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Will HDDVD Be Compatible.

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19 replies to this topic

#1 of 20 OFFLINE   Don


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Posted July 22 2005 - 02:20 PM

with the Current DVDs we now have. or do we have to Re-Buy Evreything ? Don,

#2 of 20 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted July 22 2005 - 02:38 PM

Of course HD DVD players will play existing DVDs. Think about it: 1) When have you ever seen a format change along these lines where the new product was not backwards compatible with the earlier format? DVD players play CDs, after all, and PCs still come with floppy drives. 2) Why would the manufacturers, who need to sell machines into the existing market, slit their own throats by making players that won't play your existing collection of DVDs? The hardware manufacturers don't make money making you rebuy your movie collection (well, except for Sony, which could make money but only on its own films.) They have zero incentive to screw the public by not enabling the new players to play existing discs, and lots to lose by doing so. (Because if several manufactures or one of the two competing formats didn't support existing DVDs, you can bet somebody would want the competitive advantage of doing so.) Regards, Joe

#3 of 20 OFFLINE   Harry-N



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Posted July 22 2005 - 10:07 PM

Though you state "along these lines" and I know that you meant a format that at least was physically similar: CD players were not backwards compatible with vinyl records - we had to re-buy our favorite music. LaserDisc players were not backwards compatible with VHS tapes - we had to re-buy our favorite movies. DVD players were not backwards compatible with LaserDisc (except a few combo units) - we again had to rebuy our favorite movies.
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#4 of 20 OFFLINE   Dale MA

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Posted July 22 2005 - 11:43 PM

Also, will any of these new players be able to be converted to multi-regional? I have a large number of R1 titles & if I'm unable to play them on a HD-DVD system then I see no point in "upgrading"...

#5 of 20 OFFLINE   Aaron_Brez


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Posted July 23 2005 - 02:03 AM

Well, since that's a non-manufacturer supported mod, I'd have to say the jury's still out on that. I'd say probably, because the thing that makes it possible today are the fact that essentially the same firmware is used for all regions, so it's just a matter of unlocking what's already in there. However, with the proposed content protection schemes it may prove impossible. On the flip side, perhaps with the content protection schemes in place, the studios will feel comfortable enough to abandon the silly region-coding for HD-DVD/Blu-ray.

#6 of 20 OFFLINE   Scott_MacD


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Posted July 23 2005 - 09:24 AM

Silly it may be, but while regional (read: international) sales rights may belong to separate entities, expect region coding to stay.

#7 of 20 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted July 23 2005 - 09:54 AM

Forgive me for my ignorance of these matters, but are they even doing a comparable digital/HD conversion of the broadcast standards and thus television receivers in the UK and Europe at large? Will there be a single digital standard, or different ones in different countries - or will all sets be compatible with various digital and HD standards, (What are the Japnese using, for instance?) If the answer to the first question is "No", are current HD sets backwards compatible with PAL? Because it seems that the HD DVD region coding question will be moot until the rest of the world is using a similar HD television standard. Regards, Joe

#8 of 20 OFFLINE   Dale MA

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Posted July 23 2005 - 09:55 AM

Region coding on HD-DVD is one thing that I've seen little discussion about, yet being able to make our players region free is absolutely vital to those of us living outside of R1. If HD-DVD/Blu Ray players cannot be turned region free then half of my collection will become unwatchable & I will no doubt start missing out on great DVDs that are unavailible in R2.

#9 of 20 OFFLINE   Jon Martin

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Posted July 23 2005 - 01:09 PM

The new XBOX 360 supposedly won't be backward compatible for most XBOX 1 games (I guess you can download patches for certain major titles). As someone who has gone from VHS to laser to DVD, backward compatiblility isn't something that I take for granted. But, if HD DVD or BLU RAY wants to catch on, it HAS to be backward compatible. It won't survive if it isn't.

#10 of 20 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted July 23 2005 - 06:38 PM

Currently both formats have been announced as being backward compatible with standard DVD's.

#11 of 20 OFFLINE   Marko Berg

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Posted July 24 2005 - 12:26 AM

There will not be a single standard. In addition to North America, some countries have decided to adopt ATSC, but others will choose different digital formats.

In Europe, the conversion to digital broadcasting is well underway. Many countries are converting their analogue broadcasting systems to a digital standard called DVB.

There are separate versions of this system for terrestrial, cable, and satellite broadcasting. DVB standards include specifications for HD broadcasting, but I don't know if this is employed anywhere using terrestrial networks due to the high bandwidth demands. We are likely to see HD programming via cable and satellite networks first (some pilot programmes exist already), but interest in HD has so far been very limited. Since PAL offers slightly better vertical resolution than NTSC, conversion to e.g. 720p might not be visible enough to the average person, and there aren't yet enough HD displays in homes to interest most commercial networks to upgrade to HD broadcasting equipment. Currently, it seems broadcasters and the general public are more interested in getting more channels (SD digital transmissions take up less space than analogue transmissions) and interactive services than a few HD channels which would force most consumers to buy new TVs to benefit from the quality.

Thus, a few pay services aside, digital broadcasting will remain SD for many years to come in most of Europe. Currently all that is needed to benefit from digital broadcasts (more channels, interactive services, video-on-demand, in some cases better picture and sound quality when compared to analogue transmissions) is a cheap set top box that connects to old analogue CRT displays, and this is what most people have bought.

However, people want a large picture even if the TV broadcast quality is only standard definition. Front projectors, LCD and DLP televisions, and plasma screens are selling well and many can display HD resolutions natively. Manufacturers have agreed upon conditions for labeling of HD devices. This includes a requirement for HDMI and several HD resolutions, including those commonly used in North America. Like computer monitors that accept most any resolutions and refresh rates, digital TV displays will allow consumers to benefit from HD video content immediately when the formats are launched.

Regardless of how quickly television broadcasts will be converted to HD, there is interest in HD video playback capability, and my feeling is that there will generally be as much interest in HD video formats in Europe as in America.

#12 of 20 OFFLINE   Kevin M

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Posted July 24 2005 - 01:52 AM

Backwards compatibility is a bigger selling point these days then it was even seven years ago, for one example just look at PS2 & XBox which can play CD's, DVD's as well as games (with PS2 it could also play most PS1 games) compared to Nintendo who has never offered backwards compatibility in their home consoles and look what has happened to their former domination...it is gone.
I think any new home video format would be wise to offer it, as has been said, if they want to survive.
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#13 of 20 OFFLINE   Glenn Overholt

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Posted July 24 2005 - 04:48 AM

Nils - I am 99% sure that Dale means the region coding. If the new HD players cannot be 'hacked' and when his current SD player dies on him, forcing him to buy an HD player, he's going to have a large collection of plastic coasters. Glenn

#14 of 20 OFFLINE   Ed St. Clair

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Posted July 24 2005 - 09:54 AM

Will HD players play DVD's, Yes! Will HD-DVD disc have SD (DVD) content as well, don't know! A while back it was a BIG deal both BD & HD-DVD disc could be formatted to have the same content in SD & HD. Have not heard anything about that lately and I bugging out over it! I will not be an early adopter. However I would purchase HD discs that where released with SD content before I owned a HD playback device. Hope this choice is in our futures.
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#15 of 20 OFFLINE   Dale MA

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Posted July 24 2005 - 09:54 AM

Yes that's what I meant in my original post. Sorry if I didn't make it clear Posted Image

#16 of 20 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted July 24 2005 - 10:12 AM

I did understand his concern, but as it says in my response - this is ONLY a problem if he gets rid of his current region free player - or doesn't buy a new region free player. Standard players are going to be made for at least another twenty years, and from all the industry wide analysis will out sell these new blue laser players/drives possibly for the next ten years. So no one should be concerned that if their current standard DVD player 'craps out' they will be forced to buy a HD player - that's simply not going to happen for a very long time!

#17 of 20 OFFLINE   Dale MA

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Posted July 24 2005 - 10:20 AM

Yeah, not to worry Nils, it was just one of those strange thoughts that crept into my head Posted Image Thanks for the responses everyone.

#18 of 20 OFFLINE   Yee-Ming



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Posted July 24 2005 - 08:42 PM

Funny, this: recently I was talking to a student intern from the US, and when the conversation turned to what he might consider buying here to take home, my first thought was "region-free DVD player" -- even our top-of-the-line DVD players are region-free out of the box, no messy handset hacks required. So rather than "endure" so-so PQ with a Malata, one could buy a Denon 5910, 3910 or Pioneer 969 (your Elite 59AVi) here and it would be region-free.

#19 of 20 OFFLINE   Brian McHale

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Posted July 26 2005 - 12:14 PM

While CD players may not be backwards compatible with LPs and DVD players don't play laserdiscs, VHS or Beta, it's really kind of silly to compare that with HD-DVD and/or Blu-Ray. When we went from LPs to CDs, the technology was so drastically different that it would have been ridiculous to try to make the players backwards compatible. The same can be said for video tape to DVD, the technologies are just too dissimilar. Certainly it would have been possible to make DVD players backwards compatible with laserdiscs (I assume it actually has been done), but laserdiscs were never mainstream. To mandate backwards compatibility would have been a really stupid move, and may have killed the chances of DVD catching on. Face it, if you never owned any laserdiscs, would you want your DVD player to be big enough to handle them? With CD and DVD, a standard for physical size of optical media has been set. The HD-DVD and Blu-Ray camps have made no secret that their discs will be the same size as CDs/DVDs. They've also made no secret that the formats will be backwards compatible. Why is this often not mentioned? Because, in this case, it just seems like an obvious feature that would stall/kill the formats if not included; it's just not newsworthy. How many people here would buy either of these formats if the players wouldn't play DVDs? And if the majority of HTF members wouldn't buy it, how many average Wal-Mart shoppers would buy it? I think the answer becomes obvious...

#20 of 20 OFFLINE   RaymondSteiner


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Posted July 27 2005 - 02:48 AM

In the begining it will be difficult to overcome the Region Coding, but eventually it will be break ... And if you read the comments of the european readers, there is a lot of interest (=money for the chinese who sell chips, chinese companies who sell BluRay / HDDVD region free players)
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