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Discussion in 'DVD' started by DaViD Boulet, Jun 18, 2003.
I found this at Digitalbits.com. It is a quote form an editorial in Video Business around 5/8/03.
Maybe I am just dense but the whole argument that HD-DVD has to have backward compatibility with DVD just does not make any sense to me. Most of us already have a DVD player, so we will just be adding another piece of equipment to our systems. As a Laserdisc owner I could have said that DVD must be backward compatible with Laserdisc, and that DVD must keep the 12" size of the disc to insure backward compatibility, well we all know that did not happen. I upgraded from VHS, to SVHS, to Laserdisc, to DVD, and hopefully shortly to HD-DVD, backward compatibility, bah humbug, maybe some of you have forgotten: "The Media is the Message."
One point that hasn't been made in this thread is the assumption that consumers will embrace a HD format. To be honest, I look at Blu-Ray as the next SACD or DVD-A. A niche format that most people won't see the point in. To be honest, most people run DVD on displays that don't display DVDs to the fullest potential as it is. What do these people care about more resolution that they won't see? Course, if you just want a niche format, like LD used to be, then I guess that's fine. It is just the anouncement that "DVD is dead" is a bit premature. Like CDs, I suspect tthat DVD will be with us for a while yet. I also don't like the idea of caddies. They add to the cost and take up more space. As for DVD damage, I haven't had a problem with any of my DVDs. It is all about proper care. And also, I don't particularly like the idea that it might leave my HTPC out in the cold. I like what my flexable machine can do, and it is kinda sad that the companies want to leave it out in the cold. I'm not going to start on my "Fair Use" rights. I also don't see myself upgrading a huge amount of my collection. While certainly there will be improvement in picture in sound, I don't see it being a great degree over what I already have. I could be wrong, but I don't see me upgrading "Airplane", for example... Jason
I'm also interested in how the public will handle HD-DVD, or Blu-Ray, or whatever you wanna call it. I know Toshiba was pushing DVD pretty hard, all I remember back in late 97 were their commercials for the format. I don't wanna be on David's sh*tlist :wink: but I also don't think this new format wil explode in people's homes. I believe adopting this format will take much longer than standard DVD. For one thing (pointed out earlier) is that 98% of the population currently has no reason to buy the player because they don't have the proper display to take advantage. Go ahead and try to explain the increased color fidelity to people.. about 98% probably won't know or care what you're talking about. Despite this I AM looking forward to the new format, I just don't want to get too pumped up only to be scoffing at the few overpriced titles I'm interested in for the first year it's out.
First off HDTV would take up to 6 times longer to transfer over the internet so I would think Hollywood would like that part of it. I know Hollywood will freak over HDTV movies on the internet but if they provide them for a fair price and vigorously go after pirates things will change little in the future with the possible end of commercials . Hollywood said the VCR would be the death of television the same way they say the PVR will bring the death of television. As far as I know though Hollywood has said little wrong about HDTV besides it needing HDMI/DVI-HDCP and a broadcast flag. If Hollywood can make money on HDTV I see little reason why they would stop it. Recently HDTV has become even more available, for a price, on DirecTV which makes me wonder why you think HDTV is not the future?
I think that one of the reasons why DVD has succeeded the way it has is because it's backward compatible with CD! It negates the cost of purchasing a separate piece of equipment! I think any future Blu-Ray product would be foolish to not make their players compatible with DVD and CD! The fact is in Home Electronics the convergence of technology helps drive the business. What would it be like if we had to purchase separate DD/Pro-Logic/DTS decoders? The same should apply for the video formats. The disc sizes will remain the same and their all read by a laser! Why not retool the laser so it's adaptable to all formats and the inevitable chip will be manufactured that plays all formats will come about. I salivate when i think of a HD player that can play all formats: HD, DVD, CD, DVDA, SACD,JPEG, MP3,WMA,MP4! Now that player would be awesome!
By the way do we know what the audio proposals are for this (dd/dts/sdds/pcm/dsd) and do we know what the video proposals are (mpeg2, mpeg4, wm9, etc) for the read only proposal? Rumors as to what it may be?
David the main problem with Blu-ray having backward compatibility with DVD is that it would cost a percentage of the player in royalties. This would be far more expensive than having CD compatibility. I'm saying that there will be Blu-ray players that are backward compatible with DVD but I wouldn't want it to be mandatory for the Blu-ray format. Every additional video format adds to the cost of the player. To have WM9 for HDTV playback in addition to MPEG-2 ,which will be standard on all Blu-ray players, would add at least $200 to the player. Because of this I would be real surprised if Blu-ray does any video format besides MPEG-2. As for audio on pre-recorded Blu-ray both DD and DTS are practically guaranteed though any info on pre-recorded Blu-ray is still just a rumor.
To make a new format succeed, people need to be able to use their previous "library". Even if for some political reason certain manufacturers would rather not make the new player DVD-compatible, another party will - be it from Hong-Kong or wherever. To me the solution to the backwards compatibility seems rather straightforward. A double laser-head isn't that difficult, and the solution to the cartridge (let's call it that) is: the caddy! You will own a single caddy (compatible with the cartridge ) that will accept DVDs and CDs. Cees
Since Blu-Ray (or whatever HD-DVD ends up using) will presumablky use some iteration of the MPEG standard, it should be fairly simple to make it play MPEG-2 and MPEG 1, which is the main thing you'd need for backward-compatibility with VCD and DVD.
Good point Dan, just because DVD uses mpeg-2 does that mean Blu-Ray players have to pay the DVD Forum to allow mpeg-2 decoding? Probably not in this regard, but I'm sure there's a loophole which will require royalties to be paid. But then again all of the members backing blu-ray are on the DVD-Forum. Wacky ain't it?
It's not really the MPEG-2 decoder as the various pieces of hardware made specifically for DVD which are covered by numerous patents. Since VCD has a flat fee of $2.50 per player you could add both VCD and CD playback for a pretty low price. After checking in "DVD Demystified" the royalties for DVD add 7.5% of the player's cost plus $8. It would cost about $45 extra for a $500 Blu-ray player or $25 extra for a $200 Blu-ray player. When the Blu-ray recorders cost $2,000 that would add about $160 which does show why they would not make DVD compatibility mandatory on Blu-ray.
Cummon' Blue !!! If Time Warner gets into the act - we get screwed! Can you say AOL? E
Richard, presumably they have a different fee structure for things that aren't dedicated players. I doubt they gets 7.5% of the cost of DVD-ROM computers, for instance.
I'd just like to add another theme into the mix. No-one has mentioned it yet, from what I can see. The Playstation 3 will use Blu-Ray. Predicted launch some time in 2006. As you probably know, the PS2 is the worlds best selling DVD player by a very, very, very long margin. Ken Kutargi, the "father" of the playstation is also responsible for Blu-Ray. There is no doubt in my mind of the PS3 will use this format in some form. I can't see how the format can fail with this kind of synergy.