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Toshiba Going After Blu-ray? 532

Swifty Nifty has an adventure submitted a link to a story about Toshiba's new High Def Disc Format. No, I'm not kidding — apparently Blu-ray has a new contender. This seems to be intended as a DVD backwards-compatible format, but there's not a lot of detail.
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Toshiba Going After Blu-ray?

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  • Hello? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mateo_LeFou ( 859634 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @08:45AM (#23626217) Homepage
    Could we please get ISO to fast-track one of these High Def standards so we will all know what to buy? Please?? (Hint:joke)
    • Re:Hello? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Midnight Thunder ( 17205 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @08:56AM (#23626339) Homepage Journal
      Could we please get ISO to fast-track one of these High Def standards so we will all know what to buy? Please?? (Hint:joke)

      In that can I vote, and then complain about the way I voted? ;)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      . . . so we will all know what to buy

      I didn't buy an HD-DVD player. I will not be buying a Blu-Ray player. I will not be buying a this thing. Technology is moving way too fast for me to keep replacing my hardware. As soon as I commit to buying one of these things, a new technology will have emerged, making my spanking new purchase obsolete before the year is out. I am not a sucker.

      Fuck this shit. Lemme download an electronic copy to play directly from my hard drive.

      • Re:Hello? (Score:4, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 02, 2008 @09:41AM (#23626827)

        Technology is moving way too fast for me to keep replacing my hardware. As soon as I commit to buying one of these things, a new technology will have emerged, making my spanking new purchase obsolete before the year is out. I am not a sucker.

        Fuck this shit. Lemme download an electronic copy to play directly from my hard drive.
        Hard drive? That's obsolete. Everyone's using solid state these days.
         
      • Re:Hello? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Achromatic1978 ( 916097 ) <`robert' `at' `chromablue.net'> on Monday June 02, 2008 @11:43AM (#23628351)

        I didn't buy an HD-DVD player. I will not be buying a Blu-Ray player. I will not be buying a this thing. Technology is moving way too fast for me to keep replacing my hardware.

        And what, it's your belief that technology is only going to slow down from here?

        • Re:Hello? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by kesuki ( 321456 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @03:07PM (#23630753) Journal
          "And what, it's your belief that technology is only going to slow down from here?"

          I've heard that some people believe the price of gasoline will go up around a dollar every year because of the post peak problem. if energy prices do go up, then technology, which depends on energy, and the availability of cheap energy will slow down. it takes a lot of money to 'research' new technologies, using technology already researched is cheap. for an example, consider modern CPU pricing, multi-core designed processors have allowed cpu vendors to rely on the same basic die technology for their cores, even while following moore's law. this is why a high end quad core costs only $400 while long ago far away in the past a 'brand spanking new' 1 ghz chip cost over $1,200. designing new chips has been hit or miss, the itanium is a perfect example of how redesigning something, doesn't always create a viable product.

          the point being, if energy prices go up and up, people will have less disposable income, making technology higher and higher risk. making existing technology work better will always be cheaper and safer, than designing new technology.

          to keep energy costs lower(and thus keep technology moving at a rapid pace), there are 3 solutions i can think of, off hand.

          1. Under Sea Drilling platforms off both arctic and antarctic coasts (under sea so they don't break when the ice forms every winter) the cons are, that nobody (that i know of) has a working undersea drilling platform that is practical. you could go with a telescoping design only producing oil in summer months, or have undersea pipelines to beyond the icy region where tankers can fill up so the 'undersea platforms' can produce year round, underneath the sea.. and possibly a few ideas i haven't though of, the problem with this is it's still dependence on fossil fuels, and putting more co2 into the environment is the last thing we need to be doing.

          2. bio-fuels could start taking up the slack, this is really only feasible if large scale bio-fuel from algae is started, and so far at least one texas energy company is starting a major bio-fuel from algae product cycle. How that company does, might drastically change the face of bio-fuel as an alternative to fossil fuels, if they're successful and profitable.

          3. use less energy. it's simple, just push aside the American car safety standards, so vehicles can be lighter, and use cheaper engines, and mandate fuel efficiency. sure, a lighter car is a death trap if you hit a big truck, or a heavy car, but if all the cars on the road have to meet higher fuel economy targets (like they have to in japan and china) then they're only more dangerous when hitting old 'legacy' vehicles.

          you can easily design an ultralight car that would get well over 120 mpg(without being a hybrid) these guys did. http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/10/loremo_lives_su.php [treehugger.com]

          i don't know how the car does for safety, in crashes. in general, concept cars that get over 120 mpg tend to be labeled as 'death traps' in a crash with conventional cars, and some use expensive technology that will never scale to the mass market.

          cars aren't the only place where we can save energy, but they are a big one, if we'd just say cars can be a lot lighter, even if they're not as safe, just to get better fuel economy. when i owned cars i owned the kind that would have been fatal in any highway collision, yet the type of car accidents i did have, were generally ones involving only me, with 3 exceptions (1 was completely not my fault) and the 3 i did have were at city speeds, not highway.

          the point is we could stop the rise in gasoline prices, just by pushing fuel economy.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by hairyfeet ( 841228 )
        I have to agree. And until they can come out with a burner that isn't crippled with DRM with media that is even close to being as affordable as DVD so I can backup and hand out software without needing to worry about getting it back I'll also have to pass. I personally am hoping that those hologram discs will become affordable,as have 1Tb or more in a hard to damage cartridge makes for a VERY appealing backup solution. Until then I'll stick with DVD. but that is my 02c,YMMV
  • Standards (Score:5, Funny)

    by youthoftoday ( 975074 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @08:46AM (#23626221) Homepage Journal
    How many standards do we need? The ISO should wade in and sort this out ... no wait.
  • by sirwired ( 27582 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @08:49AM (#23626243)
    After the multi-billion dollar (err... Yen) shellacking that Toshiba just took over HD-DVD, I cannot imagine in their wildest dreams that they would try again. The article notes that this is an unconfirmed rumor, and I fully expect that it is just that, a rumor, and one with absolutely no basis in fact.

    SirWired
    • by mrbluze ( 1034940 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @08:59AM (#23626369) Journal

      I cannot imagine in their wildest dreams that they would try again.
      There are probably animated films in japan depicting the kind of repetitive self flagelation that Toshiba is demonstrating. Probably illegal in most countries too.
    • by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @09:07AM (#23626455) Journal

      The article notes that this is an unconfirmed rumor, and I fully expect that it is just that, a rumor, and one with absolutely no basis in fact.

      My money's on this being the result of some moron tech writer who completely misunderstood what was going on when Toshiba announced something like a new line of up-converting DVD players...

      • maybe not (Score:5, Informative)

        by poetmatt ( 793785 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @09:27AM (#23626663) Journal
        Wasn't china working on their own High Def [cdrinfo.com] format? [arstechnica.com]

        Toshiba's name is not absent this list, so I'm guessing this is the same format.
        • Re:maybe not (Score:5, Interesting)

          by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @09:43AM (#23626857) Journal
          China starts lots of projects like this. They serve only to demonstrate to the world how advanced China is, and how they don't need the rest of the world. They spend tons of money to develop far inferior (but domestically developed!) alternatives to easily and cheaply available western technology. It never goes anywhere.

          Their EVD (IIRC) format comes to mind. It was based on incompatible use of DVD tech to give a trivial capacity boost, and the (terribly poor performing yet lower quality than MPEG-2) AVS video codec it used. Considering that JPEG is ancient and patent-free tech, and independently re-implementing inter-frame compression is so simple I could do a halfway decent job of it myself in a week, I'm stunned by how little China has achieved despite how much money they have spent. Large retailers in their own country defy the government mandate to carry them, because demand in nil, and the higher performance and non-standard decoding hardware required is far more expensive.

          I guess I'd better end this rant here...
          • Re:maybe not (Score:5, Informative)

            by cozziewozzie ( 344246 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @10:21AM (#23627323)

            China starts lots of projects like this. They serve only to demonstrate to the world how advanced China is, and how they don't need the rest of the world. They spend tons of money to develop far inferior (but domestically developed!) alternatives to easily and cheaply available western technology. It never goes anywhere.
            Japan started by making inferior knockoffs of Western products, then Taiwan and Korea followed, and they are all high-tech superpowers.

            There are advantages to fostering domestic high-tech development, as you need a lot of experience to play with the big boys. They are educating and employing an army of young scientists end engineer who would otherwise fuck off to the US, Japan and Germany and work for the high-tech companies there. It's a loss in the short-term, but it is the only way to develop a homebrewed high-tech industry.

            You can't expect a Chinese company to catch up with a century of experience that companies like Ford, GM, Toshiba, Matsushita, etc. have. But if you don't try and tread the same path yourself, you will forever be dependent on foreign imports.
            • Re:maybe not (Score:5, Insightful)

              by gad_zuki! ( 70830 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @11:02AM (#23627857)
              Theres a different between a knock-off that can potentially be sold at market and a propaganda tech "win."

              So how's the Dragon PC w/ the People's Linux coming along?
              • Re:maybe not (Score:4, Interesting)

                by cozziewozzie ( 344246 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @11:19AM (#23628059)
                Tell that to Sony, with their long line of tech wins which failed in the market.

                You can make cheap knockoffs forever, or you can try to take initiative and do R&D. Sometimes it will work, a lot of the times, it will turn out to be rubbish, especially when you're just starting in the industry.

                So how's the Dragon PC w/ the People's Linux coming along?
                I don't know, but Lenovo PCs running QQ are all the rage in China. You know, QQ, that tech "win". They should have just used skype. Or purchased from Dell.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by BUL2294 ( 1081735 )

        My money's on this being the result of some moron tech writer who completely misunderstood what was going on when Toshiba announced something like a new line of up-converting DVD players...

        Yeah, they're called HD-DVD players. Seriously, the R&D has already been done--the hardware has been developed, a base format's in place. My personal feeling is that a firmware update is all that's needed for existing HD-DVD players to support this new format. (After all, the compression would probably be less intens

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Based on fact or not, this article has reasonably solid-backing -- this story was run a couple day ago in the Yomiuri Shinbun, which is not only a major newspaper in Japan, but it has the highest newspaper circulation in the world.

      Here's the original article for those that read Japanese:
      http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/net/news/20080529nt05.htm [yomiuri.co.jp]

      Here's a translated article for those that don't:
      http://www.excite.co.jp/world/english/web/?wb_lp=JAEN&wb_dis=2&wb_url=http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/net/news/20080529nt05. [excite.co.jp]
  • Seriously (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rik Sweeney ( 471717 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @08:50AM (#23626263) Homepage
    Who the hell is going to buy this? Even if it proves to be a superior format, Toshiba have already shot themselves in the foot by dropping HD-DVD which they helped create. What's to say they won't drop this format too?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      The same people who have bought HD-DVD and BluRay

      Is the film plot any different than on DVD? No
      Is the film characters any different than on DVD? No

      A bad movie with special effects is a bad movie, a bad movie on BluRay is a bad movie ...

  • Gah (Score:3, Funny)

    by TPJ-Basin ( 763596 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @08:51AM (#23626267) Homepage
    Worst. Idea. Evar.
  • they can cancel their blu-ray player order and just get one of these.
  • by ergo98 ( 9391 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @08:51AM (#23626271) Homepage Journal
    There were some pretty passionate debates on here, however many of the Blu-ray supporters cheered on the demise of HD-DVD, surmising that it would accelerate acceptance, reduce prices, simplify things, allow retailers to focus.

    Here's what happened since HD-DVD caved in-

    • Blu-ray players have gotten more expensive. In some cases, a lot more expensive
    • Blu-ray sales, paradoxically, have collapsed
    • High definition media gets almost no attention
    • Retailers that used to push both Blu-ray and HD-DVD now push....nothing. I find it hard even finding a single Blu-ray player for sale.


    Just thought it worthwhile to take a moment to point out how things actually turned out. It's pretty remarkable, really, but even Blu-ray did better when it had an opponent to fight. After the battle, most just hung up their cares and said "Meh...upscaled DVD is fine".
    • by rob1980 ( 941751 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @08:55AM (#23626321)
      After the battle, most just hung up their cares and said "Meh...upscaled DVD is fine".

      Yeah - having a single high-def format is fine, but to rehash what a lot of people said while the format war was in progress I still don't think it's a killer app for most people the way DVD was over VHS. It's no surprise that Blu-Ray still hasn't taken off the way some had hoped/expected it would.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by engun ( 1234934 )
        Agreed. I see that as one of two main reasons for blue-ray not being adopted as fast as DVD.

        1. DVD media offered great improvement over VHS (no random access, media wear) and VCDs (Poor picture quality, no menus). But what "must have" feature does Blu-Ray offer over DVD? (Sure, the quality is stunning, but DVD quality doesn't exactly make you want to poke your eyes out).

        2. You need high-def TVs to really enjoy blu-ray. That costs a boatload of cash. This is my main personal reason for not even thinkin
    • by SithGod ( 810139 ) <dcanders@umich.edu> on Monday June 02, 2008 @08:57AM (#23626345) Homepage Journal
      While there is no doubt that some of those factors, notably the price, can be chalked up to the decrease of competition, I would say that the new 2.0 Blu-Ray standard is playing a significant role is the lack of players that you're seeing. Most companies don't want to release a player that will be obsolete within a matter of months. The complaints from people about "their player not working like it should" alone should be enough.
      • This is what really sucks about BD. The constantly changing profile spec.

        What is essentially a "movie appliance" should not need to be firmware-upgraded to play a disc. It is just STUPID.

        HDDVD got that right - build all the features into the minimum spec from the get-go.
        • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @10:26AM (#23627387)
          What is essentially a "movie appliance" should not need to be firmware-upgraded to play a disc. It is just STUPID.

          you do realize, though, that EVERY time you watch a movie - that 1 minute delay of 'loading the disc' is really loading and RUNNING executable code, checking for 'bad hardware' that should be REVOKED (ie, your hardware that some corp. entity NOW thinks should be disabled, perhaps even permanently). then finally, once its done being 'undercover cop' it then lets you view the movie. want to see the movie again? same 'cop behavior' all over again.

          I don't own BD and never will. I was at best buy recently and I ejected and reinserted a BD disc. it took nearly a minute to load. I LAUGHED MY ASS OFF. people accept this? really??

          it turns out that any BD drive connected to your network or computer is now the least secure thing ON your network. its all black box and you can't know what damage it might WANT to do to some of your hardware. completely untrusted and there's no 'permit/allow' ability if you are even the system owner - you MUST accept whatever damage the BD software wants to do to your system.

          and all that just to watch a simple movie. it should be a crime, how they conned innocent people into accepting this 'virus-in-a-box' called BD.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Sentry21 ( 8183 )
            This reminds me of what happened with DVDs when they first came out. Ever seen an early DVD disc? One of the ones with four or five movie previews at the start, which publishers configured to be unskippable? So you have to watch them over, and over, every time you want to watch the movie?

            This is also similar to the ads that all HD-DVD discs I've played contain... ads for HD-DVD. 'The look and sound of perfect!' Great, except I already have a damn HD-DVD player! I'm already sold!.

            It seems like studios just d
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by samkass ( 174571 )
      The PS3 remains the most popular Blu-Ray player by far and sales appear to be accelerating. Blu-Ray's win appears to be what vaulted the PS3 to second place and relegated the XBox360 to third in monthly sales. Sales of Blu-Ray discs tripled in early 2008 after HD-DVD disappeared.

      It's true you don't hear about it as much because it's not as new anymore, but I can't find any source that corroborates your assertions.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by WarwickRyan ( 780794 )
        Please could you post references for your assertion? Then you can be modded up and the parent modded down (assuming you're right).
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by fyrie ( 604735 )
          I'd like to see that too. From everything I have read, BluRay has only claimed a small part of HDDVD's sales, and the actual ratio of DVD to HD content has swayed in DVD's direction since the demise of HDDVD.

          Speaking of prices, I'm shocked that the retail price of HDDVDs hasn't gone to fire sale levels. Often Amazon sells the BluRay version for less than the HDDVD version. What up with that?
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ivan256 ( 17499 )
            It's the same thing that happened with laserdisc after it was discontinued. No new content is being made, and old content is getting scarce. People with those players are willing to pay a premium to get the content before it's no longer available.

            A secondary factor is that distributors are giving volume discounts to resellers for BluRay, but HD-DVD isn't selling enough anymore to qualify.
      • by ergo98 ( 9391 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @09:08AM (#23626467) Homepage Journal

        The PS3 remains the most popular Blu-Ray player by far and sales appear to be accelerating. Blu-Ray's win appears to be what vaulted the PS3 to second place and relegated the XBox360 to third in monthly sales.

        No doubt about that -- it is a huge advantage of the PS3. I'm now seeing new XBox 360s for sale sub-$260 (while the PS3 is at the same $399 that it's been at for well over a year), so while Microsoft claimed it wouldn't impact them when HD-DVD failed, I suspect it's going to cost them dearly as they need to try to get sales through price cuts.
    • by SputnikPanic ( 927985 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @09:07AM (#23626463)
      HD-DVD is dead and buried, and if Blu-Ray prices don't go down -- substantially and soon -- Blu-Ray will wither on the vine. I was at Costco this weekend and the two Blu-Ray players for sale there were $379 and $449 for Sony and Panasonic models respectively. At Costco! Not many folks I know going to buy at those prices, especially when the gas station is hitting them for $60 every week...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 02, 2008 @09:08AM (#23626479)
      Unbelieveable bull.

      Over here in EU what has happened:

      - Player prices have dropped, several manufacturers have come up with new devices and many of them are fast, silent and possess a great upscaler for old movies.
      - BluRay disc sales have multiplied in the past 6 first months of this year.
      - HD gets constant attention, especially in combination with new flat screen tvs, digital television and PS3/X360.
      - I keep getting "Get new BluRay player" and "PS3 with BluRay!" ALL the time from almost every imaginable media from print to TV to radio.

      I don't know where you live in but over here BluRay is doing just fine and things are picking up nicely.
      • by ergo98 ( 9391 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @09:15AM (#23626541) Homepage Journal

        Unbelieveable bull.

        Here's what happened after Blu-ray won. [nytimes.com]

        Player prices have dropped? Maybe your stronger Euro is misleading you, but there have been no price drops. Quite the opposite. Blu-ray players used to be freebies with sets, and you'd get a bunch of discs, and there were endless promotions and price cuts. Last I can see, there's zero promotions, and prices average over $400.

        BluRay disc sales have multiplied in the past 6 first months of this year

        I Am Legend almost singlehandedly accounted for a spike in the minuscule sales totals for Blu-ray.
        • Alternately... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Moraelin ( 679338 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @10:51AM (#23627695) Journal

          Player prices have dropped? Maybe your stronger Euro is misleading you, but there have been no price drops.


          Alternately, all you're seeing is the effects of your Dollar's free fall.

          Look, if it were just the Euro getting strong, it would be just the Euro getting strong. The fact is that the Canadian dollar is now worth a little more than 1 US Dollar, and has been for a while. Up from a little over 60 US cents, back in early 2000's. Even an Australian Dollar is slowly aproaching parity with the USD. Up from 47 US cents in 2001. Etc.

          I don't think the strength of the Euro plays that much influence in those economies.

          So basically I'm just saying that if the whole rest of the world seems to be going upwards fast, it isn't. It's you going downwards.

          And with or without HD-DVD competition, you'd still have a dollar in freefall. It drives all import prices up over time.
    • by spectrokid ( 660550 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @09:09AM (#23626491) Homepage
      Remember the floppy disc? As it became more older and senile, there was a frantic rush to find a replacement. The Zip drive was the closest contestant, but Iomega refused to let a tidal wave of cheap OEM drives loose on the public. So the floppy was replaced by ... nothing. CD's, were used for software distribution, tape for backup, the net for sneakernet and the memory stick for booting. Expect the same to happen here. UPNP media players and the net will kick Blue-ray's ass.
    • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @12:07PM (#23628617)
      Blu-ray players have gotten more expensive. In some cases, a lot more expensive

      The PS3 has not got any more expensive.

      The Sony BDP-S300 [amazon.com] is not any more expensive.

      You try to deceive by including the introduction of very expensive high-end Blu-Ray players from companies uncommitted before HD-DVD folded.

      Blu-ray sales, paradoxically, have collapsed

      Only if you think disc sales being lower from Christmas to the start of the year as an odd thing. In reality, Blu-Ray disc sales are now week to week generally about 9% of standard DVD sales and climbing. In anticipation of your next argument, Blu-Ray disc sales also long ago eclipsed online movie sales and growing more rapidly than that segment.

      High definition media gets almost no attention

      From who? Consumers are buying HD-TV's in droves. PS3 sales are up, along with Blu-Ray media sales. You may not care, but you are simply sticking your head in the sand to absorb the tears from the loss of your dear HD-DVD.

      Retailers that used to push both Blu-ray and HD-DVD now push....nothing. I find it hard even finding a single Blu-ray player for sale.

      Unless you go into Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Target, etc. Now you are just a parody of yourself as anyone with even a sliver of shopping experience has seen Blu-Ray discs and players in big box stores.

      Former HD-DVD supporters are so pathetically transparent...

      I myself only got a Blu-Ray player at the beginning of the year, and have but a few discs - I have no great commitment to the format myself but can realize it's the next video format, just as it was easy to do before the war even started because of studio support.

      However as marginal my own interest in the format may be, I cannot let complete fabrications by those who would damage the whole HD media market with outright slander and fabrications go unchecked. As a movie lover I would prefer the HD media market remain healthy so we get more good quality transfers. If you loved movies yourself you would abate your attacks which cause only harm, and for what - revenge on Sony? So not worth your time.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by DrXym ( 126579 )
      * Blu-ray players have gotten more expensive. In some cases, a lot more expensive / *Blu-ray sales, paradoxically, have collapsed / * High definition media gets almost no attention / * Retailers that used to push both Blu-ray and HD-DVD now push....nothing. I find it hard even finding a single Blu-ray player for sale.

      I can summarise the above far more succinctly for you:

      • January, February, March, April and May happened.

      As shocking as this may seem. Sales of consumer electronics take a dump in the firs

  • Details (Score:5, Funny)

    by whisper_jeff ( 680366 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @08:51AM (#23626275)
    ...but there's not a lot of details.

    Which, of course, means it's a perfect candidate for a Slashdot article...
  • by cp.tar ( 871488 ) <cp.tar.bz2@gmail.com> on Monday June 02, 2008 @08:53AM (#23626299) Journal

    DVDs are way more sensitive to damage than CDs, which were not that robust in the first place. It seems to me that every new optical format will be progressively more sensitive to scratches and other kinds of surface damage/warping.

    While my need for high-capacity data storage is ever-growing, just like everybody else's, I don't put much hope into optical media anymore.
    I just buy a new hard drive, swap it out and put stuff on it.
    It's faster, more reliable and takes up less space. It's just a bit less portable, is all.

    The only way I'm getting a Blu-Ray or any other contender format, current or future, is if my new laptop comes with a compatible drive. Otherwise... I don't really care, and I doubt it that I ever will.

    • by cosinezero ( 833532 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @09:25AM (#23626641)
      "DVDs are way more sensitive to damage than CDs, which were not that robust in the first place."

      -->I keep hearing this from people... do you all not remember magnetic tape?

      CDs and DVDs are virtually invincable, compared to VHS and cassette that they replace. And really, if you take care of it, it is quite robust.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      DVDs are way more sensitive to damage than CDs, which were not that robust in the first place. It seems to me that every new optical format will be progressively more sensitive to scratches and other kinds of surface damage/warping.

      1. Make a sensitive product
      2. Make backing up your movies/music/data illegal
      3. Wait for the first scratch
      4. ...
      5. You have to buy that Disney movie your kids love so much over and over again.

      It's a crappy business plan, IMHO, but it seems to be headed in that direction.

  • by SputnikPanic ( 927985 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @08:54AM (#23626305)
    It's over. Move on.
  • About time (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Erich ( 151 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @08:57AM (#23626353) Homepage Journal
    You can easily fit HD video on DVD media using H.264 compression. The only reason you need the storage of HD-DVD or Blu-Ray is if you:
    1. Want to force customers to buy new, expensive players instead of minor DSP/Firmware upgrades to existing player designs
    2. Want to force customers to have a difficult time making their own HD media because Blu-Ray writable media and burners are too expensive.
    3. Believe that by making the size larger that pirates can't figure out how to transcode to a smaller formant before posting on the internet (and that 30G images are too big to download)
    4. Want to be able to ship many movies on a single disc... but that doesn't seem to be happening
    The companies could have come up with a new format using better compression. Players would be marginally more expensive because of increased decode processing, but in general I think you'd see $30 DVD players become $35 DVD/HD players very fast because of the very marginal increase in capabilities needed.

    Oh well.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Great points. People are drawn to the latest and greatest of technology but I think Blu-ray is just a bit too expensive to take advantage of this. The leap is just too far to justify it in the minds of most people. I think an increase in quality for a slight increase in price might be able to hit a sweet spot that more consumers would be willing to go for that otherwise would just stick with standard dvds.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You can easily fit HD video on DVD media using H.264 compression. The only reason you need the storage of HD-DVD or Blu-Ray is if you:

      1) Want to include a higher bitrate encoding so that banding/compression artifacts are kept to a minimum
      2) Want to include lossless audio

      I've downloaded several movies that have been recompressed to DVD5/DVD9, and though they look pretty good, they still exhibit signs that they've been recompressed. In many cases, they're better than what you'd get via HD cable or satel
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Blu-ray discs already *use* H.264 (usually; some use VC-1). They just use absurdly high bitrates to compensate (partially) for the fact that the encoders they use are extremely inefficient.
    • Re:About time (Score:5, Insightful)

      by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @09:20AM (#23626591) Journal

      You can easily fit HD video on DVD media using H.264 compression.

      You can easily fit ANY resolution video, on ANY sized media, using ANY lossy codec. You can have HD video on a floppy disk using MPEG-1.

      With lossy codecs, the lower the bitrate, the more visual information will be discarded (quantized) to make it fit the available bitrate. There's no magic that will wipe away the 5X increase in storage size that Blu-ray has over DVD. Highdef on DVD will simply look less detailed (more smooth), with the appearance of more compression artifacts like color banding.
    • Re:About time (Score:5, Insightful)

      by terjeber ( 856226 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @09:42AM (#23626829)

      You can easily fit HD video on DVD media using H.264 compression

      Bzzzt! Wrong! Of course you can't. You don't need 25 or 50G to encode, but you can not encode an HD movie onto a standard DVD with any known or theoretically envisioned codec. 90 minutes of video encoded at 15Mb/s would not fit on a dual layer DVD and 15Mb/s would yield a very poor quality HD result. Good quality HD requires 20-25Mb/s bitrate, which would require media storing 15G or more.

      The companies could have come up with a new format using better compression

      Please enlighten us oh-wise-one, what encoders would that be, and how would they encode three times better than H.264 or VC-1? Also, if they existed, how would players decode them in real time without adding massively more expensive hardware to the mix?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by halcyon1234 ( 834388 )

      Want to be able to ship many movies on a single disc... but that doesn't seem to be happening

      Yeah, that's not ever happening until there's some serious housecleaning in the marketing department.

      Masters of Horror was a series that was 13 1-hour episodes. Each episode was a different anthology-esque tale told by a different horror movie director. Because it was so diverse, not every fan liked the same episodes. But they liked the series overall. The 13th episode was ultra violent, and was either never aire

  • by Kokuyo ( 549451 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @09:00AM (#23626381) Journal
    I didn't read TFA, but since heise.de just brought an anouncement that Toshiba is planning to kill Blu-Ray by introducing a normal DVD player with enhanced upscaling... Is this the same thing or are they betting on two horses?

    The heise article is here: http://www.heise.de/newsticker/Toshiba-setzt-Kampf-gegen-Blu-ray-Disc-mit-einem-DVD-Player-fort--/meldung/108830 [heise.de]
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Zelos ( 1050172 )
      Enhanced upscaling? Is that going to be like in Hollywood movies where they press someone says "Enhance" and the techie guy magically turns a blurry 640x480 CCTV shot into a perfect 20 Megapixel image?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by bloodninja ( 1291306 )
        The interpolation (or however it is called) in the Enhanced Zoom plugin for Compiz almost seems like that 'enhance' technology of the movies. Try it and see how clear 480x640 pictures can be when they fill up a 1680x1050 monitor. I'd really like to know how that works, and being open source, anybody who understands that stuff can.
  • by N8F8 ( 4562 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @09:01AM (#23626389)
    It's as simple as that. I'll steal content via Bittorrent before I give a penny to Sony. I have a pretty huge DVD collection and was starting to buy HD-DVD. But I REFUSE to pay Sony for their anti-competitive practices and consumer-unfriendly products.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by db32 ( 862117 )
      You do realize that you probably just signed yourself up for some hate from the Sony Fanclub? I really liked the PS1 and PS2, but Sony seems to be back to inspecting their own colon again. Beta, Minidisk, MemoryStickDuo, and now BluRay. It's like these assholes can't get enough of themselves. Not to mention my Sony fanboy friend has a Sony digital camera on top of all his other Sony shit and that piece of crap that uses some strange video codec. I have been able to play videos off of that damned camera
    • Blu-Ray, unlike HD-DVD, was never a one-company pony. Buy a Samsung Player if you are unable to separate your irrational hatred from practical buying decisions.
  • by Midnight Thunder ( 17205 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @09:05AM (#23626425) Homepage Journal
    While I didn't expect Toshiba to be the company to announce the next-next generation format (especially this soon), there are certainly other formats in the wings. The future formats are based on 'holographic memory', with the 'Holographic Versatile Disc [wikipedia.org] (HVD) being one of them. The HVD promises 3.9 TB of storage, but with a price tag of around $15000 for a drive and $180 for a disk, this puts it clearly in range of companies with the needs and the money.

    Myself I am just sitting waiting for affordable rewritable versions (this include Blu-Ray) to become available for PCs.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 02, 2008 @09:05AM (#23626431)
    But I actually read the article.

    Its just a DVD player with built in upscaling capabilities.

    See where it says

    "One Japanese report appeared to suggest that the new technology would be able produce much higher-resolution images from existing DVDs, but did not address the apparent impossibility of this claim.

    The modified DVD format relies on a newly-developed large scale integrated circuit chip to rapidly convert the stored video, but no technical details were released."

    Not a new format, just HD-DVD/Blu-Ray resolution output

    Basically doing in the DVD Player what many TV's do internally.

  • I don't care anymore, SSD will probably become cheaper than Blu-Ray in a few years.
  • TFA misses the point (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    It's actually about DVD players with better upscalers. There is no new format or anything like that.
  • According to heise.de [heise.de] (German only, sorry), Toshiba will release a DVD player equipped with a Cell processor that will upscale the DVD content. That article only talks of "DVD" all the time, there's no mention of a new format.
  • I'm not really a believer that physical format is going to give way to digital downloads in the next 10 years, but by the time this format comes to market, unless it's considered next-gen to Bluray, I think Bluray will be too entrenched. Look at how little impact Bluray and HD-DVD had for the first two years or so. So assume it takes three years to develop and get a product line, then another two years to have any kind of market impact, we'll be 5 years out and then people really will start to feel that h
  • I hear that the new format will be called High-Definition DVD, or HD-DVD, and it will be major competition for blu-ray. At stores, you'll see them both right next to each other on the shelves, confusing consumers until some point when one of the two formats goes away.... er wait, what?
  • by moxley ( 895517 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @09:14AM (#23626531)
    Well, I guess this is one way to do DRM - Just release a shitty new standard every year and watch it fail. After aother year headly anyone will be able to play the stuff, let alone take the time to track down tools to decode it.
  • toshiba is indeed creating a new DVD player, yes, this is true. and indeed, the DVD player they are making will not be blu-ray... it will be x-ray, a decepticon character for the upcoming transformers 2 movie [aintitcool.com]. its gimmicky product placement

    so everyone calm down, this is merely a movie technology villain, not a villain of movie technology. i mean yes, it is a technology villain from a movie, not a villainous movie tech, i mean... oh forget it
  • I don't get it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Charcharodon ( 611187 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @11:13AM (#23628005)
    They should have just come out with a format of 720p instead of getting into a pissing contest over 1080p. I would have been cheaper to develop for, and for the customer to upgrade to. Hell most 720p movies would have probably easily fit on a DVD (or two, or five for LotR director's cut) once you dumped all the pointles extras that noone watches more than once.

    You're average home theater customer would have been thrilled and it all would have stuck with the planned obsolescence in five/ten years to sell us 1080p

  • by lilfields ( 961485 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @12:13PM (#23628685) Homepage
    I don't know why Toshiba would chase this medium, it will be dead much faster than DVD...the next medium is obviously digital downloads and as of now I'd say that Microsoft and Apple both have this market close at heart right now...between iTunes and the Live Marketplace. Once we get a larger proportion of high speed internet coverage (which will probably be a result of wireless coverage [ie Google? Verizon, AT&T]) The biggest beneficiaries of this will be Microsoft and DivX, because of their compression technologies...on the hardware side, Level 3 Communications and anyone with dark fiber will benefit. Sony and Toshiba are chasing an already doomed market...if I were Toshiba I would reevaluate my position and look towards making set-top boxes for such an adaption. If anyone wonders why Microsoft hasn't pushed Blu-Ray into their Xbox line, look no further than the Live marketplace. I'd expect in the next 5 years, HD for downloads will be as common as downloading from iTunes...Blu-Ray? More like Apple TV, TiVo or Xbox.

    To anyone who says that we still need a portable medium for market laggards (example: Grandparents)(other portable mediums will probably be flash based/iPod, Zune), I'd expect they'd still be buying DVDs, that market isn't going to die anytime soon...I doubt they will be upgrading to Blu-Ray

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