video game.
      • To prove that to yourself, check out an NTSC screen capture on a modern PC monitor - They look like tiny little pictures with horrible graininess.

        True but NTSC video viewed on analog NTSC monitors isn't that bad. There's some inherent analog antialiasing when the signal is viewed as originally designed.

        Viewing such a signal on a computer monitor is a lot like listening to early CD or CDs of early stuff. They have stickers that warn you that "limitations of the original source material may be audible".
  • Movie rentals (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ajuda (124386) on Friday November 28, 2003 @04:28PM (#7583767)
    Is anyone thinking that it would just be cheaper to go to block buster every time you want to watch a moive, instead of buying DVDs? This way you won't have to buy the extended version, the super extended version and the director's ultra extended version as each comes out. As if that wasn't enough, they obsolete each format within seven or so years? Bah. I'm going back to renting!
    • Re:Movie rentals (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Jeffrey Baker (6191) on Friday November 28, 2003 @04:30PM (#7583782)
      Blockbuster wants to drive the sale price of DVDs down to $5 and abandon the rental business altogether. The publishers are reluctant.
      • Re:Movie rentals (Score:3, Informative)

        by Polyphemis (450226)

        Where did you hear this?

        That doesn't sound like a particularly good idea on Blockbuster's part, if it's true. Blockbuster rakes in shit-tons of money from their rentals. They buy DVDs in bulk for $1 to $5 each (source: my fiancee, who worked at Blockbuster for a year until last month) and after only ONE rental per DVD, they've already broken even and begun to profit! Then they keep the movies around for years and rake in profit off of those. When the movies move off the New Releases wall to make room for

        • Re:Movie rentals (Score:3, Informative)

          by Gunzour (79584)
          Although Blockbuster does make a nice gross profit, they have been losing money for the past three years after all other costs (such as overhead including your fiancee's paycheck) are taken into account. Source: http://finance.yahoo.com/q/is?s=BBI&annual [yahoo.com] That is a $1.6 billion loss they posted in '02. So far this year they seem to be making a profit, but it's significantly less that what your math suggests.
          • Re:Movie rentals (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Polyphemis (450226)
            Yikes! I hadn't realized that. I just asked my fiancee about it, and she's not surprised. Blockbuster apparently takes some losses with the special deals they have, such as the Rewards program that grants free rentals every week, and the promotions like pre-paying for an upcoming movie release and getting a card full of free rentals for six weeks leading up to the movie release. And, of course, the MASSIVE amounts of merchandise that's stolen from Blockbuster every day from customers and employees alike.

            On
    • I buy used DVDs at around $10-$15 Canadian, or the price of two to three rentals. So, if I watch the movie more than three times before the media fails, I've saved money, right?

      • Re:Movie rentals (Score:2, Informative)

        by milkman_matt (593465)
        I buy used DVDs at around $10-$15 Canadian, or the price of two to three rentals. So, if I watch the movie more than three times before the media fails, I've saved money, right?

        That's how I do it.. If I know i'm going to enjoy a movie and watch it a few times, with rentals being damned near 6 bucks now, I'll just buy it, I watch it 3 times and save money...

        -matt

    • by Vandil X (636030) on Friday November 28, 2003 @04:34PM (#7583810)
      Never underestimate the power of being able to make a midnight bathroom run, then suddenly get the desire to watch Office Space on DVD at 3:51am, in your boxers, looking like crap, with no money in your wallet, and no ambition to find/venture_out_to a 24/hr rental store.

      That's the real value of owning the DVD versus renting it.
    • Except they give you only one DVD from the set. The one with the grungiest resolution.
    • Is anyone thinking that it would just be cheaper to go to block buster every time you want to watch a moive, instead of buying DVDs?

      Except that renting a (new) movie from blockbuster costs about $5, plus, if you're even a few minutes late returning it, they charge you as if you had rented it again. You can buy a DVD from their "previously viewed" section for as low as $10. There are usually tons of new movies in the previously viewed section of the store because they need to buy 40 copies of it when it
    • Is anyone thinking that it would just be cheaper to go to block buster every time you want to watch a moive, instead of buying DVDs? This way you won't have to buy the extended version, the super extended version and the director's ultra extended version as each comes out. As if that wasn't enough, they obsolete each format within seven or so years? Bah. I'm going back to renting!

      Well, this I think goes into the "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me" category. Early on, probably everyon

      • I don't know why so many people moan about the extended version of FOTR. I was well aware there would be 2 versions as was everyone I know, and it wasn't like we had been actively seeking information.

        I think there was even a story on BBC News about it where they explicitly said the extended version would be out later and have extra stuff for bigger fans.

        imo unless you never read magazine/internet/TV reviews or watch the news or talk to friends or other fans about it then you don't have any excuse for bein
  • by /dev/trash (182850) on Friday November 28, 2003 @04:31PM (#7583788) Homepage Journal
    Well, better get to work rebuying your entire video collection, again.

    Dammit it all to hell. I knew getting into this DVD thing was a mistake.
  • Overkill? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Tiny Wolf v3 (680810) on Friday November 28, 2003 @04:32PM (#7583797)
    Games might look much better at higher resolutions, but I'd rather not be inspecting the pores on Keanu's nose when I want to watch the Matrix.
    • I'll be too busy inspecting Trinity's pores.
    • Re:Overkill? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by K8Fan (37875) on Friday November 28, 2003 @05:40PM (#7584105) Journal
      I'd rather not be inspecting the pores on Keanu's nose when I want to watch the Matrix.

      I have The Matrix in HD (from Dish Networks via the Dish 5000, the 8VSB modulator and the Panasonic tuner/D-VHS combo)...and I assure you that I'm not closely inspecting Keanu's nose. On the other hand, I am familiar with every crease in Trinity's leather catsuit.

      The only problem with watching movies in HD is that you cannot watch a DVD immediately afterwards. Doing so will make your eyes hurt from the strain. The difference is not subtle - my wife and I watched a movie in HD, then I showed her a bit of one of her favorite DVDs and she asked "What happened to the screen?" Nothing happened at all - it was just the difference between 480 x 720 and 1080 x 1920. Even the very best DVD will look sick compared to DVD.

      • Re:Overkill? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Tiny Wolf v3 (680810)
        Not entirely true. If you have an incredibly large screen it will be very easily noticable, but most people will still have relatively small TVs where the difference is extremely subtle, even if the resolution is much higher.
        I'm not saying there's no difference, or that there's no market for it, but since the difference is so subtle for most people, it will be a luxury item that not many will buy for a long time. Just think about how long VHS remained the standard for home movies, even though beta was avail
        • Re:Overkill? (Score:4, Informative)

          by K8Fan (37875) on Friday November 28, 2003 @10:18PM (#7585326) Journal
          Not entirely true. If you have an incredibly large screen it will be very easily noticable, but most people will still have relatively small TVs where the difference is extremely subtle, even if the resolution is much higher.

          Respectfully, I disagree. I have a very large TV, true (90" wide projection system). But the difference is clear on the VGA monitor I use for preview and cueing.

          Any SVGA or better monitor can display HD depending on the source (one might need a component to VGA transcoder). Conduct a simple experiment: scan something at high res. Make two scaled down versions, one at 640 x 480 (roughly equal to 480P) and one at 1280 x 1024 (again, very roughly equal 1080i). Display each on your PC at native res. On any monitor 15" and above, the difference hardly "subtle". A little experimentation goes a long way to discovering the truth.

          I'm not saying there's no difference, or that there's no market for it, but since the difference is so subtle for most people, it will be a luxury item that not many will buy for a long time. Just think about how long VHS remained the standard for home movies, even though beta was available with much higher quality.
          The failure of Beta had more to do with Sony's squeemishness and refusal to allow porn titles to be issued on the format. That, and the fact that VHS had 2 hour tapes when Beta was limited to 1. And lastly, Sony chose mediocre licencing partners like Sanyo, diluting the market with crappy Beta machines. Beta didn't become the quality choice until the battle was already lost. Trust me on this...I owned a VCR back in 1979, so I've seen the whole battle.
  • by Nazmun (590998) on Friday November 28, 2003 @04:33PM (#7583798) Homepage
    Now that all things dvds (players, rom drives, and even burners) are affordable priced we have to go through the process all over again. Looks like i'll have to wait another few years for an affordable dvd burner that does this new format.
    • Or instead of frustrating yourself by always being on the cutting edge, you could just buy what fits your needs, TODAY. Not "what will I need in 5 years". Not "what will the neighbours have in 6 months". Today.

      It's not like if you buy a DVD burner tomorrow it's going to stop working all of a sudden. Besides, once this new format is affordable, you'll just be repeating the whining cycle, because there will be an even better, more expensive format out there.
    • if you take that attitude with consumer electronics.. you will NEVER GET ANYTHING BOUGHT, you will be waiting for the rest of your life for that next tech thing to replace your old lp/c64/b&w-tv/mono-radio(if you wait long enough they'll be cool tho).

      look, if you need something today, go to the store and buy what's available, priced so that you can buy it and fills that need. the latest tech will never be as cheap as 'yesterdays' high tech.

      • Mostly agreed, but IMHO the Compact Disc is the best audio format that ever was, or ever will be, in the forseeable future: an unencrypted audio channel for each ear, with as much fidelity as humans can percieve.

        The DVD was never close to comparable - single channel, highly compressed and encrypted video with only enough resolution to cover a little bit of your visual field. The DVD is NOT the "final format" for video in the way that CD is for audio.

  • click (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Feyr (449684) * on Friday November 28, 2003 @04:33PM (#7583801) Journal
    i sure hope they eliminate the "click" you see when the damn thing switches layer in this new format. easily the Single Most Annoying Bug
    • by Malc (1751)
      Click? I don't see that on my system. On about half the discs, there's a very brief pause. Most of the time it's not noticable. Maybe my Toshiba handles it better than yours? It seems to me that they could speed up the process of switching layers, or add some cache memory. It would probably put the price up though. Doesn't $1 extra manufacturing cost translate to $30 or $40 at retail?
      • I think by click he meant brief pause or stutter....but yeah, it's not that noticeable, and usually they're good at putting it right in between scenes. I'm sure newer/more expensive DVD players are better at glossing over it than older ones, but I have a pretty old one and it's not too bad.

        But it's still better than the old days before dual-layer where you had to flip the disc midway through the movie, eh?
      • Re:click (Score:3, Informative)

        by akuma(x86) (224898)
        They already have dvd players with enough memory buffering to make the layer change seemless. I believe the buffer sizes are around 2 Megabytes. This is found in high end dvd players.
  • DVDs & HD content (Score:5, Informative)

    by coldmist (154493) on Friday November 28, 2003 @04:33PM (#7583803) Homepage

    It has always annoyed me that DVDs are not the same top resolutions as High Definition TV. Maybe this will fix it.

    DVDs can hold video streams with resolutions that HD uses. They just can't hold 2 hours of it.

    This new format of disk could still hold an mpg-2 file, but have enough capacity to hold 2-hours worth of video at HD resolutions.

    It's capacity, not format.

    • Re:DVDs & HD content (Score:5, Informative)

      by dmoore (2449) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <eroom.divad>> on Friday November 28, 2003 @04:54PM (#7583904)
      Not exactly true as far as I understand. The firmware on your current DVD player does not know how to decode higher resolution video streams even if the disk contained them. The DVD-video spec only contains a very small number of specific resolutions that need to be decoded, since the players want to be as simple to implement as possible. Furthermore, the composite outputs on any current player can't be driven higher than 480p, at least not on any player I know of. In order to get higher resolution content, you need to amend the DVD-video spec in addition to increasing the capacity.
  • DRM? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by IvyMike (178408) on Friday November 28, 2003 @04:34PM (#7583807)
    Maybe I'm getting too cynical, but I fully expect these new formats to have some nefarious DRM scheme. The article in question didn't have any information on it, but I'm sure some slashdotters out there know: What's the DRM like on these new formats?
  • by druiid (109068)
    Why bother re-buying your DVD collection to get the high-res movies, when you can use ffdshow filters to resize the video, remove grain, smooth, etc, which if you set the options correctly can make the video look basically as good as 1080i, from 720x480p source. Keep in mind, though, that you'll need a HTPC system with component out, or DVI to be able to take advantage of this, also it takes a crapload of CPU time, but it's well worth it.
    • by The Salamander (56587) on Friday November 28, 2003 @04:46PM (#7583858)
      Because then you're just watching a 480i movie upscaled to 1080i, instead of a true 1080i transfer.

      IMO, Upscaled 1080i is only about 10% better than 480i, as you just can't add detail from nowhere. Its nowhere as good as a real HD image.
      • Umm, we're not talking about rescaling 480i input. Almost no new DVD movies, if any, are not progressive video at this point. Usually only first-gen movies are interlaced. As far as quality.. no, you're not adding detail, but when you change the resolution of a video-game you're not really changing the LoD either, but in general it makes the game look better. The filters ffdshow uses are quite impressive as far as video processing, so I believe, from what I've seen, that it comes damn close to HD qualit
        • Fine, then you're watching 480*P* upscaled to 1080i. Yes, ffdshow and dscaler do a fantastic job, but 480 lines of data is still 480 lines of data, even when each line is displayed two or three times.

        • > that it comes damn close to HD quality.

          You must not have an HDTV w/ true HDTV sources (DiscoveryHD is nice), or
          you're blind to make such a statement.

          I have various software scalers w/ a HTPC. I have a liteon-2001 that upscales to 1080i.

          Neither one is HD. Like I said, they're about 10% better. Its worth doing with current DVDs, but its nowhere near an HD image.

          As for video games, changing the resolution allows the video card to render more pixels. True pixels, not inferred pixels like in upscalin
  • by SmoothTom (455688) <Tomas@TiJiL.org> on Friday November 28, 2003 @04:49PM (#7583875) Homepage
    Well, better get to work rebuying your entire video collection, again.

    Even of there is full backward compatibility this is still something to worry about with most formats.

    I have several hundred 12 inch LaserDiscs that still deliver a fine image - but if my player ever breaks they become useless. Many of the releases have never been re-released on DVD, and likely never will.

    ==
    Tomas
    • Even of there is full backward compatibility this is still something to worry about with most formats...if my player ever breaks they become useless.

      This is the whole POINT of backwards compatibility! If your old player breaks, no big deal, because the new player can play them.

      The reason your LaserDiscs will eventually become useless is due to LACK of backwards compatibility on modern players.
    • Could you give some examples of titles that you think won't be released on DVD?
      • A lot of earlier work by European directors that was released on laserdisk hasn't been released on dvd and doesn't show up in any future dvd release lists. This used to bother me but most of these aren't mainline films so you have to weborder them. I have yet to get a dvd shipped to me that wasn't partly damaged by UPS or Fedex so I only buy them in the stores now. So I wouldn't be rebuying my collection even if they were available. Unless they showed up at Best Buy or something, which is unlikely.
    • "I have several hundred 12 inch LaserDiscs that still deliver a fine image - but if my player ever breaks they become useless."

      Yeah, but remember that if the same happens to your DVD's, you can just copy them to your hard disk and watch them on whatever device you want.

      If that fucking weren't illegal, that is.

      Wankers.

    • you don't want to buy high quality video capture card & encode in mpeg-2 format? Anyway, I'll bet any movie released on laserdisc will be available on DVD sometime
  • I think that the area where "next gen" DVD's will fit in best will be in the recording arena. That is, not home recorders (not yet anyways), but professional recordings.

    Think about the massive amount of storage these guys must go through to store (and later archive) the original cuts of movies. If we can come up with a resiliant, high-capacity, versatile storage, then movie studios will save a killer amount of money. Eventually, this can pass onto home editors, as the technology becomes mainstream (hey, l
  • by emkman (467368) on Friday November 28, 2003 @04:52PM (#7583894)
    I think I'll wait for HD+DVD
  • by benwaggoner (513209) <ben.waggoner@mic ... m ['sof' in gap]> on Friday November 28, 2003 @04:54PM (#7583899) Homepage
    It's nice we have the announcement, but this is Slashdot!

    Have ANY technical details of the new standard been published anywhere yet? I can't find any public resources I can link to.
  • by wep (727980)
    there was a chinese made standard for hdtv capable dvd's like last week.. i guess these japanese companies just got the patents done faster? but evd was made to get away from stupid licenses and fees... oh well
  • by tie_guy_matt (176397) on Friday November 28, 2003 @05:01PM (#7583942)
    I don't know about you, but IMO standard NTSC is fine for most hollywood movies on most small screen TVs. Maybe if I had a 300 foot monster TV I would want more resolution (Mmmm 300 foot TV! pixels the size of your head!) So I am perfectly happy with my current DVD selection. So when everyone else sells back their standard DVD collection in order to make way for the super duper high res DVD, I will be busy buying up all of their old standard DVDs for a fraction of the cost they paid for them.
    • Indeed!

      I have a projector with a native 800x600 resolution; at its distance from the screen, I've got a 16:9 (ie, widescreen) picture that's got a 52" diagonal.

      At that size, DVD resolution (720x480) seems entirely adequate. I get some jaggies on poorly-done title screens, but I use those to help me focus the projector. :-) I don't have stairstep problems or jaggies in the films themselves; I can't remember the last time I saw that.

      No, wait, I can: it was when I had the DVD player do letterboxing with th
  • I'll guess I'll wait on the buying front :-)
  • by TerraFrost (611855) on Friday November 28, 2003 @05:13PM (#7583989)
    Well, better get to work rebuying your entire video collection, again.

    i, personally, won't be rebuying my collection. i mean, i bought my collection to *last* me. granted, the media may not last forever nor may the technology to even read them last forever (ie. it may be replaced by something better), but... thanks to DeCSS, the actual content can last forever. i can back it up and transfer it to progressively next generation media for as long as i please, and unlike with analogue copying, these transfers will be the same high quality they were when i purchased them. now, this hd-dvd standard may provide higher quality, but it'll be that much more riddled with copy protection, and blah.

    also, for those currious... the name of the discs that the DVD forum approved are advanced optical discs. you can read about it here:
    http://www.dvddemystified.com/dvdfaq.html#3.13 [dvddemystified.com]

  • I've avoided buying many DVDs for this very reason, preferring to wait until they match the resolution of HD sets. In the meantime, I have a huge *virtual* collection of DVDs, thanks to Netflix, for only the cost of a single DVD purchase per month.
  • Why they don't have a universal digital video standard has often puzzled me. It would basically be a digital stream that provided means to specify the pixel width and height, pixel size ratio, scanning method, scanning rate, color plane depths ... and thus support a digitization of everything from standard film frame rates and traditional video standards to high definition TV, and anything in between that anyone wanted to use (and video display devices can convert and/or display quite a wide range of stand

  • Maybe others have commented on this, but my prime dislike of DVDs stems from the regional settings on different dvds. I can't buy a DVD in France or Japan and have it work here.

    In a time when our economy is becoming ever more global, we are full of market segmentation anyway. If these new DVDs don't get rid of the regional settings it will cost the American consumer a lot.
  • by penguin7of9 (697383) on Friday November 28, 2003 @05:31PM (#7584059)
    On the one hand, current DVDs really don't quite have the quality of some of the original film material, on the other hand, the technology to create HD-DVDs cost effectively simply wasn't there when DVDs first came out. So, this upgrade is quite justifiable, IMO. And an HD movie is still too large to be downloaded conveniently.

    Take a look at your DVDs, though, and freeze some frames: for a lot of movies, it probably doesn't make much sense to get HD-DVDs because the quality of the original isn't all that high to begin with. You can already see plenty of film grain, fuzziness, and other film-related artifacts even with regular DVD resolutions and compression. Motion picture film just isn't all that great.

    Attempts to create new audio disc formats, on the other hand, don't make much sense for the user: audio CDs really capture audio better than most stereos can reproduce it and most people can perceive it. Furthermore, the next "format" for audio is likely going to be the Internet. So, new audio formats are just an attempt at making lots of money with no real benefit to the customer.
  • Storage Amount (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ArkiMage (578981)
    15GB per side... Simply not enough IMO.
  • What a lot of people don't know is that the DVD Forum has a lot less influence than it used to. The Blu Ray group basically hasn't even put their proposals in to the DVD Forum at all! They are surging ahead with hardware and studio backing completely ignoring that the DVD Forum exists.

    In other words, high def DVDs may very well still be in for some format wars. The irony, of course, is that format wars never helped anyone and that a unified format is what launched DVD so strongly in the first place. And so
  • The article was a little lite on details... is this ONLY higher capacity disks, or is the codec changed too?
  • More Specs (Score:5, Informative)

    by cgenman (325138) on Friday November 28, 2003 @05:48PM (#7584145) Homepage
    More Specs are available here. [eetimes.com]

    "The HD DVD format is a violet laser-based optical disk system with a capacity of 15-20 Gbyte per side using the same disk structure as current DVD disks."

    A quick comparison of existing specs here [usatoday.com] shows that the blue lazer DVD's are well ahead of these higher-density DVD's.

    The Blu-ray Disc, supported by nine major makers, including Sony, Panasonic, Philips and Pioneer, could store up to 50 GB of data (more than six times the data capacity of today's DVD) by using a blue laser beam instead of the current red laser. Blu-ray recorders and players could play current DVDs, but Blu-ray discs could not be played on current players.
    Advanced Optical Disc, a second blue-laser system proposed by NEC and Toshiba, brings disc capacity to 20 GB. One advantage touted by backers: Today's DVD-making equipment could easily be modified for the new discs.
    HD-DVD-9, based on the current DVD format, uses improved software compression to pack 135 minutes of HD video onto the disc. It was developed by Warner Bros.

    The most interesting one is the final option... Upgrading the software codec. The MPEG consortium was attempting to get mpeg-4 out the door in time to become a standard for DVD's. They didn't meet that lofty goal, but MPEG4, DIVX, and many other codecs are significantly better at compressing video than MPEG 2. A new codec would require a new decompression chip, but it would cost less than a new laser system, and would provide a platform from which to move up... After all, codecs probably won't see the same growth over the years that hardware will, so using an MPEG4 or other codec could last for many years, at least until Blue laser systems come down in price, at which point you could keep the codec.

  • by popo (107611) on Friday November 28, 2003 @05:49PM (#7584148) Homepage

    by Norwegian 9 year-old within 4 minutes of first EDVD release.

    Norwegian 9 year old sentenced to 140 years in prison in Guantanamo.

    Norwegian 9 year old: "P-P-Please I just wanted to make a back up!" ... Who wants to bet?

  • "Well, better get to work rebuying your entire video collection, again."

    If it wasn't originally created/taped in HD video, what's the point of rebuying it?
  • Why?! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by moriya (195881) on Friday November 28, 2003 @05:58PM (#7584191) Homepage
    Why oh why did they chose HD-DVD over Blu-Ray? Cost is one thing. But thinking ahead is another.

    The thing I like about Blu-Ray when compared to HD-DVD is that it houses more capable space. It also uses blue-lasers. A writing format is also included so that if you want to archive your p0rn of the 'net you can do that without worrying about multi-archival discs.

    Information will continue to expand and grow. This applies to video as well. When DVD first came out, it can house a lot of film content. But then, things start to get tricky. Movie companies are placing an entire movie on one disc and all their extras on a separate discs. Not only does this provide more room for the movie but it also preserves more quality to the film itself. And with the talk of high-definition movies going around, you're going to need much more space than before. What then? That old DVD will not contain your 1080p 2 hour film on a single-side dual-layered DVD, unless you want to compromise video quality which none of us wants.

    HD-DVD may remedy this but what then? Blu-Ray can still house more space. That means for the hardcore geeks and nerds, it may be possible to fit all 3 extended version of the Lord of the Rings trilogy into a single disc and have the film in 1080p with no compromise in film quality. And you may also be able to fit all the extras into that same disc. As movies get larger in resolution for distribution, the more space the disc will need to fit with little to no compromise in quality. Blu-Ray would simply benefit in the future run of movies.

    While I do not know of the technical limitation of Blu-Ray such as compatibility in playing today's DVDs, are companies that stingy on cost that they do not want to handle Blu-Ray discs? It may be expensive now. But at least one doesn't have to worry about a different format for a long while. HD-DVD, with its smaller capacity, would have a shorter technicalogical lifespan than Blu-Ray would. How much information you can pact into a single disc matters a lot when you consider that digital video is the most consuming piece of information than any other medium. The more space available, the better film studios and viewers will be when they, in some unknown future, view the movie in insane high resolution with hardly any loss in video quality.

    HD-DVD may be the next-gen standard now. But I wonder how many would still back Blu-Ray because of the possibilities and the fact that it houses more information than HD-DVD. Cost-effective? Yeah. But you're only delaying the inevitable. Technology moves fast. I doubt it'll slow down for HD-DVD.
  • Finally! (Score:4, Funny)

    by dbirchall (191839) on Friday November 28, 2003 @06:31PM (#7584304) Journal
    Something to view on Apple's Cinema 23 HD [apple.com]! All the fooferaw over Pixlet and whatnot, and they only put up a quarter-size (960x540) sample. :(
  • by evilviper (135110) on Friday November 28, 2003 @11:03PM (#7585498) Journal
    Personally, I jumped on the DVD bandwagon because we finally had a popular digital video format, so I could do and control everything from my computer... I can use software to modify the playback anyway I like, I can have it output to anything I like. For the first time, I was no longer dependant on electronics manufacturers, who want to decide what features they will and will not allow the public to have.

    DVD gave me that video format, and gives me a picture better than that of a TV signal. Sure, the future format may bring higher resolutions, but I would have been perfectly happy with VHS had it been digital, radom access, etc., so quality really isn't that huge of a deal. Even in DVD format, it's not easy to find very good movies that I want to see in the first place, and a higher resolution will only nominally improve the experience.

    I say, screw 'em. I'm not upgrading, and I'd be willing to bet that it is MUCH too soon for most other people to consider that either. DVDs are STILL an over-priced format, so what kind of prices are they going to put on this next format??? $50 for a brand-new movie? $20, if you're lucky, after it's a few years old? People have paid extra to get DVDs, but I don't think they're going to pay twice as much for something that won't even look any better to 99% of the viewing public, who are still happy with their standard-res TVs.

The most delightful day after the one on which you buy a cottage in the country is the one on which you resell it. -- J. Brecheux

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