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Microsoft, Intel back HD DVD over Blu-ray 427

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the could-this-spell-the-end dept.
raitchison writes "Reuters is reporting that after months of sitting on the fence in the battle over what will replace the venerable DVD that Microsoft and Intel have thrown their weight behind Toshiba's HD DVD over the Sony's Blu-ray. Better compatibility with existing DVD technology as well as lower cost were cited as reasons to back HD DVD. While this is undoubtedly a significant blow for Sony in their efforts to establish Blu-ray as the next standard it's not likely to be the end of Blu-ray."
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Microsoft, Intel back HD DVD over Blu-ray

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  • XBox vs the PS3? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by garcia (6573) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @10:40AM (#13658676) Homepage
    Better compatibility with existing DVD technology as well as lower cost were cited as reasons to back HD DVD.

    Or to help their XBox sales against the PS3.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Or to help their XBox sales against the PS3.

      Which will just make the PS3 all that much better -- Blu-Ray is a superior format performance-wise!! I'm not trying to troll here, just pointing out that this will probably bite M$ in the a$$ if HD-DVD doesn't pan out. Of course, this does "tip the balance" toward HD-DVD.
      • Re:XBox vs the PS3? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ergo98 (9391) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @10:52AM (#13658791) Homepage Journal
        Which will just make the PS3 all that much better

        The XBox360 has a normal DVD player in it (not an HD-DVD, or a Blu-ray).

        What Microsoft may be doing is some pre-launch neutralization of Sony's Blu-ray advantage with their PS3 - e.g. if no one is going to go to Blu-ray, then who cares if the PS3 has it? It'll become an irrelevant difference, and it will help overcome that potential hang-up users (and reviewers) might have when comparing the two consoles. I wish this wasn't the case, but I can entirely see Microsoft making this "choice" based upon such a short term gain.
        • by Durzel (137902) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @11:27AM (#13659088) Homepage
          Microsoft also has the luxury of having only to make an announcement about this, and nothing more. They can just as easily "reassess the market conditions" at a later date and get behind Blu-ray. Since the initial X360 won't even have an HD-DVD drive anyway, it's a non-issue for them.

          Sony doesn't have this luxury - they've already bought into the technology wholesale.

          Clearly this announcement smacks more of a desire to pour cold water on Blu-ray as a viable long term replacement for DVD than it does anything else. Or maybe I'm just being overly sceptical. :)
        • by SuperKendall (25149) * on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @11:54AM (#13659358)
          if no one is going to go to Blu-ray, then who cares if the PS3 has it?

          Ahh, but you know Sony is going to sell millions upon millons of units very quickly just based on past console success alone (even if the initial games are not all that special).

          So that means suddenly you have millions of people with Blu-Ray players, vs perhaps a few tens of thousands with (still expensive) HD-DVD players. If any kind of decent percentage of PS3 owners buy Blu-Ray media, sales in that format are going to be much better.

          To say no-one is going to buy Blu-Ray is to ignore how many people will buy the PS3 regardless of Blu-Ray support, but then balk at buying HD-DVD because they already have an HD player in the PS3.

          There's a very real argument to be made that the PS2 substantially increased the rate of adoption for DVD players. I know a lot of people for who the PS2 was the first DVD player they had - the PS3 looks to simply follow the same pattern. History would indicate it will be a success especially with the XBox not releaseing an HD-DVD model until later (undoubtedly at the same time as the PS3).
        • by xtracto (837672)
          if no one is going to go to Blu-ray, then who cares if the PS3 has it?

          This seems quite sad, personally I like blu-ray but, I think it will end being just another Sony format. And in relation to the next generation game consoles, I think it will be like the GameCube propietary DVD format, it didn't make any kind of format revolution, or more to the point, sony UMD/MiniDiscs or other media sony has made...

      • Or maybe I'll just buy neither and let them sort it out. Seriously, consumeres have NO stomach for another format war.
        • "Seriously, consumeres have NO stomach for another format war."

          The consumers this particular war will be fought over haven't been in a format war before.

          VHS, the "winner" of a particularily big tussle isn't even on the shelves at my local movie rental store!
      • On what axis do you consider Blu-ray to have superior performance?

        Bear in mind that, at launch, HD-DVD will have higher capacity, since HD-DVD dual-layer is much farther along. So for at least as year, HD DVD will be at 30 GB while Blu-ray will be at 25 GB.

        Also, for the case of movies, both formats are easily big enough for Return of the King: EE in full 1080p with multiple high bitrate audio tracks, etcetera.

        Now, there might be reasons to like Blu-ray the physical format for other reasons, but they're both
    • Re:XBox vs the PS3? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by minginqunt (225413)
      XBox 360 ships with a standard-def DVD drive. Is this Microsoft's idea of "support"?

      This is not an analogue to VHS vs Betamax: the discs were different size and shape, and thus a dual-format system was not possible.

      Not so for next-gen DVDs. In a year, all drives will be dual-format. Wait until then. Problem solved.

      Either that or the PS3 sales will have made the issue moot.
      • exactly. unfortunately, BOTH formats are going to win because, as with recordable DVD formats, we're all going to have to wait for combo drives that support all formats. all the companies get their licensing fees and we, the consumers, get boned. its cool, im used to it.
        • Re:XBox vs the PS3? (Score:3, Informative)

          by Babbster (107076)
          What wait? Samsung has already announced that they plan to produce combo HD-DVD/Blu-Ray players [engadget.com]. And, knowing Samsung's record of being very competitive in terms of pricing (most evident in their HDTV selection), I wouldn't be surprised if their combo players launched at around the same price as single-format devices.

          I think that combo players are going to end up being the standard and that the only "wars" are going to be fought a) trying to get content producers on board with a particular format (for th
    • Re:XBox vs the PS3? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by the Hewster (734122) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @10:54AM (#13658801)
      Sony will support Blue Ray by shipping it with their PS3. Meanwhile, Microsoft is supporting HD DVD by _not_ including it in their XBox 360. Hmmm... I wonder what kind of support Intel is going to offer for HD DVD... Pentium 5: now with HD DVD support! Nevermind, I still put my money on Blue Ray.
    • by toleraen (831634)
      Or to help their XBox sales against the PS3.

      How will their support for HD-DVD help them against the PS3? People aren't going to care what format their games (down the road) will come in. Besides, it seems that Holywood is supporting Blu-Ray, so people wouldn't be able to play newer movies on their xbox.

      If they stuck to the same camp you would think it would make transitioning to the next generation easier. If the average consumer sees several devices with the same technology, they'd be more likely
  • by BladeMelbourne (518866) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @10:40AM (#13658682)
    So when can I buy HD DVD pr0n?
  • by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @10:40AM (#13658683) Homepage Journal
    I was Mr. Sony in the 90s (mini dis , vaio, etc) because I loved their technology. Now, slashdot:Microsoft::dada21:Sony.

    Sony has to learn that single party closed standards won't exist for long. We won't see an open standard, but at least a consortium of different markets offers multiple profit-oriented groups some debate.

    When members of a consortium debate one another, the debate is "how can I make more money?" But to make money they need not just a cost benefit, but a happy customer in the long run.

    Sony alone only sees one customer base, never a good sample of need. Toshiba has two other hard hitters now, offering a larger and more varied customer base to figure out.

    One scary thing: software + processor + media format giants can make the worst DRM imaginable. What if Sony pandered to Linux or OS X or just the PS3 market? Plus Sony has clout with the media distributers, whereas MS and Intel bite them in the ass because most "pirates" use MS and Intel products.

    From TFA: They said the HD DVD format would make it easier for consumers to copy high-definition movies to computer hard drives. Suuuure.

    TFA mentions commitments from media houses, but until I see it, I'm not believing it. If we'll have two formats, my parents will be the deciding factor, not me.
    • by garcia (6573) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @10:44AM (#13658720) Homepage
      Plus Sony has clout with the media distributers, whereas MS and Intel bite them in the ass because most "pirates" use MS and Intel products.

      Pirates are going to use whatever they can crack. If Sony can successfully obtain superior distribution over the other format then there will be more crackable media available to the pirates. They aren't fickle. They will use whatever they can.
    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @10:51AM (#13658785) Homepage
      What if Sony pandered to Linux or OS X or just the PS3 market? Plus Sony has clout with the media distributers...

      Sony is a media distributer. I can't think of any reason to believe they would pander to anyone looking for DRM-free media. If anything, they're notorious for pushing their own proprietary formats.

    • "Sony has to learn that single party closed standards won't exist for long. We won't see an open standard, but at least a consortium of different markets offers multiple profit-oriented groups some debate."

      How exactly do you consider Blu-Ray to not be an open standard? The audio is AAC, which is Dolby's technology. Anyone can license it. The only reason why people call it a closed codec is because of its association with the Apple iTunes Music Store which wraps AAC files with Apple's own DRM system known
      • H.264 was NOT developed by Apple - it is a new standard that will probably become THE standard for DVD streams in the (near) future. H.264 is an ISO standard - the precise name is mpeg-4 part 10, but you will find many people referring to it as avc or mpeg-5/avc. There are various implementations of this standard. One implementation is done by apple in Quicktime - and I have to add that it is not the best one - it supports only 1 (consecutive) bframes, no CABAC, no Loop and no Weighted Prediction). To put i
    • The market will never pick one. When there were two competing formats for quadraphonic records, the market became confused, and chose neither. When two digital audio tape formats were offered up, DAT and DCC, the market was confused and chose neither. When there were two competing formats for AM Stereo, the market became confused and chose neither. In DVD-R vs. DVD+R, the market waited until drives did both. It wasn't really the market that decided VHS vs Beta either. Only Sony sold Beta. Everyone under the
    • Sony has to learn that single party closed standards won't exist for long. We won't see an open standard, but at least a consortium of different markets offers multiple profit-oriented groups some debate.

      They did that. From the FAQ at Blu-ray.com the board of directors of the Blu-Ray Disc Association is:

      Apple Computer, Inc.
      Dell Inc.
      Hewlett Packard Company
      Hitachi, Ltd.
      LG Electronics Inc.
      Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
      Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
      Pioneer Corporation
      Royal Philips Electronics
      Samsung
  • Betamax v. VHS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stinerman (812158) <nathan...stine@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @10:41AM (#13658689) Homepage
    I'm too young to remember that format war, but I'm not young enough to learn the lesson:

    Wait until a de-facto standard has emerged. Otherwise, its a crapshoot at best.
    • Re:Betamax v. VHS (Score:3, Insightful)

      by orderb13 (792382)
      Or if you get a PS3 then you've already got one of the formats, which is why I think Sony is going to win. They are going to have a HUGE user base for BluRay after the launch the PS3 and since they've already got a number of the big movie firms on their side it seems like it should be an easy choice.
    • Re:Betamax v. VHS (Score:2, Interesting)

      by 91degrees (207121)
      Dual format is a possibility. Given that they'll use similar technology for tracking the disc, similar compression algorithms, and even the same frequency laser, and the basic mechanics are going to be the same - most likely including the physical disc dimensions, it shoudn't be too hard to develop a drive that works with both formats.
    • Re:Betamax v. VHS (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @10:55AM (#13658813)
      Bah! The whole "lesson" you should have learned behind VHS vs. Betamax wasn't about waiting for anything. It's that the better technologies don't always win out. Betamax had better audio and video fidelity, and by almost all accounts was the better technology. Why then do you have all your favorite episodes of the Simpsons taped on a VHS?

      It's because your parents were horny. Everyone who wanted to put a movie on a Betamax tape had to go through Sony, and Sony didn't want their big corporate name associated with porn. Sony chose not to allow porn, a multibillion dollar industry even before the internet, on the Betamax. People who couldn't resist the allure of VHS porn made the choice and lo and behold VHS came out on top... please forgive the pun.

      Concrete proof that Sex Sells. The first format to sign deals with Vivid, not Intel or Microsoft is going to determine who will win in the end.
      • But does the internet negate the "porn factor" in a format war anymore?
      • Re:Betamax v. VHS (Score:5, Insightful)

        by n0-0p (325773) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @11:24AM (#13659053)
        I really like the spin you put on that. You could have stated that manufacturers and content producers didn't want to pay per unit licensing fees to Sony for use of the Beta format. You also could have mentioned the inititial shorter recording times of Beta versus VHS. Instead you went this whole "porn rules the world and Sony don't stand for it" route. I have to admit it was a somewhat entertaining... not particularly accurate but I did chuckle a little.
      • Re:Betamax v. VHS (Score:3, Interesting)

        by alienw (585907)
        Betamax had better audio and video fidelity, and by almost all accounts was the better technology ... apart from the fact that Beta tapes only came in 1 hour lengths (for quite a long time) and the video quality difference was not huge (the audio quality was actually worse on Betamax). Not to mention that Beta tapes were always much shorter than VHS tapes, and tape rewinding was much slower and put more wear on the machine. I really doubt that porn had much to do with it -- you don't need anyone's permiss
    • Re:Betamax v. VHS (Score:5, Informative)

      by stupidfoo (836212) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @10:58AM (#13658834)
      Why wait? Why do we even discuss this? Dual format players are already announced by major players like Samsung [theinquirer.net].

      This format war was over before it even began. Isn't this the exact same discussion we were having about the DVD+-RW format issues? And now everyone has drives that support everything and it's a moot point.
      • Re:Betamax v. VHS (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Stuart Gibson (544632)
        In our PCs, yes, but the consumer DVD recorder market is still very much splintered. Consumers are either confused about the difference or are concerned enough not to buy a set top DVDR yet.

        Ironically, Sony are one of the few big names whose set top DVD recorders ARE dual format.

        Stuart
        • Re:Betamax v. VHS (Score:3, Interesting)

          by TheRaven64 (641858)
          I don't suppose you've taken apart a cheap DVD player, have you? Inside, you will find a commodity IDE DVD drive, a commodity MPEG-2 chip, a commodity AC-3 and maybe DTS chip, an RF modulator (usually), a few analogue circuits, a blob of flash, and a few other miscellaneous things. Since HD-DVD use the same video and audio CODECs, it seems highly unlikely that there won't be a Taiwanese manufacturer using generic dual-format drives to produce their player, and once one does it everyone else will have to a
      • You've indirectly proven my point.

        Once everyone has drives that support everything it is a moot point. Until that day comes (or a clear de-facto standard emerges) I'll hold off on buying anything.
    • I'm too young to remember that format war, but I'm not young enough to learn the lesson:

      Wait until a de-facto standard has emerged. Otherwise, its a crapshoot at best.


      You were also probably too young to remember that it took a long long time before anything sorted itself out and that in order to view all the movie titles available you had to have BOTH a Beta and VHS player.

      Nothing like renting a movie and betting on which format it was before taking the cassette out of the generic plastic box.

      Good times...
  • Probability? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geomon (78680) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @10:41AM (#13658696) Homepage Journal
    "We wanted to choose the format that has the highest probability of this market taking off," said Stephen Balogh, director of optical media standards and technologies at Intel.

    When did probability amount to anything in marketing computer components. Either Microsoft and Intel supported them or they didn't. Those that weren't supported didn't do as well intitially.

    Marketing has always won out over technical merit - period.
  • Typical Sony (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @10:42AM (#13658702)
    As usual, Sony will fight to establish their own "standard" instead of working with other groups, everyone else will choose the other standard, and Sony will make sure that all their products only work with their format. Interoperability between devices will only work if you only buy Sony.

    That's why I don't buy Sony, but we'll see how this one plays out.

    • Re:Typical Sony (Score:2, Insightful)

      by 6*7 (193752)
      Just look at Sony's marketing slogans:

      -Only Sony
      -Like no other
      -Welcome to the world of Sony
  • Hard choice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rwven (663186) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @10:43AM (#13658707)
    This is such a tough choice for companies. It's more of a practical vs cutting edge thing. HD-DVD "technically" isn't as "good" of a format as B-R. The problem is that with production prices so high in comparison, people would rather buy something cheaper. I think the major issue at hand here is that you have half the industries supporting one and half supporting the other.

    If it all goes to market, we're going to have to either have players that play both or two separate players. And you can imagine how confused non-techie people are going to get when their B-R disc doesnt work in their HD-DVD player.
    • Re:Hard choice (Score:3, Insightful)

      by HunterZ (20035)
      I don't think it would be significantly more confusing to the average person than the current coexistence of UMD, DVD, CD-ROM (data, audio, and mixed-format) and Gamecube optical disc formats. I do agree that it will be inconvenient and possibly more expensive, especially for things like movies and music.

      Speaking of UMD, does anyone care to speculate as to why Sony is pushing two optical media formats simultaneously? Seems rather risky, although it makes me think that they're really intent on taking over a
      • I can't see UMD going anywhere... watching expensive low-res movies on a PSP isn't interesting to any but a tiny minority.

        It's just another sony proprietary format...
  • Of course... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by llZENll (545605) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @10:43AM (#13658708)
    Would anyone have guessed differently? Since MS and Sony are pitted against each other the consol wars their choice was made up for them.
  • Yes of course... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thebdj (768618) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @10:43AM (#13658709) Journal
    Hello, in the PC market we all know how wonderfully horrible catridges work. Early CD drives with cartridges were slow and bad. DVD-RAM died a painful death, probably in some part thanks to DVD burners getting out quickly there after. While HD-DVD has less storage, I think the industry will find that users want backwards compatibility (something Blu-Ray lacks if I recall). And history isn't on Sony's side, afterall there were the losers in the Betamax-VHS battle, and some people would say that Beta was the better format.
    • Betamax WAS the superior format: picture quality, longevity of media, etc... This did not stop the rest of the industry from saying PFO to Sony and their licensing schemes and conditions. Now that it has been established that Sony has been trying to one-up everyone for years with their proprietary (but licensable) technologies/formats, it is clear where the market must go. I don't like the MS-Intel Wintel consortium because of the DRM conditions, but in this case I think it's a clearer jumping point th
    • Re:Yes of course... (Score:5, Informative)

      by scharkalvin (72228) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @11:12AM (#13658943) Homepage
      "DVD-RAM died a painful death, probably in some part thanks to DVD burners getting out quickly there after. "

      Actually the stories about the death of dvd-ram are not really true.
      While not a mainstay, dvd-ram has enjoyed a comeback in home dvd recorders, especially
      those made by Toshiba and Panasonic. DVD-ram allows you to watch a program while it is
      being recorded, and you can rewind, pause, or fast-forward (not all the way!) while
      still recording. DVD-RAM disks no longer require the cartdrige, though they are a good
      idea for the double sided disks. They also have a MUCH longer lifespan, dvd-rw's last about
      1000 rw cycles, the dvd-ram disks go for at least 10,000 (or was that 100,000?).

      You can find dvd-ram drives for your computer. Most of these will also READ cd's (r and rw)
      as well as dvd-rom and dvd+/- r/rw's. Someone even makes a combo drive that handles
      WRITING dvd-ram AND dvd+/- r/rw disks! That drive isn't as fast as the dvd-ram-less
      units though.

      You can buy blank dvd-ram media at Wal*Mart, Ratshack, Target, and many other stores
      (anybody that sells Panasonic dvd recorders). Media price varies, but I've seen them for
      less than $3 each (sometimes MUCH less in 3 or 5 packs).

    • Re:Yes of course... (Score:3, Informative)

      by voorko02 (847122)
      Both formats support backward compatibility:

      http://www.blu-ray.com/faq/#2.4 [blu-ray.com]

      Anything else would be commerical suicide. I don't put it past Sony, but in this case they aren't that stupid.
    • Neither format uses catridges! How many times does this need to be said?
  • by ReVeL75 (913761)
    Would HD DVD be a miss just like SACD and DVDA for audio? I don't think many people will find it appealing enough to invest in this technology for some more pixels on their screens. For data storage it is still interesting ofcourse.
  • by SumDog (466607) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @10:46AM (#13658742) Homepage Journal
    People aren't going to jump on either the HD-DVD or Blue-ray wagon for at least a year or so. The first buyers will be the geeks and peeps with enough money. On top of that, most consumers don't have plasma displays or projectors (although a growing number do have HD-TVs and they're a common item at Wal-Mart. In a few years they'll probably phase out regular TVs just like 900Mhz phones phased out older cordless models).

    The quality of existing DVDs is quite amazing and I think most people will be happy with it for a while. The question comes with compatibility. Consumers want to only have to buy one version of something. Will the HD-DVD/Blue-ray they purchase work at their friend's house?

    Personally I like the Blue-ray standard. It's a massive amount of data crammed onto a single disc. It's interesting that the article states that "...said the HD DVD format would make it easier for consumers to copy high-definition movies to computer hard drives...". So will HD-DVD have a less restrictive DRM than Blue-ray or are we talking about media size again?

    I doubt both standards will stick around like DVD-R/DVD+R, because as I said earlier, people only want one universal format for content they purchase. One will be here five years from now and another, like laser discs, will end up at your local used book store in huge bins selling for $5 a pop.
    • People aren't going to jump on either the HD-DVD or Blue-ray wagon for at least a year or so

      Yes they are, they are going to buy a PS3 next year in large numbers thus giving Blue-ray a large installed base. Clearly MS and Intel are going against Sony, but its hard to see the real volume market beyond the PS3 in 2006.

      I'll have Blue-ray by this time next year, I think you are spot on about HD-DVD though.

  • "While this is undoubtedly a significant blow for [company] in their efforts to establish [technology] as the next standard it's not likely to be the end of [technology]."

    Tell that to Beta, Laserdisc, etc.

  • by amichalo (132545) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @10:47AM (#13658747)
    The lowest cost and most compatible format would be to stay with existing DVD technology!

    If you are creating a new technology that will require new hardware and new investments in manufacturing, why make it an incremental step? There are so many players in this format war I can't keep up, but I know that Blu-Ray is supposed to be higher capacity and will prevent HD movies from requiring a media change (no one liked that with Laser Disc flipping half way through a movie).

    I say if the industry is going to expect the public to pay for a format change, we get a complete change, not some semi-compatible almost change that will require yet another change for additional capacity far sooner than the alternative that exists today.

    Plus, I read that HD DVD is hitting timing issues that mean it won't be out until Blu-Ray anyway.
  • Blue-ray taking hits (Score:5, Informative)

    by op12 (830015) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @10:47AM (#13658749) Homepage
    It may not be down for the count, but Blue-Ray seems to be taking a lot of hits (From TFA and this Yahoo article [yahoo.com]:

    • Cost: They [Intel and Microsoft] also said that HD DVDs would be cheaper to produce, resulting in lower prices for consumers.
    • Manufacturing: Westlake also said the HD DVD camp has made inroads with manufacturers in China, where most of the world's DVD players are currently built. Without that support, it would be difficult to quickly deploy the technology at a low price. "(Blu-ray) does not have that relationship and we're concerned about whether that offering of Chinese players will be there. We know HD DVD will be," Westlake said.
    • Speed to market: "Blu-ray is very robust, but it's also not here," said Richard Doherty, research director for the Envisioneering Group. "The PC industry has clearly backed the system that is weeks away from commercialization."

    That's just my impression from these two articles...feel free to add a counterpoint. The article did mention Blue-Ray disputes the cost and time-to-production arguments, and some major Hollywood studios back it.
    • by Ngwenya (147097) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @11:05AM (#13658890)
      Speed to market: "Blu-ray is very robust, but it's also not here," said Richard Doherty, research director for the Envisioneering Group. "The PC industry has clearly backed the system that is weeks away from commercialization."

      Hmm. I know that HP has most definitely backed Blu-Ray. http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press/2004/04111 5c.html [hp.com]. So have Dell (http://news.com.com/HP%2C+Dell+back+Blu-ray+techn ology/2100-1041_3-5139694.html [com.com]) I guess that they aren't part of the PC industry any more - just the two largest manufacturers of err... PCs.

      And "Envisioneering?". Dear God...

      --Ng
    • Cost: how is this going to really make a difference to the consumer? Pulling numbers out of my ass, let's say an hd-dvd costs 5 cents to make, and a blue-ray disk costs 10 cents to make. Twice as much, sure, but in the long run, is it going to change the cost of your $19.95 disk to $39.95? Don't think so. $20.95? Maybe, but I doubt it. I don't think cost will really be a noticable difference to anyone except Sony, who will make only $9.95 per disk instead of $10.

      Again, numbers pulled from my ass. But
      • Well, there's also the question of how expensive it is to manufacture equipment to read the different formats, which could certainly speed adoption of one format over another due to companies wanting to cut costs on DVD players\recorders, game consoles, etc. The cheaper-to-manufacture format is a big advantage.
    • On cost, I would note that media costs are independant of sale prices. That's why CD's are still so expensive.

      On manufacturing costs, that is a good point but with millions of PS3 players being around and sold at cut-rate prices that negates the advanatge there.

      On speed, true HD-DVD will be in first but in smaller quantities - and since the PC market will really be backing both players (no reason why a consumer can't buy either one and have it work with a computer) I think a lot of people would opt for the
  • Who Cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drvelocity (918256) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @10:48AM (#13658753)
    Microsoft has always been in the HD-DVD camp for obvious reasons (Xbox360), so the only real news here is that Intel has jumped on with HD-DVD. Who cares? Intel is a large company, sure, but does anybody really care which optical storage format a SEMICONDUCTOR company supports? This sounds to me like Microsoft begging anyone it can to support their format of choice.
    • Re:Who Cares? (Score:3, Informative)

      XBOX 360 doesn't include a HD-DVD....maybe a future version will (XBOX 720?), but no HD-DVD on the model they are selling this season.

    • Since the Xbox360 ships with a 12x dual-layer DVD-ROM (http://www.xbox.com/en-US/xbox360/factsheet.htm [xbox.com]) I'm not quite sure where the idea came from that HD-DVD is the Xbox360 format of choice. Could it be, just maybe, that MS (and Intel) actually believe that HD-DVD is the better format? Why is it always a battle of game systems? It's not like anyone needs new game systems, I mean, World of Warcraft is already out.
  • by Calathea (557538)
    Surely the powers that be can see that a unified front is better for everyone. One reason the take up of DVD was so fast was that it was a single format. Any disc would work on any player, whether it was a budget model or a high end one. People remeber the VHS-BetaMax fiasco, who is going to upgrade their kit and more importantly their DVD library until the winner of the war stands alone? I can see the appeal of upgrading if the tech is better, but i am not going to get stuck with the losing format so i wil
  • by Jon Abbott (723) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @10:49AM (#13658769) Homepage
    So Apple is supporting Blu-Ray, while Intel is supporting HD-DVD. Discuss!
  • by wh0me (823744) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @10:55AM (#13658814)
    My gut feeling is I'd buy something that cost 50% less that gave me >50% less capacity. Blu-ray is 23GB per disk, HD-DVD: 15. Both numbers per layer. It seems the price point sets itself, but is this likely to happen? Sony has a history of premium pricing. Is there any indication that's changed here?

    DVD Dual-layer media is still expensive and rare after ~2 years. How common and cheap will next generation media be? The cheaper, more available media could be the deciding factor.

    A lot of articles quote 'cost-saving' as a factor in HD-DVD over Blu-ray. Where exactly are those cost savings? In media or player production? Factory retooling? R&D?

  • Let's see... sure Sony sells laptops with Intel chips and the Windows OS, *BUT*, they also sell a PS3 with a new cell processor. So let's see... their PS3 competes directly with the XBox and their processor competes directly with Intel's (while also being better and based on open standards). So, Intel & M$ have thrown their weight at the *other*, non-Sony standard. Hello??? MkFly???
  • PS3 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vitaflo (20507) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @11:00AM (#13658852) Homepage
    Playstation 3 will have Blu-Ray built in. MS didn't put HD-DVD into Xbox 360, it uses standard DVD. It's basically "game over" once the PS3 is released. HD-DVD doesn't stand a chance.
  • by HerculesMO (693085) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @11:01AM (#13658856)
    Can firmly support BLURAY.

    We may not always be 100% sure in our positions, but we are 100% sure they are the opposite of Microsoft's :)
  • Look over here (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @11:02AM (#13658866)
    This [arstechnica.com] article over at Ars Technica, while somewhat one sided has some more information.
  • by JordanL (886154) <jordan DOT ledoux AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @11:07AM (#13658909) Homepage
    They won't be able to squash the BluRay Consortum... look at their board of directors...

    Apple Computer, Inc.
    Dell Inc.
    Hewlett Packard Company
    Hitachi, Ltd.
    LG Electronics Inc.
    Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
    Pioneer Corporation
    Royal Philips Electronics
    Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Sharp Corporation
    Sony Corporation
    TDK Corporation
    Thomson Multimedia
    Twentieth Century Fox
    Walt Disney Pictures
    • by WARM3CH (662028) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @11:46AM (#13659258)
      Just for comparision, here is a list of SOME of the main members HD DVD promotion group:

      Canon Co.
      Fuji Photo Film Co.
      Hitachi Maxell Ltd.
      Imation Co.
      Intel Co.
      InterVideo Inc.
      Kenwood Co.
      Konica Minolta Opto Inc.
      Microsoft Co.
      Mitsubishi / Verbatim
      NEC Electronics Co.
      ONKYO Co.
      Paramount Home Entertainment
      Ricoh Co.
      Ritek Co.
      Teac Co.
      Toshiba Co.
      Universal Pictures
      Warner Home Video Inc.

      (yeah, some companies are in both sides and yeah, many of the DVD media producers are in this list).
  • I can buy a Sony DVD-ROM drive right now, I cannot find an Intel or Microsoft DVD-ROM drive.

    Exactly how does Microsoft and Intel "backing" a format affect my choice in buying a new-generation DVD drive?
  • Yeah, right... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mkswap-notwar (764715)
    They said the HD DVD format would make it easier for consumers to copy high-definition movies to computer hard drives.

    Two things:
    1) Copying content from media to a file is purely software. Neither DVD format should be much harder than the other. This is not a valid point.

    2) Since when is copying movies to hard disks OK with large corporations? Again, this is not a valid point.
  • Who cares? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Either way, I'll have to buy the White Album again.
  • ...will be PS3 versus Xbox 360 with HD-DVD, and I think Sony will have the upper hand. The more Xbox 360s sold now without HD-DVD, the less sales of HD capable players. Personally, I think the HD games/HDTV combo will draw a lot of people from high-end PC gaming. 1920x1080 resolution? Hook me up a keyboard and a mouse, and it is a PC game without all the hassle of a PC. Note: I didn't say everyone buying an Xbox360/PS3 will, I'm saying those that spend $$$ on a Geforce 7800 and 1600x1200+ screen might.

    My ga
  • Not Welcome (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bchapp (905116) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @11:19AM (#13659005)
    I for one, do not welcome either format. OK, get more data on the discs for console gamers and such, but as far as movies and films go, plain old DVD has more than enough quality for me. I am just wanting to know if there is going to be a point in my lifetime that I will convert to something other than DVD unless I am forced. Is Blu-Ray or HD DVD going to be a step up in actual quality on my current TV and home theater? I doubt it. The conversion from VHS to DVD was needed and gave us more quality and features. Neither of these formats will give us the same kind of bump that DVD gave us, so why convert to a new format so soon after DVD? All I can figure is that all the money makers want some hardcore DRM.
  • "So here's the technical nitty gritty before we drop the graphs n' charts on ya. Both systems use the same kind of 405nm wavelength blue-violet laser, but their optics differ in two ways. Since the Blu-ray disc has a tighter track pitch (the single thread of data that spirals from the inside of the disc all the way out--think grooves on a 12-inch vinyl single vs. an Elvis Costello full-length album), it can hold more pits (those microscopic 0s and 1s) on the same size disc as HD DVD even with a laser of the
  • Check out this opinion piece about the manufacturing costs of Blu-ray vs HD-DVD. It definitely makes more sense to create HD-DVDs than Blu-ray discs. http://arstechnica.com/articles/paedia/hardware/ne xt-gen-dvd.ars [arstechnica.com]
  • They also said that HD DVDs would be cheaper to produce, resulting in lower prices for consumers.

    Fantastic. That must be why DVDs are cheaper than VHS and CDs are cheaper than audio cassettes, and online music is almost free. I am sure that the only price difference between the HD disks and DVDs will be the marginal cost.

  • Intel does not make DVD players for consumers. In fact, the most consumer friendly company that will be a customer of Intel's next year is Apple...and Apple backs Blu-Ray.

    Microsoft may pay lip service to HD-DVD, but they won't be shipping the Xbox360 with an HD-DVD drive. That is why many people online are tagging the eventual phenomenon of the Playstation3 oblitterating the Xbox360 as "getting Dreamcasted" considering Sega launched the Dreamcast early in an effort to get to the market first before the Pl
  • The formats wars never really ended. While ultimately betamax died out in the consumer world, in professional circles it continued (and is still used in many quarters). Ditto for the DVD format wars. Name your poison -R, +R, +RW, -RW or Ram. Most drives now on the market support all or most formats. While blu-ray may be different than HD-DVD, you will ultimately see dual drives (and burners) if blu-ray makes it to market.

    This is a fights for dollars at the corporate level. As a consumer you can either wait
  • by jasno (124830)
    http://www.geek.com/news/geeknews/2004Mar/gee20040 301024062.htm [geek.com]

    Microsoft's codec is one of the 3(!!!) codecs that HD-DVD manufacturers will have to license and support in their players. As far as I know, they've backed it for a while now. Of course they don't like Blu-ray, since no one's going to license their codec if it dominates the market.
  • Microsoft officially chooses HD-DVD over Blu-Ray Tuesday September 27, @08:36AM Rejected
  • by ivan256 (17499) * on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @11:49AM (#13659305)
    As long as the drives exist, both Microsoft Windows and Intel based PCs will support both of these formats.
  • by ryanw (131814) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @11:54AM (#13659354)
    When all is said and done, HD-DVD will win. Based off of ONE reason. People will think BLU-RAY is something new and weird, but HD-DVD is just a new version of DVDs. Consumers are stupid, which makes HD-DVD the default winner. It's the one consumers are going to know what it is and buy it.

    Consumers would benifit most from a 'dual support' system. From what I understand, Blu-ray uses a very intense holographic type system to allow the higher amount of storage. There won't be any 'blu-ray' consumer burners for a LONG time (if ever). Where as HD-DVD could have consumer burners pretty quickly.

    Why not allow for something like toshiba is doing where you could have a BLU-RAY reader and HD-DVD reader/burner?

    If that isn't the solution, consumers are going to suffer. One format will win in the end (remember beta vs vhs) and a group (either HDDVD or Blu-ray) will be left with a bunch of worthless media down the road (ie. beta).
  • by Darth Maul (19860) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @11:59AM (#13659407) Homepage
    All of this is a moot point. Consumers will not be buying the next-gen DVD discs for the following simple reasons:

    1) DVD has not even been in the market for ten years. It came out basically in 1997. People are *just now* buying more DVDs than VHS. I think people know the industry is just trying to put out a new format to get them to buy the same movies all over again.

    2) The HD-DVD does not offer enough benefits over DVD. The transition from VHS to DVD was easy (better picture clarity, form factor, don't have to rewind), but the advantage of HD-DVD over DVD is just better resolution. Most idiots look at a DVD playing on a plasma and say "wow, HD!".
  • by Call Me Black Cloud (616282) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @12:36PM (#13659763)

    Blu-Ray DVD players will ship with a Java VM. The interactive menus on Blu-Ray titles will be written in Java. I don't think MS is going to back a standard that puts a Java VM in everyone's living room.
  • by burnsy (563104) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @01:01PM (#13659997)
    Here is why HD-DVD is better according to MS and Intel...

    ----------------

    Microsoft and Intel cited the following consumer and industry requirements of any successful next-generation optical format for high definition, which is reflected by what HD DVD delivers today:

    - Managed Copy: A first for DVDs. Managed Copy is a guaranteed feature within HD DVD that gives consumers the freedom to make copies of their discs to a hard drive or home server, including Media Center PCs using Intel Viiv technology, and enjoy them in every room of the house over their home networks. HD DVD discs also will allow copies of the movie to be played on portable devices.

    - "Future-proof" compatibility. Using proven HD DVD "hybrid disc" technology, a single disc can store both high-definition and standard-definition versions of a film, allowing consumers to immediately enjoy the standard-definition movies stored on these discs on today's DVD players, while HD movies can be replayed later on the HD DVD platform. This is an opportunity for consumers to buy discs at launch that future proof their collections -- in other words, helping assure customers that the discs they buy will remain viewable in the future.

    - Proven low-cost, high-volume manufacturing. HD DVD discs use essentially the same manufacturing equipment as existing DVDs, meaning that production of HD DVD can ramp up easily and with lower costs.

    - Superior capacity. HD DVD-ROM discs will offer dual-layer 30GB discs at launch, compared with BD-ROM discs, which will be limited to 25GB.

    - Superior interactivity. HD DVD discs will offer greater interactivity using iHD technology, allowing for enhanced content, navigation and value-added functionality for high-definition films. For example, HD DVDs can offer advanced picture-in-picture capability so that other video, such as a director's commentary, could play on top of the movie.

    - Superior format for notebook PCs. The compatibility of HD DVD with standard DVD facilitates and simplifies development of slim disc drives for integration in notebook PCs, one of the fastest-growing segments of the PC market.

Get hold of portable property. -- Charles Dickens, "Great Expectations"

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