Blu-ray wins the format wars as HD-DVD is axed by Toshiba.
beetle120 (2320), Feb 28, 2008
After years of the Blu-ray vs HD-DVD wars, Blu-ray has proved victorious after the HD-DVD founder, Toshiba, said that continuing to support the failed format was damaging the industry as a whole and so they have decided to axe the format. Toshiba stopped manufacturing HD-DVD players soon after the announcement and it is believed that the few remaining studios supporting the format will move to Blu-ray as there contracts with HD-DVD run out.
Recently Microsoft announced they will stop manufacturing the HD-DVD attachment for the Xbox 360 and have expressed that they may be making Blu-ray attachment in the future.
A major reason for the Blu-ray success is the inclusion of the player in all of the Sony PS3s as it managed to get about 10 million Blu-ray players to consumers.
I'm not happy about all this, even though I haven't gone HD yet. BluRay was launched with inferior spec to HD (bigger discs, but less it could do with them) and only produced the required updates a year later. Many early machines don't support these changes, so early adopters will one day miss out on extra features. When you spend $600 or whatever on a new piece of hardware which has rivals, you accept that your machine could fail to take off, but you've got a right to expect a sustainable system. It's also a shame that the region-locked system has succeeded, meaning that European customers still have to wait for films and other things to be released. I've just got to work out whether I hate Sony or Microsoft more, before deciding whether Microsoft losing a bit is a bigger deal than Sony winning a lot....
Martin Smith Wrote:
Aren't all those extra specifications just worthless fluff that gets in the way of doing what the disc is all about – watching movies? I find a normal DVD over-specced as it is. So I'll much rather take extra storage capacity (which should mean better picture) than useless interactivity and online features.
The most troubling thing is that future players/firmware (2.0) will require an active internet function for users to watch movies. Internet down... no movie tonight. I'll stick with regular dvd's and drm-free digital files.
Where did you hear this? 2.0 discs will have additional features that will only work with Internet access, but I don't think that any discs will be made that require it for just watching the movie.
Sorry, you're right. I based that on one of the BluRay drafts but it appears it will not apply to the playback of the regular movies. My bad.
Yes, if all you want is to watch the movie (and even most/all extras) there's no problem with the 1.0 players; some of the stuff you'll be missing is the ability to have audio commentaries with picture in picture ability, and you won't be able to connect to the internet to download additional content. That's pretty much it. Also some early players don't support all of the hi-def audio formats, so you might be stuck with lossy DTS and Dolby Digital instead of the newer lossless counterparts.
Also, blu-ray has higher bandwidth than HD-DVD; this will also help improve picture/sound since higher bitrates can be used for both (with double layer HD-DVD discs, bandwidth could potentially provide a bigger obstacle than disc space).
Is there any possibility for this to have some kind of impact in the prices?
Sure it will. You'll be able to buy an HD-DVD player for a handful of bucks in no time. But you won't be able to do much with it in the future...
>>But you won't be able to do much with it in the future...
Well, can't you use the HD-DVD Players as to play normal DVDs in an higher quality? There seems to be some "upscaling" possible. I think I've raead it some, but I'm not sure ...
So it may be an option for all those cheapskates that still watch their DVDs on the computer ( like me ;) )
You can do that with some DVD players and recorders, but I'm not sure if HD or Blu-Ray systems have that feature. As they probably get a cut on all High-Def discs sold, why would they want to maximise the quality of standard DVDs? In any case, I think the upscaling quality is usually somewhere in between DVD and High-Def.
It'll be a while before Blu-Ray really takes over. You need an large HD TV to get the best out of them - not ideal if you live in a small flat or generally watch films on a 21" (or smaller) monitor. Until PCs come with Blu-Ray as standard (and I believe only Vista supports them), DVDs won't go the way of the video. I can't help wondering if the lack of HD disc recorders is a ploy to keep the sales of pre-recorded discs high?
Well this finally means that, in two or three years when the prices come down to a reasonable level, I'll be able to buy me a Blu-ray player!
To me, this only signifies that the format war has ended and that the bigwigs can focus on slowly turning Blu-ray into what DVDs have become.
Ugh, I don't really care about HD-DVD or Blu-Ray. To me the DVD is just fine. I think these companies love to create insubstantial changes so they can push new expensive hardware and force consumers to buy the next latest gadget along with the entire library of whatever all over again (be it movies, music or whatever). I'm not impressed.
You know that DVDs replaced video cassettes at some point. So what's the problem with Blu-ray discs replacing DVDs? Especially when you would probably need 4 or maybe 5 DVDs for next gen games. The only thing that sucks about them is probably the price.
Well, for gaming purposes and for data backup these higher capacity disks are great. To be honest it is a little stunning that not even ten years ago we considered 500-700MB install sizes "bloated", and nowadays 4GB is starting to be considered "petite".
I think the major difference here on the media side of things is that VHS (and to a lesser extent, Beta) were around for a good 20+ years before they were superseded by DVD. The format was so established that you could practically find any kind of media production produced for film or television available for it, the only real international barrier to its use was whether the footage was in PAL or NTSC format.
The DVD format has been established for a good ten years now and a lot of content has been transferred over from VHS to DVD in that time. That being said, there are still productions that either I personally, or someone within my circle or friends and family, want to acquire that are still only on VHS. Also with the region code system (plus the fact that the PAL/NTSC gulf stills stands to this day) I have less of an opportunity to watch films from other countries than I did previously.
I expect that I will to have to reacquire my library yet again for Blu-Ray, and it will probably be even less complete than it was for DVD. I also believe that Blu-Ray will have shorter life span than DVD with 2160i/p (Super HD) and 4320i/p (Ultra HD) resolutions already on the horizon and the fact that computer hard drive storage, having increased recently up to 1TB in size, will require higher capacity optical disks soon for those individuals who wish to back up a serious portion of the data that they have on their (presently huge, soon to be merely adequate) hard disks as WD and the other storage companies progress further into Terabyte Country. 50GB (dual layer Blu-Ray) will start to look pretty small sooner rather than later.
On the plus side, the price for Blu-Ray products should come down fairly substantially over the next few years now that the format war is over.
I actually prefer vhs over dvd.Yes you have to rewind and fastforward but it is so easy to rewind that you jusst push the rewind button and a couple minutes later your movie is rewound. Vhs has a huge advantage where the next time you start the movie your at the same spot. You don't need to go through the unskipable copyrights and through the titles and search for that exact spot because with vhs your already there. A vhs tape is much more durable and reliable than dvd. I highly prefer vhs over dvd.
jeff shyminsky Wrote:
While I agree with you "unskippable" copyrights/previews/etc on DVDs are very annoying... the majority of discs I have viewed don't feature them thankfully. When I stop a movie on either my hardware dvd player or my software dvd player (PowerDVD), it remembers the position and will resume there as long as I don't eject. But that's a feature of the player, without that... I find it just as easy to remember the time code and punch it in to get to the EXACT spot I want (I often have this problem when I have to clean a disc).
As for durability, you are correct to a degree. However a VHS ribbon will degrade every single time it's read (viewed) by the VCR heads. Those same heads can get dirty and pass that dirt onto the ribbon or get jammed and get the ribbon caught in them. CDs and DVDs have different problems, but they probably end up being similar in the long term.
I'm with mobiusclimber. I don't get why Blue-ray is better than regular dvd. I think picture quality depends on the type of dvd player you use. I mostly use my PS2 to watch dvd's, but they have slightest hint of grain in the picture. When I use my pc they look perfect. I still have a vcr and some movies I play on it look better than some dvd's I've bought. Though I suppose the graininess is hidden because I use AV cables for my vcr. I use S-video for my PS2. One odd thing I wanted to mention: I have the X-files movie on tape, and I barely have to cut up the volume to hear it. It's realy loud. Then I have Larence of Arabia on dvd. And I have to turn it up to almost 40 to hear it. I play it with my PS2. I know older movies tend to be quiet, but I still cant figure it out. Shouldn't the dvd be louder ?
It all depends on how a film's soundtrack is mastered.
The thing is, I agree that going to DVD was an upgrade from VHS. I agree that CDs are better than tapes (but not better than records, and anyone who knows anything about sound fidelity will tell you the same thing, CDs don't reproduce the same range as vinyl). But most formats have their own special built in raison d'etre. Blu Ray is basically "we have more storage and the picture is clearer!" Well, most movies don't need that much storage and the picture quality of a DVD is just fine to my eyes. Sure a Blu Ray, if it weren't so bloody expensive, would be a great way to get series or seasons of TV shows. You could cram everything onto one disc. Unfortunately, this probably isn't any cheaper since the medium isn't cheaper. Again, they probably do have their place as far as gaming is concerned (though I frankly am not that interested in Next Gen gaming). But why does Blu Ray have to take over DVDs? I don't see the use for it as far as a regular movie is concerned. Why should I have to pay $50 to watch Rain Man when I can see it for $5 out of the Walmart bargain bin? How can ANYONE justify to DVD owners having to replace their entire collection of films with Blu Ray "just cuz we're electronics manufacturers and we want more money." Nonsense.
Blind people never understood the point in going from VHS to DVD either.
Well, call me a Luddite, but I won't be making the switch to Blu-ray when/if it replaces DVD as the norm. Guess I'll just get more reading done.
Just been picking up a few HD-DVD's on the cheap now that the format has lost its place. I certainly wouldn't have had an interest otherwise, it's all far too expensive. Still, having watched the HD experience compared to a standard DVD, the potential is there to really add something new and exciting to the industry, especially in terms of interactivity.
CD's don't play the same range as vinyl, they play a much greater range (frequency and dynamic)
DVD resolution is 720x480, blu-ray is 1920x1080; that is an extremely significant increase in detail! 345600 pixels vs. 2073600 pixels!!! But resolution isn't the only improvement; dvd suffers from significant compression artifacts. The additional space, and possibly more important, the additional bandwidth combined with improved codecs allow the picture quality to make huge improvements at any resolution. Also, the sound capabilities are a vast improvement as well, many discs featuring uncompressed high resolution audio.
Keep in mind this is a new technology, prices will drop in a few years. When DVD was introduced, players were typically in the $1000 range and movies were usually around $40.Blu-ray is priced similarly to how DVD was; DVD didn't take off until several years after it was introduced.
You don't have to rebuy a single disc; any blu-ray player will play dvd's, often with better quality than most dvd players as they upsample rather well. It's even easier this time, you can play your entire old format collection and new format collection with a single player! With dvd, you had to keep around that VHS machine if you wanted to continue to play your old collection.
Exactly. Many people here seem to have forgotten that the main reason for the new formats was to be able to release material in HD resolutions. Compare movies that are out on DVD and BR/HDDVD, and I think I know which one you will pick. Personally, I am no HDTV addict, but it's easy to see why you would rather see something in HD resolution than your standard PAL/NTSC.
Actually, that is not correct and physically not really possible. But even on a Hi-Fi system you wouldn't notice one being of better quality than the other. The limitations are different, and there are some psychoacoustic arguments as to why the limitations of Vinyl are less grave for human hearing than the limitations of digital formats like CDDA, but enough blind tests have proven that CDDA quality is transparent for almost all people on all systems in all cases. There are better formats out there (like SACD I believe) but unless your Hi-Fi is worth more than your car, it's not of much use. I'm all for Vinyl, but for different reasons having to do with a true love and fascination for music as a whole :)
Daniel Saner Wrote:
Why not? Most sources I've seen quote vinyl (in practice) as having a dynamic range around 60-70db compared to CD's 96db. I forget frequency numbers offhand...comparing analog to digital doesn't work well necessarily and even then it's definitely more complicated than a simple numbers comparison, but everything else being equal you'd be able to do a lot more with a typical cd than a typical record. In practice the physical characteristics of the record would greatly limit it's abilities. There are really dozens of other factors too which would determine which format ends up being better (from how the music was originally recorded, quality of the vinyl, how well (and how) it was converted to digital, and so on). SACD and DVD-Audio both sound much better than CD's and you just need some decent speakers for listening (doesn't need to cost more than your car!!) but unfortunutely many modern recordings (pop/rock music at least) don't even take advantage of CD's capabilities making SACD and DVD-A a joke, but older recordings sound amazing in these formats (I have many of both).
What's the point on Blu-Ray anyway?, solid state is going to be probably cheaper, faster, smaller and harder in less than 5 years. I even wonder if Nintendo is returning to cartridges for their next console. At least pendrives of 16Gb should be very cheap by then.
Nothing will ever be cheaper than pressing discs. And it's not as though access time is a problem with DVDs.
It might be useful for handhelds though. Spinning discs around is quite energy consuming.
Thats why Nintendo has had such succsess with Game Boy and the DS. No moving parts means really long battery life. It's what has broken every other handheld competitor Nintendo has had.
I don't know, I have never thought while watching a movie that: "Man, I wish I had more pixels." So this kind of thing seems rather unnecessary to me.
So how will Xbox 360 deal with this? AFAIK the 360 was the one who championed HD-DVD. Are those people who bought 360 just for the sake of Mass Effect really screwed now? First they hear that the console exclusive part was a lie from the beginning and then their HD-DVD drive gets fucked up too.
DANIEL HAWKS ! Wrote:
I didn't know that the Lynx, Gamegear or Wonderswan had moving parts.
The only disc-based handheld I can think of is the PSP.
They didn't. They all reqired six double a batteries. The systems drained them in about two hours. I'm just saying that moving parts in a handheld tends to drain the battery quickly. Like the PSP.