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Media Entertainment Hardware

HD VMD Shows Up Late For the Format War 280

Posted by kdawson
from the other-guys-will-kill-each-other-off-see dept.
Fishead writes "As the fight heats up between HD DVD and Blu-ray, and as consumers seem to care less and less, a new contender has entered the fray. Next month, New Medium Enterprises will be selling a 1080p player through Amazon and stores such as Radio Shack and Costco for around $150 — half what the cheapest HD DVD player costs, and a quarter the cost of a low-end Blu-ray. The difference this new HD VMD (Versatile Multilayer Disc) format brings is that the discs are created with the same (cheap) red laser as DVDs. From the article: 'HD VMD discs, which hold up to 30GB on a single side, are encoded with a maximum bit rate of 40 megabits per second... between HD DVD's 36 Mpbs and Blu-ray's 48 Mbps. The format uses MPEG-2 and VC1 video formats to encode at 1080p resolution for the time being, and will possibly move to the H.264 format in the future.'"
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HD VMD Shows Up Late For the Format War

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  • Fourth (Score:4, Informative)

    by The Iso (1088207) on Sunday September 09, 2007 @05:39PM (#20531649)
    Fourth contender. [engadget.com]
  • That will serve them fine.
  • by Perseid (660451) on Sunday September 09, 2007 @05:40PM (#20531657)
    ...but I do want a cheap burner I can throw 30GB at. Sell THAT to me at $150 and I'll buy.
    • by Kjella (173770) on Sunday September 09, 2007 @08:46PM (#20533103) Homepage
      Don't count on a four-layer burner ever becoming cheap, or even possible. They've been at it with these multi-layer discs for a long time, and while readers are doable the laser power required to burn that 4th layer is just insane. Pressed discs don't have this problem, but unless you got a stamping press at home, well...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by GreggBz (777373)
      I've seen this every time HD-DVD/Blueray comes up on slashdot and perhaps I have no imagination, but I don't get the application for a 30GB burner. Not any time soon anyway. Hard drive backups? I can't see that being a big application for Desktop systems. If you're backing up many systems, a centralized server with this might be nice, but then again, the gist I get is you all want this for personal applications. LT0-1 and 2 drives are not that much more expensive, hold more and are faster anyway.

      MP3's? I ha
      • by terjeber (856226) on Sunday September 09, 2007 @11:56PM (#20534455)

        This is too easy.

        - The world will never need more than 4 or 5 computers.
        - Nobody will ever need more than 640K of memory.
        - We can close all patents offices now, everything is invented (ca 1890)

        You can go on and on. I do HD video with my very inexpensive HD camcorder. 30G is nothing. Nothing at all.

  • Sounds good... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by exploder (196936) on Sunday September 09, 2007 @05:41PM (#20531669) Homepage
    ...but how many giant media corporations are behind it? None? Bummer.
  • Poor Sony (Score:5, Insightful)

    by psychicsword (1036852) * <The AT psychicsword DOT com> on Sunday September 09, 2007 @05:42PM (#20531681)
    Sony just pissed themselves.

    $487.99 for Blue-ray [bestbuy.com] Vs. $150... wonder who will win that aspect to the format war?
    The only thing that may limit this format is whether the movie companies will pick it up, and more importantly the porn industry. [engadget.com]
    • Re:Poor Sony (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Sunday September 09, 2007 @06:00PM (#20531855) Homepage
      Can we give up that stupid porn argument yet? I've posted this more than once, but that keeps coming up. Porn will not decide the new format.

      First, when VHS and Beta appeared, the only real way to see porn films was in a XXX theater. You couldn't watch them in the privacy of your home.

      Today, I can watch porn on VHS, or DVD. Or pay-per-view. Or satellite. Or the 'net. Or video-CD. Or I could play a porn related video game. Porn helped VHS because it was really the first time you could watch porn in the privacy of your home, so the inability to do that on Beta was big. That's not an issue today.

      Please, can we just drop that stupid argument? It doesn't hold much water any more.

      • Re:Poor Sony (Score:5, Insightful)

        by urbanriot (924981) on Sunday September 09, 2007 @06:20PM (#20532015)
        Just because you keep posting, doesn't make your opinion true, or make the argument hold any less water.

        Regardless, the point is moot, since porn *is* being released on BD with the first release being Debbie Does Dallas. Since the porn industry generated considerable amounts of media attention, the BDA has relented.

        Can we give up that stupid porn argument yet? I've posted this more than once, but that keeps coming up. Porn will not decide the new format.

        First, when VHS and Beta appeared, the only real way to see porn films was in a XXX theater. You couldn't watch them in the privacy of your home.

        Today, I can watch porn on VHS, or DVD. Or pay-per-view. Or satellite. Or the 'net. Or video-CD. Or I could play a porn related video game. Porn helped VHS because it was really the first time you could watch porn in the privacy of your home, so the inability to do that on Beta was big. That's not an issue today.

        Please, can we just drop that stupid argument? It doesn't hold much water any more.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Firehed (942385)
          How much of that media attention turned into sales? They may have made the allowance after everyone assumed that would kill the format, but did it really make any difference?

          Rephrase: How much porn have I bought on DVD? None. How much have I downloaded? Let's... uhhh... I'm sure my mom doesn't read Slashdot, so let's say "more than none". Of that more than none, how much is already in HD? All of the pics, and with the price of HD camcorders dropping, expect video to move that way. But how much of th
        • by lmpeters (892805)

          Regardless, the point is moot, since porn *is* being released on BD with the first release being Debbie Does Dallas.

          I don't think any porn video that are more than maybe 10 years old are going to have any impact on the HD format wars; older videos were designed for standard definition, and just can't take advantage of the new format in any significant way.

          That being said, I think that if/when a porn video comes out that uses HD to the same sort of stunning visual effect as Planet Earth [wikipedia.org], one MIGHT argue

      • Agreed. (Score:3, Informative)

        by crhylove (205956)
        http://www.youporn.com/ [youporn.com]
        http://www.pornotube.com/ [pornotube.com]
        http://www.shareaza.com/ [shareaza.com]

        Um yeah, why are people still buying discs ???!? I agree with the above poster, there is no way porno is even going to effect this format war. The internet has taken over that industry and distribution completely.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Suicyco (88284)
        Umm, the argument holds as much water as it ever did. Pornography has driven new technologies since porn was invented. It wasn't only vhs. It was Super8. It was the cinema. It was PHOTOGRAPHY. Cheap printing. PAINT. Etc.

        Porn will drive new content mediums as long as people are into porn. So you have more choices now. So what? The porn industry produces more video content than all other non-porn video content producers put together. Some porn houses release upwards of 10-20 titles a WEEK.

        Also, Super8 project
        • by MBCook (132727)

          My argument holds water. Let's not forget that BluRay and HD-DVD are just higher resolution DVD formats. The ability to record a moving picture of pornography was a big leap over printed pictures. The ability to take pictures instead of having people paint them was a big leap. The ability to print many prints of something instead of having to hand-make them was a big step bringing costs down.

          I'm not saying porn won't have an effect, I'm saying it won't be the deciding factor. That's the difference here and

      • by FauxReal (653820)
        Nah... I remember when I was a kid my dad had porn on 8mm reels [wikipedia.org]. I remember watching Puff the Magic Dragon on 8mm as a kid.
      • by evilviper (135110)

        Porn helped VHS because it was really the first time you could watch porn in the privacy of your home,

        Film wasn't cheap, but never the less, a great many people watched porn in the privacy of their own homes. I've found several reels myself when looking through old boxes. Just don't try to slow or pause the film, lest it instantly melt.
    • by DrYak (748999) on Sunday September 09, 2007 @06:23PM (#20532035) Homepage

      who will win that aspect to the format war?


      Be it BlueRay, be it HD-DVD, or HD VMD, or chinese EVD.
      We don't give a fuck about who battling against who on the market.

      We already know who won the battle :
      - the unknown noname chinese hardware maker who'll market a cheap plastic reader, that'll read anything you'll put in it and that'll cost only a few dozens of .
      Seriously.

      whether the movie companies will pick it up


      No, the only thing that will matter is if the cheap hardware maker will pick it up.

      Last time, the whole DVD "plus" RW vs. DVD "minus" RW vs. DVD-RAM debate was made pointless once asian makers started to push multi format burners.

      Before thatm the DVD (the hidef format) vs. SuperVCD (the cheaper with older hardware) vs. DivX (the internet alternative) was made obsolete now that you can pick-up a DVD/MP3/MPEG-4 reader for less than 50$ at your local store.

      The exact same story will repeat it self the next few years with the HD format war. While marketoid will go at great lenght arguing which is better between BlueRay and HD-DVD and while you should pick *their* technology because most of the studio are backing *that one*, the public will quietly stand back, enjoy the fight, and wait patiently until cheap multi-format reader appear.

      LG and Samsung have such movie players and media burners coming to their products line-up and others companies are to follow. The cheap brandless aren't far away.
      • by samdu (114873)
        Er... no. They could give these things away for free, and if there is no content available for them, they'd still fail. There's a balance between cheap hardware and content support. Neither, in and of itself, is enough to win a format war.
    • by evilviper (135110)

      $487.99 for Blue-ray Vs. $150... wonder who will win that aspect to the format war?

      Me... I have a high def player that fits 100GBs on a 2 cent disc, and the player costs $20.

      Or perhaps the holographic disc format coming out any time now that will fit terabytes of data on a cheap disc, and be given away in cereal boxes...

      Vaporware is fun.
  • Yes, but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 09, 2007 @05:46PM (#20531715)
    ...how bad is its DRM? That's really the only thing I care about. Whichever format will give me - a paying customer - the freedom to do what I want with my movies will get my money. If none do, I'm sticking with regular DVDs.
    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by aliquis (678370)
      True that, I guess you can count out anything supported by Apple to begin with. Not all that related but their vendor lockin is stronger than anyones and now when they released iTunes with ring tone supports for the iPhone you have to PAY for being able to transfer over the ringtone which are made of a piece of music you already owned!?

      People came around this by simply renaming the files but then Apple updated iTunes, so someone came up with a new idea, and we'll see how long that one works ..
      In that regard
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by yabos (719499)
        Apple doesn't own the music they sell you, they license it from the music labels. If the music labels say they can't use the same songs for ringtones then Apple can't easily let you do it under the terms of their contract. Why don't you blame the labels because it's their fault not Apple's.
        • by l3prador (700532)

          Apple doesn't own the music they sell you, they license it from the music labels. If the music labels say they can't use the same songs for ringtones then Apple can't easily let you do it under the terms of their contract. Why don't you blame the labels because it's their fault not Apple's.

          Maybe, but what about music from CDs I bought and imported myself into my library?

        • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

          by aliquis (678370)
          In the world where I live when I have bought a tune I can do whatever I want with it, if I want to make it shorter and crappy quality and play it as ring tone on my phone why should I be allowed to? Are you sure this is because of music labels? Maybe because so many retards buy stupid ring tones for massive cash. That blue frog and shit. During swedish adds "jamba" or whatever it's called tries to sell you ringtones with poo humor, it's so awful.

          And as another answer had said what about CDs? Not that I unde
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by niktemadur (793971)
          GPP: In that regard Apple really suck and are worse than even Microsoft.

          PP: Apple doesn't own the music they sell you, they license it from the music labels.

          I have to agree with the second quote. Due to the current laws as well as unnegotiable terms of contract drafted by the giant labels, either Apple complies or gets locked out of the market, so in this respect Apple is a gear in a vast, putrid machine they did not create.

          Remember that Napster corporate and legislative hysteria preceded the iTunes Music
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by psychicsword (1036852) *
      I didn't know regular DVDs let "a paying customer - the freedom to do what I want with my movies" Isn't circumventing the encryption illegal because of the DMCA?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I didn't know regular DVDs let "a paying customer - the freedom to do what I want with my movies" Isn't circumventing the encryption illegal because of the DMCA?


        You have the RIGHT to format and time shift, but the MEANS to do so is made illegal to you by the DMCA. It's such an artful contradiction written into the law; you'd admire the artistry if it weren't so evil.
    • by RDW (41497) on Sunday September 09, 2007 @06:18PM (#20531997)
      From the article, it looks like they're using a unique and theoretically uncrackable new form of DRM. All movies released on this format will be encrypted as Bollywood remakes.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by gad_zuki! (70830)
      >Whichever format will give me - a paying customer - the freedom to do what I want with my movies will get my money. If none do, I'm sticking with regular DVDs.

      DVDs certainly do not give you any freedom, they locked down with css. Oh right, so becuse css is crackable makes DVDs the idealized format. You are ignoring that the DVD people think just as little of you as the HD format people. Hollywood will not give you what you want. If you want to be mr copyleft then address your hollywood addiction, give
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by johnkzin (917611)

        I think his point wasn't "DVD's are good", I think his point was "I'm not going to shift to a NEW format unless it is good". In essence, he's saying "I'm not going to shift from smoking cigarettes to smoking cigars, because cigars can cause cancer, so I'll stick with the carcinogen I've got until there's a non-carcinogen alternative".

        You could argue, as you seem to, that "if you don't stop smoking cigarettes while you wait for a non-carcinogen alternative to come along, then you're still at risk of cancer"
    • by radish (98371)
      It's not the format which gives (or doesn't give) you the right to do as you please with the movies, it's the copyright holders.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by obeythefist (719316)
      How bad is the DRM? Great question. But step a little deeper. We know the MPAA coke snorters firmly believe DRM works. We can therefore assume that they will only support formats that use "strong" DRM (that means, DRM that has a lot of marketing behind it to make the coke snorters believe it actually works).

      So, either it has equivalent DRM to Blu-ray and HD-DVD, and then there's really no benefit over this technology than the others apart from maybe cost or whatever, and the MPAA cartel still might not i
    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      ...how bad is its DRM? That's really the only thing I care about. Whichever format will give me - a paying customer - the freedom to do what I want with my movies will get my money. If none do, I'm sticking with regular DVDs.

      DVDs have DRM... just it's been broken. Funnily enough, one of the "losing" parties in this high-def wars also has their DRM broken. (Yes, it's HD-DVD... AACS has been broken, all that can be done is they change the keys. Blu-Ray has also been broken, but there's many more forms of DRM

    • by rho (6063)
      If none do, I'm sticking with regular DVDs.

      Hell, you'd better come up with a really compelling reason why I should re-buy my video library all over again. I just finished doing it going from VHS to DVD--and dropping a lot of titles, BTW, 'cause I didn't want to plunk down $20 for Under Siege. If I have to do it all over again with HD-DVD/BR, I'm going to buy Seven Samurai, Casablanca and The Godfather, and nothing else. I'm sick of re-buying the same fucking movies.

      And anyway, a goodly portion of my mov

  • Waste of time (Score:5, Informative)

    by DrXym (126579) on Sunday September 09, 2007 @05:46PM (#20531729)
    No studios are going to support the format, and I doubt many rippers will either. I could see the potential of a DVD player that could play H264 HD content from a DVD. But yet another HD physical format? The field is already crowded.
    • There are a few studios that said they would introduce on the format, but most of them are Bollywood and Asian studios. They claim to have several of Mel Gibson's movies, but it's not much. As it is, the A2/ A3 HD-DVD player includes 5 movies in the deal, making it close to the price of this VMD deal, and HD-DVD has an active product pipeline.
    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      I could see the potential of a DVD player that could play H264 HD content from a DVD.

      So Why doesn't it yet?

      "The format uses MPEG-2 and VC1* video formats to encode at 1080p resolution for the time being, and will possibly move to the H.264 format in the future."

      *http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VC-1
      "VC-1 is the informal name of the SMPTE 421M video codec standard initially developed by Microsoft. WMV3, better known as Windows Media Video 9 codec, served as the basis for development of the VC-1 codec specification. On April 3, 2006, SMPTE announced the formal release of the VC-1 standard as SMP

      • by DrXym (126579)
        So Why doesn't it yet?

        Give the Chinese manufactures some time. We've already seen HDMI upscaling players as well as those that can play MPEG-4 ASP (otherwise known as DiVX, XVid etc.). Sooner or later some manufacturer will do the same for H264. And then some more and some more.

        VC-1 is probably one reason Microsoft is propping up HD DVD. It doesn't give a damn about HD DVD, but keeping the format wars going mean more sales of its VC-1 codec, authoring tools and also opportunities for the MS XBL download

      • Re:Waste of time (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Divebus (860563) on Sunday September 09, 2007 @08:32PM (#20533007)
        One thing to keep in mind about Microsoft's success at "requiring" the VC-1 codec was that neither HD-DVD nor Blu-ray had a VC-1 requirement at first. That was a long, painful battle for Microsoft which was typically used to dictating standards to everyone. Ultimately, Microsoft skillfully played the game of leverage between competitors to shoehorn themselves into both disk standards. With the future of digital media unfolding in the early 2000's, Microsoft simply offered High Definition equipment manufacturers and movie studios the whole Windows Media system [for a fee] expecting a quick surrender to the obvious victor of any technical battle - themselves. Microsoft envisioned their Windows Media player as the basis of all future television with themselves in control, dispatching all their competitors to oblivion and erecting a global toll booth between media creation companies and viewers. However, manufacturers tend to avoid these traps and SMPTE wouldn't touch Windows Media with a 10 foot pole for exactly that reason, recognizing that the Windows Media Player wrapper was fairly treacherous ground under Microsoft's control. Microsoft was informed by SMPTE that the codec inside Windows Media could be accepted if it was split out and properly standardized like all the other codecs. Leave the "player" wrapper with undocumented controls out of it. Although the DRM offered by Microsoft was attractive to Hollywood, it became clear that manufacturers would not simply hand their future technical path over to Microsoft, nor would the Hollywood production studios hand over control of their assets to an organization with a history of modifying the terms of an agreement to benefit themselves. Manufacturers and content creators knew that Microsoft could suddenly replace VC-1 with VC-2 and demand a ransom to stay in business. Windows Media 10 was on the horizon and everyone knew what that meant. Microsoft wasn't trustworthy in either of those circles and proper SMPTE standardization was the only road to considering any products from Redmond. Microsoft finally did separate the codec from the Windows Media player and offer it for ratification expecting a rubber stamp approval by SMPTE while refusing to release the source code, refusing to define the royalty conditions in advance, promising to deliver finished codecs while retaining control of the current and future source (and a few other tricks). This all prevented ratification by SMPTE. It was Microsoft's first foray into the workings of a real standards body and they thought they could simply bully their way through it. They weren't used to anyone standing up to them like this. Microsoft was very much out in the cold and basically entered panic mode as they watched other formats develop, deploy and gain momentum. Manufacturers were not going to commit to a proprietary codec which would later hold them hostage. No SMPTE standardization? No use for VC-1. Period. End of codec. End of Microsoft's influence on media. PANIC! As Microsoft was slowly releasing control of VC-1 and approaching SMPTE compliance, Microsoft released premature press releases claiming SMPTE ratification months before they were in actual compliance. SMPTE had to smack them down at least once for this tactic. Finally, Microsoft did what was needed for SMPTE ratification and gained acceptance by the HD-DVD camp [support and funding had something to do with this, I'm sure]. I don't personally know the back story of HD-DVD very well but VC-1 incorporation into Blu-ray had everything to do with the greed of MPEG LA [mpegla.org]. More on that later. I can say that the buzz at the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) [nab.org] show floor was that HD-DVD was a Microsoft backed entity which didn't do it any favors. The NAB members are typically only interested in repeatable standards. Looking around the 2006 NAB show floor, the only people using Microsoft video standards were their direct "partners" in a confined area. Everyone else was using AVC/H.264. Meanwhile
        • by NeMon'ess (160583) *
          So you left out just how much Microsoft gave up to get it's standard into Blu-ray?
          • by Divebus (860563)

            It's in there somewhere but I'll extract it so you don't have to read through the monolith of text:

            First Microsoft dropped the planned use of the Windows Media Player wrapper because the industries were only interested in the codec, not the advertising portal / "phone home" laden / consumer dictating / system call making player interface.

            Second, Microsoft gave up control over the Windows Media 9 codec itself, revealing the source code so anyone can roll their own instead of relying on (trusting) Microsoft

        • Re:Waste of time (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Kuciwalker (891651) on Monday September 10, 2007 @01:08AM (#20534915)
          What the FUCK. Paragraphs, please.
          • Re:Waste of time (Score:5, Informative)

            by Divebus (860563) on Monday September 10, 2007 @01:29AM (#20535023)

            SORRY!!!! SORRY!!! That's what happens when the wife yells "dinner's ready". Yes, there's a wife here and she's a geek. Who else has a wife who comes running home from Costco saying "Hey, they have compressors on sale! Didn't you want air tools?" or "I think the 42" flat panel would look great in the bedroom". If you missed it, an apology for the Big Block O'ASCII was posted right after that. For those of you who want paragraphs, I will now REPEAT the entire blah blah right here. Karma be damned, send me to Remedial Preview School if you like:

            ---------

            One thing to keep in mind about Microsoft's success at "requiring" the VC-1 codec was that neither HD-DVD nor Blu-ray had a VC-1 requirement at first. That was a long, painful battle for Microsoft which was typically used to dictating standards to everyone. Ultimately, Microsoft skillfully played the game of leverage between competitors to shoehorn themselves into both disk standards.

            With the future of digital media unfolding in the early 2000's, Microsoft simply offered High Definition equipment manufacturers and movie studios the whole Windows Media system [for a fee] expecting a quick surrender to the obvious victor of any technical battle - themselves. Microsoft envisioned their Windows Media player as the basis of all future television with themselves in control, dispatching all their competitors to oblivion and erecting a global toll booth between media creation companies and viewers.

            However, manufacturers tend to avoid these traps and SMPTE wouldn't touch Windows Media with a 10 foot pole for exactly that reason, recognizing that the Windows Media Player wrapper was fairly treacherous ground under Microsoft's control. Microsoft was informed by SMPTE that the codec inside Windows Media could be accepted if it was split out and properly standardized like all the other codecs. Leave the "player" wrapper with undocumented controls out of it. Although the DRM offered by Microsoft was attractive to Hollywood, it became clear that manufacturers would not simply hand their future technical path over to Microsoft, nor would the Hollywood production studios hand over control of their assets to an organization with a history of modifying the terms of an agreement to benefit themselves. Manufacturers and content creators knew that Microsoft could suddenly replace VC-1 with VC-2 and demand a ransom to stay in business. Windows Media 10 was on the horizon and everyone knew what that meant. Microsoft wasn't trustworthy in either of those circles and proper SMPTE standardization was the only road to considering any products from Redmond.

            Microsoft finally did separate the codec from the Windows Media player and offer it for ratification expecting a rubber stamp approval by SMPTE while refusing to release the source code, refusing to define the royalty conditions in advance, promising to deliver finished codecs while retaining control of the current and future source (and a few other tricks). This all prevented ratification by SMPTE. It was Microsoft's first foray into the workings of a real standards body and they thought they could simply bully their way through it. They weren't used to anyone standing up to them like this. Microsoft was very much out in the cold and basically entered panic mode as they watched other formats develop, deploy and gain momentum. Manufacturers were not going to commit to a proprietary codec which would later hold them hostage. No SMPTE standardization? No use for VC-1. Period. End of codec. End of Microsoft's influence on media. PANIC!

            As Microsoft was slowly releasing control of VC-1 and approaching SMPTE compliance, Microsoft released premature press releases claiming SMPTE ratification months before they were in actual compliance. SMPTE had to smack them down at least once for this tactic. Finally, Microsoft did what was needed for SMPTE ratification and gained acceptance by the HD-DVD camp [support and funding had something to do with this, I'm sure]. I don't personally know t

      • by Divebus (860563)
        Shit. Big "sorry" to everyone for that huge block of unreadable text. I can't believe I didn't put all the paragraph tags in there and missed the Preview button.
      • by Divebus (860563)

        I could see the potential of a DVD player that could play H264 HD content from a DVD.

        So Why doesn't it yet?

        HD-DVD does this. Just plop an AVC/H.264 HD video file on blank red laser media and drop that into an HD-DVD player. It will play the video. The Blu-ray, idunno... haven't tried that yet. Talking to Sonic about pro authoring systems, there's apparently a licensing issue; the BDA wants a $1,500 license fee to encode a Blu-ray title, even if it's a check disk. Has something to do with the encryption key you have to buy to make it play. Haven't confirmed details but may explain why A

  • VMD? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Daniel K. Attling (1003208) on Sunday September 09, 2007 @05:48PM (#20531749) Homepage
    Videos of Mass Destruction!?
  • If you could actually find a company to release movies in that format you might have a good plan. If they really want to sell this thing they'd make it play HD-DVD and Blueray.
    • Considering that for the last 30 some odd years, that the movie industry's goal after TV started stealing viewership, and that their solution was to ensure that they charge people multiple times to watch the same movies over and over again? I think you already know what their plan is.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 09, 2007 @05:57PM (#20531831)
    Since the field is obviously WIDE open... I, Anonymous Coward, have entered the fray with HD 8-Track... yes, that's right: High Definition 8-Track tape. As a big disco fan, I have accumulated lots of Bee Gees, and Donna Sommers 8-Track tapes over the years (for some reason, people kept throwing out these gold)... and I've managed to record video onto the tape. At first I had a lousy 100x348 resolution, but after months and months of work in my parent's basement, I have UPGRADED the resolution and so I am calling it High Definition. Yes, that's right, I have achieved 320x240 pixel resolution in 16-colour glory! And to make sure, this format catches on like wildfire, I am licensing the technology for $1 per tape.
    I'm gonna be a millionaire! I love capitalism.

    TDz.
    • You can encode four movies per tape, right? With the advantage that, since it is physically impossible to rewind, you never need to?
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday September 09, 2007 @06:04PM (#20531887)
    That's the core question. Will there be any content for this player? Will the studios release content for it?

    The only other chance, if the studios don't jump onto it, is to squeeze out a writer for it quickly and make this the next big thing in computer storage and HD content copying. If it can hold a full HD movie, people who don't care too much about DRM or buying content will be very interested in it. Then, and only then, you can get a standard into the market without the support of the content providers.
    • The only other chance, if the studios don't jump onto it, is to squeeze out a writer for it quickly and make this the next big thing in computer storage and HD content copying. If it can hold a full HD movie, people who don't care too much about DRM or buying content will be very interested in it. Then, and only then, you can get a standard into the market without the support of the content providers.

      Well at that price it could easily become a feature found on east Asian players and then submarine itself as
  • by erroneus (253617) on Sunday September 09, 2007 @07:02PM (#20532383) Homepage
    Once these recording devices make it into the hands of legislators and judges, nothing can stop them. Think about how RIM survived the injunction order. There were so many congress people and senators using crackberry, that nothing could shut them down. And if someone were to create better home recorders with the new "old" technology, no amount of lobbying, donating or influencing will force them out... now if we could just get this technology into the hands of legislators fast enough...
  • by Kris_J (10111) * on Sunday September 09, 2007 @07:17PM (#20532463) Journal
    My current DVD player will play high definition Divx files from DVD or from a flash drive or hard drive plugged into its USB port. The compression rate is plenty good enough to shoe-horn a full-length HD movie onto a dual-layer DVD. Lots of existing devices and pretty much every PC on the planet made in the last five years should be able to play that.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sl3xd (111641) *
      DivX on DVD also can't make use of the higher-bitrate Dolby Digital Plus or DTS audio, and definitely couldn't use Dolby TrueHD or DTS Master Audio. The audio alone for TrueHD or DTS Master takes up most (if not all) of a DVD-DL's 8.7 GB.

      The new disc formats all use newer and better codecs for video compression than DivX, providing better quality at lower bitrates. DivX was great when the only game in town was MPEG-2. But as ISO MPEG-4 (on which DivX is based), and now H.264 have come on the scene, DivX
      • by evilviper (135110)

        But as ISO MPEG-4 (on which DivX is based), and now H.264 have come on the scene, DivX is showing its age.

        You're either being incredibly pedantic, or ignorant.

        DivX isn't just "based" on MPEG-4, IT IS A MPEG-4 CODEC. It was slightly incompatible with version 3 some ~8 years ago, but that's ancient history. Next you'll be complaining it's an illegal codec stolen from Microsoft...

        Players that claim to be "DivX compatible" can play any "ISO MPEG-4" video just as well, though you may have to forge the fourcc,

        • by sl3xd (111641) *
          You're either being incredibly pedantic, or ignorant.

          Pedantic. Guilty as charged. DivX also tends to use AVI instead of the 'standard' MPEG-4 container. I'm not implying that DivX can't use an MPEG-4 container; it's just that most DivX movies are in an AVI container.

          As for the illegal codec stolen from Microsoft... if that were true, than DivX would have been sued into oblivion already.

          VC-1 is said to be good codec, but I certainly don't see it in anything I've tried. It does appear to be lower quality t
  • by Michael Woodhams (112247) on Sunday September 09, 2007 @07:34PM (#20532567) Journal
    Coming late to the game, they need to establish a 'home ground', a niche that they can dominate and then grow out from. India could be that home ground.

    A fine feature would be if it were possible to play the new HD VMD disks at DVD resolution on standard DVD players. Given they use the same lasers, it might be that DVD players will see one particular layer, on which the DVD data could be stored. This again would help greatly to break into the market.

    However, they don't mention such a feature, and I'd hope they'd have thought about it, so probably it is technically infeasible.
    • by evilviper (135110)

      A fine feature would be if it were possible to play the new HD VMD disks at DVD resolution on standard DVD players.

      That wouldn't be a "fine feature" at all, that would be an incredible waste of space.

      Did anyone say DVDs need to play in VCD players? A "fine feature" needed to get a foothold and catch on?

      • Stereo records played on mono turntables. Colour TV broadcasts displayed on B&W sets. Such compatibility is good, so long as you don't pay too much for it, hobbling the new format to the needs of the old.

        So long as the manufacturing price of disks is low, this would allow DVD/VMD disks to be sold for the same price as a DVD. Then when you're buying DVD/VMD disks to play in your DVD player, you can later upgrade to a VMD player and instantly have a collection of HD content. This would appeal to consumers
  • PS3 is low-end? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by perdue (1153995)

    for around $150 ... a quarter the cost of a low-end Blu-ray.
    If it was intentional flamebait, no one seems to have taken it. Good on y'all.
  • by D.A. Zollinger (549301) on Sunday September 09, 2007 @08:02PM (#20532779) Homepage Journal
    I am of the impression that uninformed consumers do not concern themselves with technical details, and are far more motivated by cost. I believe this is why VHS won out over Beta, and why HD VMD will destroy both Blu-ray and HD DVD formats.

    While movie studios will want DRM on their disks, ultimately they desire sales, and will go with whatever format dominates the marketplace, no matter how much or little DRM is in place. However, as the article mentions that the $150 player comes with HDMI, I suspect they have comparable DRM to the other HD competitors.
    • by zakezuke (229119)

      I am of the impression that uninformed consumers do not concern themselves with technical details, and are far more motivated by cost. I believe this is why VHS won out over Beta, and why HD VMD will destroy both Blu-ray and HD DVD formats.
      Was it cost or availability of media?

      When I was a kid, my folks got their first VCR circa 1985/1986. I remember it was a Toshiba front loader. It was VHS. It was VHS as the rental store offered VHS tapes.

  • The large number of Bollywood titles might mean that there will be a good sized market in Northern Virgina.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'll move to a high-def format as soon Criterion Collection moves to a high-def format. As it stands now, I couldn't care less about watching cars explode in 1080p.
  • by DumbSwede (521261) <slashdotbin@hotmail.com> on Sunday September 09, 2007 @08:38PM (#20533035) Homepage Journal
    As someone that just purchased a PS3 for $350 (after $150 rebate) with free shipping and 8 free movies I'm not too worried about this development. In fact I rather welcome it as HD-DVD and VDM will battle to the death for the low end and most likely neither will survive.

    If worst comes to worse I still have a great game machine and a Linux computer.

    I must confess one bit of annoyance with Toshiba and the HD-DVD camp; I bought my PS3 primarily as an HD movie player, but the HD-DVD camp screams day and night that only standalone players count (except when they want to include the XBox 360 addon). Blu-Ray may not win, but it certainly has the largest installed base at 6 million plus; it is much less likely to just stumble and fail completely as HD-DVD was in danger of doing until the Paramount defection (strange doings that).

    It will be a delicious irony to hear HD-DVD proponents now claiming low-price is not the biggest determining factor in who wins.
  • ... the UV-ray players with 320 GB capacity ... or the X-ray players with 2 TB capacity. Oh wait. Even those will have DRM (Destroys Retail Movies, Damned Revenue Mongrels, Dirty Raunchy Managers, Disk Rot Method, and Distributing Rootkits Mainly). Forget it. Nevermind.

  • by Molochi (555357)
    Finally we have the hardware that grand parents will buy for the kids that wanted an HD player.
  • I'm unconvinced (Score:2, Interesting)

    by solar_blitz (1088029)
    As far as I'm concerned, this new DVD format is nothing but vaporware until it's actually released. And even then, it could still go the way of the DIVX format. It seems like the Phantom of DVD players to me: cheap, using off-the-shelf technology, but able to do tons of really neat stuff. Remember, folks, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
    • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
      ``And even then, it could still go the way of the DIVX format.''

      You mean, take the piracy scene by storm and become so successful that it eventually gets included in hardware players, due to popular demand?

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