HD-DVD could be a reality right now...with FMD

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DaViD Boulet, Feb 1, 2002.

  1. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    FMD (flourescent multilayer disc) technology has already been perfected the point of being ready for production...if the industry would simply choose to use it.
    In case you're not already aware of what FMD is I'll sum it up quickly: It's a transparent (vs reflective) technology that can store up to (more?) than 40 giga-bytes on a standard sized 5" disc...all by using the same red laser currently used for today's SD-DVDs. Not only is the storage capacity of this technology far and away superior to any "blue laser" or other new high-density technology for disc storage, but the Bandwidth for data retreival is immense. You could literally store uncompressed (or mildly compressed, like D-cinema uses) HD 1080P images with uncompressed 7 channel DSD or 24/192 audio. Not to mention you still have room for some deleted scenes and a comentary or two [​IMG]
    I want to make the point that the "HD DVD won't be possible for another 5 years" is a lie by the studios who have all been developing their *own* in-house systems based on blue-laser technolgy, which offers only an incremental gain in storage capacity over standard red-laser DVDs while increasing costs, having a shorter life-span, and being more difficult to replicate.
    These studios, like Panasonic, Sony, and others, don't want to use FMD because they want to use their *own* (bad) systems based on the blue-lasers they've been investing research in for so long.
    So because of this stubborness on the part of the HD-disc minded studios, we now have to watch HD movies being made available on D-VHS when the optical disc solution, that no studio seems to want, is already here.
    It's not copyright issues that are delaying HD-DVD...D-VHS proves that. It's the blue-laser with all it's problems, limitations, and only incremental gains that the studios who'e been developing HD-DVD platforms have been working on for so long and refuse to part with, even if it means ignoring the optical disc format that would be the true holy-grail of home-theather-- FMD
    -dave
     
  2. Kyle McKnight

    Kyle McKnight Cinematographer

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    I've been following FMD for quite a while now....glad to see it's finally hitting a high point. Lets put it to good use [​IMG]
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    There was a good story about FMD in a recent issue of Widescreen Review.

    Question is: Will the public readily accept yet another home-video format in a confusing age of technological transition?

    The technology, however, is intriguing.
     
  4. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Well,

    if we're *going* to introduce a new HD-DVD format *anyway*...why not do it right with FMD? How would a blue-laser format be less confusing?

    Since FMD discs use the same layer, it makes it easy (and cheap) to make the FMD players backwards compatible with today's DVD software...no dual layer issues.

    -dave
     
  5. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I haven't been following recently, but it does seem that FMD - if it works - makes much more sense than blue laser technology. I can see that there will be some strong opposition to FMD, especially if no one company holds a special interest in it (like Warner and DVD). With D-VHS just being really launched, I doubt any hi-def disc based format will be released anytime soon, as the studios haven't finished milking us on standard definition DVD yet. If I were a studio exec, I would want far more catalogue sales out there on DVD before reselling everything once more on H-DVD. On the flip side, if they were to use far less compression on FMD, the sheer size of files would make them nearly impossible to duplicate conveniently in the pirate realms. Even with broadband internet, downloading 5 or 6 gigs (or more - I forget the limitation of FMD) per film is unreasonable, at least in the short term.

    I just wish I had bought FMD stock at $.05 a share....
     
  6. Brian-W

    Brian-W Screenwriter

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  7. Rob Lutter

    Rob Lutter Producer

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    The problem with FMD is not the technology... it is the studios. Why are the studios in business? Money. Pure and simple... money.
    The last thing that a major studio would EVER want people to have is '35mm quality' digital copies of movies. Because when we have that... that's that, they will have to close up shop, because there would be no reason for us to upgrade anymore.
    Basically, HD-DVD would put the studios out of business... it will never happen.
    I am not trying to be negative... I hope to high hell that someday I could own an High-Def copy of one of my favorite movies, but I don't find it realistic that the studios would 'shoot themselves in the foot' by releasing it to the mainstream (what DVD has become).
     
  8. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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  9. RobR

    RobR Second Unit

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  10. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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  11. Michael St. Clair

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  12. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    You forget that even DVD movies are "applications" for DVD-drives in computers.

    I know lots of people who watch DVD movies on their PC...some of whom don't even have a regular dvd player.

    I think the mass-production of DVD drives, for both PCs and stand-alone players helped keep the transport costs down.

    -dave
     
  13. Michael St. Clair

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    David,

    Well, you know different kinds of people than I do. I work in the IT and marketing fields and nobody I know with a PC DVD drive and no stand-alone drive is doing anything to generate meaningful studio revenue.
     
  14. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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  15. Michael St. Clair

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  16. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Heck,
    they could find a way to encode *both* HD *and* SD signals on the same disc...and make the disc backwards compatible with today's SD-players if they *really* wanted.
    Single software stock. Pick your player based on your preferences and taste.
    In any case, even HD-DVD players could downconvert for NTSC displays, and even more important, *upconvert* SD-DVD software [​IMG] -- 960P anyone???
    -dave
     
  17. Bryant Frazer

    Bryant Frazer Stunt Coordinator

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    The C3D cheerleaders, I fear, overestimate the ease with which these discs can be manufactured. I've had private conversations with DVD replicators who expressed serious doubt that manufacturing a disc made of so many thin layers would ever be cost-effective.

    Early last year, C3D was working with Toolex to commercialize their FMD disc. Last summer, they switched and began working with WAMO. No solid news -- except updates on new financing -- since July. The launch date for manufacturing discs continues to slip backward. Wall Street is not impressed (the company's stock is currently at $0.71, down from a 52-week high of around $11). To say that this company is actually ready to launch FMD discs for consumer-entertainment applications seems awfully optimistic to me.

    Anything can happen in the long run, but as long as they're proven technologically feasible I think you're more likely to see one of the blue-laser systems currently under development at various DVD Forum member companies (you know, the guys who make these decisions, and who coincidentally want to ensure that their patents are chosen as the foundation for any new industry standards) become the eventual contender.

    -bf-
     
  18. Joe Schwartz

    Joe Schwartz Second Unit

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  19. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    You could possibly have the transparent layers for the FMD player to read terminated by a final "reflective" layer for a regular DVD drive. The regular DVD drive would simply "read through" the flourescent layers and only pick up the reflected light from it's own layer.

    -dave
     
  20. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    DaViD: You want this technology so badly you can taste it, I bet! [​IMG] JB
     

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