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Curious about HD-DVD and Blu-Ray? Well wait until you hear about HVD...

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#1 of 100 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted February 03 2005 - 09:00 PM

If you have not yet heard, there is a battle going for which format will become the next generation DVD standard.

At first HD-DVD looked to be the front runner even though it offered the smallest increase of maximum storage capability (30GB) over standard DVD (9GB), but then Blu-Ray came around and decided to support WMV and so with its larger storage capacity (50GB – with future plans of 100GB discs) it appeared to take the lead – at least in performance.

Well HVD now appears ready to obliterate both of these formats, at least in regards to performance.

How so? Well to start HVD discs have already been demonstrated with 200GB storage capacity, with 1TB discs expected to be developed very shortly. (that is equivalent to 100 dual layer DVDs, 35 HD-DVDs, and 20 Blu-Ray DVDs) On top of its massive storage capacity, HVD also offers transfer speeds greater than 1GB per second – 40 times that of standard DVD. It doesn’t end there. There are already plans for a 4TB disc which would be enough storage capacity to have nearly 1000 movies in 480p, or about 200 movies in HD on one disc.

So what is HVD and how does it differ from the other optical discs?

HVD stands for Holographic Versatile Disc. The technology behind HVD is based on Optware's exclusive servo system and CHDSS (Collinear Holographic Data Storage System) which Hideyoshi Horimai, founder of Optware Corp., originally developed back in 1999.

Collinear holography uses a 532-nanometer green laser to read holographic data on a disc. The light from the laser is split into two beams. Data to be recorded is encoded onto one of the beams while the other beam is used as a reference. The two beams interfere with each other inside the disc's recording layer, thus creating a three-dimensional hologram composed of data fringes, and in this way data is stored.

HVD is the same size of a standard DVD (12cm):

Posted Image

If you look closely at the surface of a HVD disc you can see multiplexed holographic data patterns along the tracks:

Posted Image

The disc structure starts with a substrate with a preformatted pitted aluminum top layer. This is used to store servo data and is read by a red laser. This enables accurate tracking of the disc. A dichroic mirror is laid on top of that with a small gap between it and the next layer which is a photo polymer and where the data is recorded. The mirror reflects the green laser but is transparent to the red laser. In this way it is able to stop the scattering of light within the disc that would otherwise cause noise and deteriorate the signal quality. The last layer is a protective substrate.

Now for those that think this is only vaporware, make no mistake about it – this is a very real technology with working models being demonstrated over the last few months. The first demonstration of both a recording and playback of a HVD disc was back in August of last year.

To further emphasize how real this technology is, back in January the Ecma created a technical committee (TC44) to develop a standardization strategy for Holographic Information Storage (HIS) systems and HVD.

Just this week six major companies announced that they had formally created the HVD Alliance in order to advance the development of HVD and promote it throughout the marketplace.

The companies that currently make up the HVD Alliance are:
  • Optware
  • FujiFilm
  • CMC Magnetics
  • Nippon Paint
  • Pulstec Industrial
  • Toagosei
The following are six additional companies involved with the development of HVD:
  • Texas Instruments
  • Micron Technology
  • InPhase Technologies
  • Konica
  • Memory-Teck
  • Aprillis
In fact even Sony appears to be showing interest in HVD or some form of it. Back in July Sony placed an order from Optware for a holographic optical disc read/write equipment that uses Optware's patented collinear holographic system. Sony's blue laser diode with external cavity (for holographic data storage) will be used for the system's laser source. I have not yet herd anything on how that project is developing.

As for estimated costs, last year Optware suggested that they were going to initially offer HVD for enterprise and developmental applications for about $20,000 and about $100 per disc. They also said they expect to offer a consumer HVD product by 2007 for under $3,000.

#2 of 100 OFFLINE   Tony Stark

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Posted February 03 2005 - 09:39 PM

This sounds like pure marketing. Great if its real, but man this reads of snake oil all the way around.

Holographic storage, a dream for many decades, is the Holy Grail. But many leaders in this area just cant get consistent sustainable cost effective products out the door.

Inphase (http://www.inphase-t...com/technology/) announced many years ago a holographic system, but they havenot been able to make it out of the prototype stage. Other companies have done the same but nothing ever leaves the lab (remember the crystal data cube techology?).

Notably most of the alliance is by chip/component suppliers, not the powerhouse consumer product manufacturers (Sony, Phillips, ect.). [Yes, I realize they are supporing another format and likley would not be listed here.]

I wish and hope this is true, but after reading false start and false start of this technilogy since the mid-80's I find it hard to accept.

#3 of 100 OFFLINE   Seth--L



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Posted February 03 2005 - 11:51 PM

CNET has a story on it:


They say that "HVD is a possible successor to technologies such as Blu-ray and HD DVD," so I guess we shouldn't expect to see it in our homes anytime soon.
Well - There it is.
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#4 of 100 OFFLINE   RobertR


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Posted February 04 2005 - 02:11 AM

To paraphrase a line from Jerry Maguire, "show me the movies" (On HVD).

#5 of 100 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted February 04 2005 - 03:23 AM

How does 2007 sound? At least that was their announced target date back in August. Since then HVD development has only moved faster than ever before. Judging by HVD's working models and the support it has been getting from many influential industry players as well as from numerous corporations I would not be the least bit surprised if they do indeed meet their target date and roll out a consumer based HVD device by 2007. However, I also believe that the initial application of HVD will be as a recording and storage device. I do not believe the studios will immediately release any titles on HVD. Most have already announced upcoming releases on either HD-DVD or Blu-Ray and the production cost of HVD discs would not be cost effective for releasing single titles on - at least for a few years. As a recording and storage device the story is quite different, especially with their planned 1TB and 4TB discs. Speaking as someone with an unwieldy DVD collection, the thought of possibly being able to store my entire collection of standard DVDs on just a few HVD discs has peaked my interest. In fact it was reported that Sony’s early plan for HVD was to develop it into a consumer video recorder which would have the capability to record hundreds of hours of material off cable/satellite on one disc. At currently projected pricing, the cost could end up being less than $0.10 per GB, possibly even lower than $0.05 per GB. (not including the player/recorder) which would also make it a solid economical choice as well, even for early adopters. For instance if I wanted to put my entire DVD collection onto hard drives I would need at least 15 1TB drives which currently sell for about $1,000 a piece for a total of around $15,000. At the current projected price I would be able to accomplish the same thing, but for less than $4,500 and as my collection continues to grow each additional 1TB HVD disc would only cost about $100 compared to about $1,000 for a 1TB hard drive. Even if I were to ignore the complexity of linking and managing 15 1TB drives, the costs alone would make HVD a welcome solution for media storage.

#6 of 100 OFFLINE   Ernest Rister

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Posted February 04 2005 - 03:54 AM

Why would someone need 1 TB of data to store a High-Def movie? That's like using a giant ice chest to keep a single egg cool.

#7 of 100 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted February 04 2005 - 04:05 AM

You know what? All this technology is just duckie! ....but it just adds to the mess that is already facing High Definition DVD. The problem is studio and manufacturer greed that will continue to throw all these formats to the consumer rather than everyone agreeing on one format. Not one title has been released on a High-Def optical format as of yet, and at the moment I am already personally disinterested and will remain so until everybody gets their act together. By the way, to remain on topic, I am very impressed with the HVD specs and would love nothing more for that format to be the clear choice....but then again, read my rant above.


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#8 of 100 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted February 04 2005 - 05:00 AM

Cute analogy, but flawed just the same. Posted Image

I don't think anyone has yet suggested that studios would use a 1TB disc to store a single HD film. HVD currently has plans for five different disc capacities (100GB, 200GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 4TB). Considering this I would suspect that if/when studios release single titles on HVD they would opt for the smaller capacity dics as they will undoubtedly be less expensive.

That said, it is expected that in less than seven years we will see consumer level '4K' resolution displays for which have already been developed for the commercial industry. Several films already have 4K digital masters which would require as much as ten times the storage capacity needed for a 720p HD release. Even Blu-Ray in its current form would not be able to store a film in 4K on one disc.

Regardless, HVD appears to be mostly targeting the recording and storage markets, but I can see how in many ways it could also be the best choice for prerecorded material as it looks to have an eye on the future and the ability to support far greater resolutions than any other optical disc format.

#9 of 100 OFFLINE   Brandon_T



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Posted February 04 2005 - 05:02 AM

I guess my main question as far as movies are concerned is what is the need for such a monster. If Blue Ray and HD-DVD can hold 1080p movies with extras, yet most displays aren't even capable of that, what is the need for such a massive storage capacity for consumre products. Now for mass storage of data I could understand on the corporate level but...

#10 of 100 OFFLINE   Brian-W



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Posted February 04 2005 - 05:34 AM

Vaporware. Another cool thing developed in a lab that won't see the light of day, including 2007. Remember FMD? Similar process, went *POOF* in the night? Maybe 2015 this stuff will show up, but this type of technology was touted back in 1998 and here we are 2005 and not a single product on the shelf. We do have 50GB Blu-Ray in Japan (consumer non PC product). But that's it.
* No longer looking for Hi-Vision Laserdiscs *
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#11 of 100 OFFLINE   JonZ


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Posted February 04 2005 - 05:44 AM

"Now for mass storage of data I could understand on the corporate level but"

You wouldnt be interested in fitting all 7 seasons of DS9,The Simpsons or TNG or all the extended editions of the LOTR trilogy + extras on 1 disc? Posted Image

Itll save me alot of storage space.

#12 of 100 OFFLINE   Reagan


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Posted February 04 2005 - 05:45 AM

1 TB discs... Is anyone thinking 4:4:4 color processing and lossless compression - of video? Sounds great, but put me firmly in the camp of I'll buy an HD optical disc system when one format dominates. And no, HD Lord of the Rings won't get me on board any sooner. -Reagan
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#13 of 100 OFFLINE   JonZ


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Posted February 04 2005 - 05:50 AM

Me neither as Im not a fan, its just a example of "imagine the possibelity of fitting all of this on one disc". If I could put all my DS9 seasons sets on 2 discs, with excellent video and audio quality - Id love it. I agree this is way off in the future as the studios cant even decided on a HD format.

#14 of 100 OFFLINE   Jason Harbaugh

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Posted February 04 2005 - 06:24 AM

This sounds a lot like C3D which was going to revolutionize optical storage at the turn of the century. 200gb discs (dozens of layers) ready for production in 2000. They seemed to have everything going for them as the discs cost no more than regular cd's, and manufacturing required very little retooling. They never came. Would be incredible if something like this came to the market, but I'm not holding my breath.

#15 of 100 OFFLINE   RobertR


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Posted February 04 2005 - 06:43 AM

I agree that standardization is important, but at the same time, we don't want to stifle progress. There's always going to be that conflict, and there's always going to be a difficult transition period.

#16 of 100 OFFLINE   ElAhrai


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Posted February 04 2005 - 07:46 AM

I can't wait to hop into my hydrogen powered flying car, swing by the resale shop to sell off my Blu-Ray/HD-DVD dual disc player and pick up a sweet HVD player. Then I'll swing by the grocery store and pick up something for my house cleaning robot to whip up for dinner while I hook it up.

#17 of 100 OFFLINE   Andy Patrizio

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Posted February 04 2005 - 07:59 AM

Whatever happened to Constellation 3D and their massive storage optical disc? I forget the name.

#18 of 100 OFFLINE   Brent M

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Posted February 04 2005 - 10:56 AM

Great, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD aren't even out yet and we're already talking about the successor to those formats. Give me a break! I know Hollywood believes that they can continue to sell the same movies over and over again, but there will come a time when people get sick of re-buying the same titles every few years just because a new and better format comes out. I'm already sick of the HD-DVD/Blu-Ray war and it hasn't even started yet so the last thing I'm thinking about is a format that will supplant them. Posted Image
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#19 of 100 OFFLINE   ChuckSolo



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Posted February 04 2005 - 01:30 PM

Actually, we in the IT world heard about this some time back, 2 or three years at least. I don't know if it will be practical to manufacture equipment and discs for home use, but the data backup and archival properties of HDV are breathtaking. Can you imagine a backup system designed around this technology that would be accessed like a carousel DVD/CD player? You could backup multiple servers on one disc! The data warehousing application of this thing would be equally exciting.Posted Image :b

#20 of 100 OFFLINE   ChristopherDAC



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Posted February 04 2005 - 01:37 PM

DVD is already excessively sensitive to environmental conditions, manufacturing flaws, and variations in the encoding format. Since these discs will apparently not be mass-producible, and will be dozens of times as sensitive to such errors, I do not expect them to be a succesful comnsumer product. If you wonder what I mean by "dozens of times", realise that the quotient of data per unit volume is much higher, and the recording is taking place in three dimensions rather than just two.

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