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HD-DVD and Blu-Ray Coming Soon to PCs 209

Posted by Zonk
from the not-that-there's-anything-to-play dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A Yahoo! news piece has some sales details for the upcoming Blu-Ray and HD-DVD players. They also have some details on disc drives that read the new formats." From the article: "Sony has priced its first desktop computer that will have a Blu-ray Disc burner. The drive will be able to write to 25GB and 50GB BD-RE (rewritable) and BD-R (write once) discs. Sony will start selling 25GB BD-RE and BD-R discs in April for $20 and $25 respectively and 50GB capacity versions of the same discs later in the year for $48 and $60 respectively. The Vaio RC will be launched in 'early summer' and will cost around $2300. At the CeBIT show in Germany last week, Sony announced plans for a Vaio notebook with a Blu-ray Disc drive."
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HD-DVD and Blu-Ray Coming Soon to PCs

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  • by loraksus (171574) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @06:22AM (#14947357) Homepage
    50GB capacity versions of the same discs later in the year for $48 and $60 respectively.

    Is is just me that thinks selling media for 2x the cost of a hard drive (if you calculate $/gig) stupid?
    • by fatduck (961824) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @06:25AM (#14947364)
      Especially when USB hard drives are roughly the same size as, and far more resistant to damage than, dvds?
      • by Curien (267780) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @07:40AM (#14947496)
        I've never broken a DVD by dropping it.
        • But you'd have to scratch a usb hdd really hard to break it, don't you think ?

          I'll go for a 200gb or bigger usb drive instead. BlueRay (at least with these prices) can 'blue' my ass bye-bye. Sure it won't work with my neighbours 1000$ blueray player but i don't like him anyway :)

          Seriously, this blueray is quite many times more expensive than storing stuff on a dvd, and also can be scratched and broken really easily. So why relay on this ? To pay 60$ for a worthless scratched plastic disc tha
        • You think $50 for a blue disk is expensive, wait until you burn your first coaster.
          No - wait until you burn your second coaster in a row. It happened with CDs, it happened with DVDs, and it is going to happen with these.

          That said - remember this is first generation pricing and it will come down as volume goes up. Just a year ago dual layer DVDs were $10 apiece, and now they are what, down to $1 or $2? Heck, the first CD I ever burned cost about $7 and now they are ten cents apiece.

          When the drives cost $1
      • i thought blueray was going to have some hard coating developed by tdk to make them much more scratch resistant.
    • Hard disks are cheaper and faster. I currently backup to hard disks. I keep several 250 GB external USB disks just for that purpose. Its faster, has larger capacity, and its available at 1/2 the cost of Blu-Ray!
    • Media prices drop fast. When DVD was first introduced it was about the same price; look how much a blank DVDR costs now. And besides, media takes up less space. If I have 2.5 terabytes of data I can store it in a spindle of 50GB BD. On the other hand you'll have five 500GB harddrives sitting around. Lastly, media is more convenient; if you have five IDE drives, you have to shutdown the computer, replace the drive, and boot back up to get at content on a different disk; if you have five SATA drives, you stil
      • DVD's are cool, but Who is really going to take time to burn a stack? What if one gets scratched? I have a stack that is now useless, because it was contaminated by dust after the cat brushed by it. Something about polycarbonate and static electricity.

        Nobody shuts off their computer to plug in a set of drives when we have USB hubs. USB rules for backups these days. SATA is for freaks.

        Harddrives don't work nicely with the TV? You mean those machines with three particle accelerators?
      • by Hackeron (704093) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @10:11AM (#14947854) Journal
        You what?

        I have a Coolermaster stacker with 12x500GB drives on raid6 - thats 5TB of storage with 2 redundant drives siting under a 36" LCD in a cabinet - (you know, so its inaudiable).

        Sure the drives alone eat around 200W of electricity, but I have another raid1 array of 2 x 2.5" drives I have the OS and basic storage on, the raid5 spins up only when I want to watch stored content (since the whole family uses it, its something like 5 hours a day, but its not showing on the electricity bill).

        Now the juicy part, the system is used for:
        1) Phone, we have a normal analog line plugged into the PC and a voip contract, if we phone out, it goes over the internet saving a ton of money, incoming calls go through the PC so if no one is there, voicemail is emailed out or a fallback number is used like a work number that is forwarded to through voip (using asterisk@home, very easy setup).
        2) Watching/recording sattelite TV, a simple DVB card plugged into a dish - didnt bother getting decoder cards or subscribing to Sky and what not as >1000 channels is really enough ;)
        3) Surfing the web
        4) Playing games on/offline (kick ass for FPS)
        5) Listening to music with visualization
        6) etc, etc, etc.

        The remote is a cheap ATI one that works with Linux (using ubuntu dapper with XGL, looks stunning) and I have a media keyboard/mouse in the coctail table for FPS and what not.

        I had to build it myself of course and set it all up, but it only took a day's worth and it was damn well worth it! - Any hardware problems I am emailed about instantly, there is a redundant PSU, redundant drives. Only had it for a month so cant speak of reliability, but I cant see it being any less reliabe than just a DVD player while providing so much more.

        TVs are so obselete :)
        • *starts humming the tune Meet George Jetson*
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18, 2006 @07:18AM (#14947447)
      It's always a nitch market to begin with. The first person I knew who bought a CD recorder was a high end still photographer that was using it to archive files. His first drive cost $5,000. A few years later they were a couple of hundred. I paid $550 for my first DVD burner which I desperately needed at the time. A month later they were $450 and four months later the same one was around $250 but I burned a lot of disks in those months and I still use those back ups. I'm interested as a way of hard copying rendered shots in a digital format. I do it now on DVD but it takes a lot of DVDs and can be a bit clunky. I can store a lot of shots on 50 gig. Even better yet I can store the entire project file on disks of that size. I have to store them on several disks now and it's a bit clunky reinstalling them when needed. I do also use back up external hard drives but I've had failures with hard drives and I've rarely had trouble with disks. Also if you are going to store multiple backs up over time hard drives can take up serious space and can be problematic after they have set for a few years. I had disasterous experiences with Jazz drives in the past. In a hundred DVD folder I can store 5 terrabytes of information. That's a lot of hard drives especially when you consider a 100 gig hard drive holds a lot less than a 100 gig of information. A 50 gig DVD will pretty much hold 50 gig of data. Even with 500 gig drives it'll take eleven or twelve to hold as much as the one folder. Data recovery is extremely expensive if one of those drives goes down. If to be safe you do redundant back ups then you are talking 22+ drives to equal the one folder.

      For most it won't make sense in the short term but give it a year when the 50 gig disks are even running $10 a piece and they'll start looking a lot more interesting.

      Another issue is say I needed to send 50 gig of info through the mail. I'd much rather send a DVD sized disk than a hard drive that can be easily damaged.

      A final note would be mastering films. For low budget producers they could burn a high res version of their film on a high capacity disk rather than using digi beta. Digital Beta decks are still extremely expensive due to the rariety. Blu-ray will be a much cheaper option. Say you want to project your new film at a local theater. All you would need is a single Blu-Ray disk. Instead of a stack of film cans you can put the whole thing on a disk that would fit in a breast pocket.
      • by LilGuy (150110) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @09:14AM (#14947714)
        Have you never lost data on those dvds? We used to back up photo projects and the like on CDs a few years ago, and the cds only seemed to last about 2 or 3 years before they made the cd drive shit itself and wet the bed all at once. On the other hand, only once in my life have I had a hard drive eat shit on me. That was most likely due to being in my dorm where there was lots of beer, people, rowdyness going on...
        • I used to burn multiple copies of DVDs to prevent data loss, but since I adopted TDK Scratchproof DVDs - never had a problem.

          http://froogle.google.com/froogle?q=scratchproof+d vd&btnG=Search [google.com]

          They cost more, but then I have to burn less copies and I never had scratches on these DVDs that prevented the drive from reading them - actually, the discs still look pristine while similiar handling on normal DVDs/CDs look all scratched up.

          Now, if only movies/musicCDs incorporated this coating....
        • There's a real quality scale on writable CDs (I haven't messed with DVD-R much at all, but I would guess it's similar) for more money you can get archive quality disks that will last 10 years or so if handled well.

          Burn checksums to disk and write on a folder "copy info on 8/12" (for instance, i'd say whenever you're at about 75% of the life of the media)

          Obviously if durability of your data is important, you're going to want some sort of redundant magnetic tape system... those will last you decades. If you'
        • Have you never lost data on those dvds?

          Two words - "recovery blocks".

          If you're creating archival disks, always spend the time to create parity data on the disks using QuickPar. Then, burn 2 copies and store them in two widely separated physical locations. (There are trickier methods, but that's the basic one.)

          I've recovered data from DVDs that have faded at the outer edges, simply because we took the time to put parity data on them.
      • by DrSkwid (118965)
        Low budget film-makers use DV these days, mini-DV tapes are $5 and you get around 12Gb of DV on one (about an hour in SP mode, 90 mins in LP).

        IEEE1394 is the biggest boon to cinema since the video camcorder.

      • You might have a few viable arguments there, but you seem to be greatly overestimating the capacity of Blu-Ray. Assuming you use the 50 gig versions, you have five times the space of a dual-layer DVD for how many times the price exactly?

        Films are now commonly stored on hard drives anyway. Not really an advantage to switch to blu-ray.

        For me, the next generation of DVDs is just to small a jump for me to jump the band wagon.
        The leap from floppy's to CDs was huge and from CDs to DVDs large. But the only reason
    • Hi, could you pop your HD in the post over to me here in Europe, thanks.

    • as smart as rewritable media costing less then -r media.
    • by dark_requiem (806308) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @08:55AM (#14947669)
      You have to remember that when any new technology comes out, it is ridiculously expensive. Only when it starts to see reasonably widespread adoption will the costs be reduced to an affordable level. Prior to that, the market is too small to make a profit at what most of us consider "reasonable" prices. Early adopters pay a high price for having the latest and greatest, the rest of us wait to see which standard become dominant, then wait for prices to fall. If either HD-DVD or Blue Ray are recieved well by consumers, prices for that particular format will begin to drop to resonable levels as manufacturers increase their output, and will eventually (within a few years) be comparable with current DVD+/-R prices.
    • by Hao Wu (652581)
      What scares me is the thought of a $48 or $60 coaster, if I dare to get a speck of dust on it before burning (... or whatever causes most failures).
    • Let's not forget that in 1995, CD-R drives were over $1,000. That in 1998, CD-RW drives were over $400.. and in 2002, a DVD-RW drive was over $500 and the media was nearly $20 a disc. By 2004, DVD-RW media was only $2 a disc, and the drives were under $200. It's amazing how hysterical people can get over entry price points for new technology like this. If it's too expensive, then wait a year to buy it.. but don't think "It's destined for failure, it's too expensive". If there's one constant truth in technol
    • is it just me or does new technology take a while to get cheaper?
    • Sony will start selling 25GB BD-RE and BD-R discs in April for $20 and $25 respectively and 50GB capacity versions of the same discs later in the year for $48 and $60 respectively.

      I think the bigger question is (at least according to the article snippit here) why are the write-once versions more expensive than the rewritable ones? That does not make any sense whatsoever. CD-RWs are more expensive than CD-Rs, and DVD-RWs are more expensive than DVD-Rs. That has to be a mistake by submitter, no?

  • RW cheaper than RO? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    >Sony will start selling 25GB BD-RE and BD-R discs in April for $20 and $25 respectively

    WTF?

  • DVD vs. BlueRay (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cskrat (921721) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @06:27AM (#14947366)
    4.7 GB for $0.30 or 25 GB for $20

    Sounds alot like the price that DVD(+-)R media was introduced at. Part of me is cringing from sticer shock but realistically I know that in a few years they'll be in the sub $1.00 range when other manufacturers figure out how to make them.
    • "Part of me is cringing from sticer shock but realistically I know that in a few years they'll be in the sub $1.00 range when other manufacturers figure out how to make them"

      I want to think the same thing, that the media will eventually drop to the same price tag. But I think that the climate is a bit different now, with the whole circus around filesharing etc.

      The creepy thing is (if I'm not missinformd) is that the big movie/record companies is involved in these new format in a whole new way then the previ
    • Re:DVD vs. BlueRay (Score:5, Interesting)

      by donaldm (919619) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @09:12AM (#14947711)
      Actually we should not just compare DVD vs Blu-Ray (or HD DVD) on price just yet. What we have here is a capacity comparison. Lets start with the following:

      Floppy disk (1.2MB) - yes you can get larger but they are now pretty much obsolete. However they were good for their day. Lets not go into 5.25 inch, 8 inch or even (gasp) 12 inch floppies .

      CD (650 - 800MB) - still useful for Music, install software and some backups. Look like hanging around for a long time. I doubt we will see a Music DVD put out by the Music Industry anytime soon.

      DVD (4.7GB) - at the moment this media is very cheap (sometimes cheaper than a CD). Dual density is a lot more expensive though. Still 4.7GB is a very useful size (PC and small size backups including movies) although certain companies would like to see this killed off, I personally this won't happen for some time, since there are a lot of DVD/Hard-Disk player/recorders on the market which have really started to kill off VHS recorders. You could probably start a new Slashdot article just on this alone.

      HD-DVD (15GB) - this is single layer proposed for HDTV.

      Blu-Ray (25GB) - this is single layer proposed for HDTV.

      For HDTV the industry is proposing 15GB to 30GB and this is were the above two fit in. You won't be able to put a HDTV show on standard DVD without some loss (normally considerable) and this is what the Entertainment Industry wants. In addition what is also wanted by the Industry is DRM and the best one will have a definite edge, although the PS3 will be will be the Trojan Horse that puts BluRay in the living room.

      Holographic DVD (1.6TB) - http://www.betanews.com/article/Holographic_DVD_to _Hold_16_Terabytes/1133197797 [betanews.com] The specs are incredible however I cannot see HDTV being put on this. Where this will shine is in Small to Enterprise backup solutions and this is exactly what it is aiming at. Basically this puts the backup tape industry on notice since it now becomes very possible to have close to "near-line" recovery. Those people who are responsible for serious backups should welcome this.

      Please don't come back at me suggesting disks to actually do backups. All I can say to that is try to backup 100TB and put that off-site cheaply, while taking into account possible disaster and recovery scenarios.

      Comparing DVD to any of the above is rather silly and as far as costs go, the new media will come down eventually. Even today if you compare RW DVD to Write once DVD you are looking at approx 10 to 1 in cost so if the new disks are say $15 to $20 each for writable only it does not take much effort to imagine what the price of the RW ones would initially be.
      • 3.5 hardcase floppies, 1.44 was the norm max capacity
        (although their were some weird ass variants that doubled them to 2.88)
        • Actually 1.44 was thier most common (by far) capacity, however IIRC some software (Microsoft's?) came with slightly more the disk that made it hard to copy, yet could still be read by 99.9% of the drives out there.
              The 1.2 size he mentions is the 5.25" HD floppies.

          Mycroft
  • Oh, the name! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Godji (957148) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @07:04AM (#14947417) Homepage
    The drive will be able to write to 25GB and 50GB BD-RE (rewritable) and BD-R (write once) discs. Sony will start selling 25GB BD-RE and BD-R discs in April for $20 and $25 respectively

    Why the hell didn't they call the rewriteable discs BD-RW?! Has anyone heard of the work "consistency"? Now I have to explain to everyone that BD-RE is like CD-RW or DVD-RW, but for Blue Ray. Great work on the customer confusion front!
  • About HD and BD (Score:3, Informative)

    by signore pablo (544088) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @07:22AM (#14947455)
    For those that don't know much about them (i didn't)
    STORAGE:
    HD- HD DVD supports 15 gb for one layer and 30 gb for dual layer. A triple layer disc in development by Toshiba will hold 45 gb.
    BD - Blu-Ray discs as said in the summary hold 25 gb for one layer and 50 for two. Also in development for BD is 100 gb 4 layer and 200 gb 8 layer discs. Both BD and HD are backwards compatible with the current DVD specification (although for BD it is apparently not compulsory for manufacturers to include it).
    COPY PROTECTION:
    HD - HD's will employ copy restriction developed by AACS LA. Audio Watermark Technology is also being used. All Hd dvd players will include a sensor that listens for audible watermarks placed in the soundtracks of movies. (read more at the wikipedia site [wikipedia.org]).
    BD - Blu-ray has "experimental digital rights management that allows for dynamically changing encryption schemes". This prevents a single crack from breaking the whole protection scheme like what happened with DeCSS and DVDs. Also included is digital watermarking technology. (more at wikipedia [wikipedia.org]
    Interesting note about Blue Ray discs, original discs made with blue ray technology were very susceptible to scratches and had to be enclosed in plastic caddies for protection. TDK came up for a solution to this in January 2004 that gave Blue ray discs "unprecedented scratch resistance." HD DVD discs use the same coating found on cds and dvds. For my money, it seems like BD is the better technology. We'll see how the copy protection pans out.
    All information taken from wikipedia.org
    LINKS
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray_Disc" [wikipedia.org]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HD-DVD" [wikipedia.org]
    • A couple of points:

      The triple-layer HD DVD isn't part of the movie spec, so we won't see it used for prerecorded titles.

      The >2 layer BD discs are also not part of the movie spec, so won't be used for those either. Also, the two-layer BD format isn't yet practical for mass manufacture. BD launch titles will be single-layer 25 GB discs. Dual-layer HD DVD is working fine, and will exist in launch titles.
  • ...from last time to wait until a combo drive is released which does both. Well, that or wait until one format is a clear winner. My last PC came originally with a DVD+R(W) drive, and at that time nowhere seemed to sell +R disks except online, and they were about twice the price of -R disks even there. So, of course, I kept on using CDR instead until the price fell enough for me to get a +-R drive, and by then the disk price had equalised so it didn't really matter what I bought any more. At least, not to m
  • by trims (10010) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @07:30AM (#14947477) Homepage

    Honestly, about the only things the new generation of DVD (HD-DVD and Blue-Ray) is going to be a success for is Hi-Def movies. At the size they are, there isn't going to be any demand for them to use on the PC as writable disks, unlike CD-R/W and DVD-R/W. People currently use CDs and old DVDs to do primarily three things: Transfer/backup important data, Audio (whether Orange-book audio or MP3/WMA/AAC), and home-video. All three of these things fit nicely into the current DVD/CD sizes, and even when Camcorders start using HiDef, people generally don't send around multiple hours of Video. At most, it's 1-2 hours of little bobby's Soccer game/birthday party. Which still fits on a DVD via MPEG4 (even in HiDef).

    The new DVDs aren't big enough to make an impact on the backup market (where you need 100s of GB per disk to even be considered), and they are (and will remain) far more costly than ordinary CD/DVD-RW media. They have some attractiveness for PC and console gaming, but even there, without a huge amount of in-game video, current DVD capacity will suffice for years for the vast majority of games.

    DRM and other factors will hurt uptake even more. Honestly, I figure it's going to take at least 20 years before the new DVD format have anywhere near the penetration that DVDs and VCRs do now. And that takes into account having the new DVD formats on consoles. People just aren't going to use them much.

    The big media companies rushed this tech to market - there is no real demand for their functionality right now, and won't be for at least 5 years, minimum. From the consumer standpoint, this is a solution in search of a problem. I figure there will be a generation skip here - the replacement for HD-DVD/Blu-Ray should show up around 2020, and consumers are smart enought to see it, so I'm predicting that the new DVD formats will peak at about 10% of the current DVD market, if that.

    -Erik

    • People currently use CDs and old DVDs to do primarily three things: Transfer/backup important data, Audio (whether Orange-book audio or MP3/WMA/AAC), and home-video. All three of these things fit nicely into the current DVD/CD sizes

      No, they don't fit nicely. I have 8GB of photos (and my oldest kid is not yet 3), 12GB of MP3/AAC, and I haven't even started getting the video off the camcorder. Backing up 20GB onto DVD sucks. I currently do it to another HD and at less frequent intervals to another comput
    • I disagree with the size-comment: People could and would send their entire mp3 or divx-collection around on a single disc if it would fit. 10GB on a DVD is plenty for a movie, but too small for a movie-collection.

      But the benefit over DVD is quite small. going from CDROM to DVD gives you 10 times as much storage. Going from DVD to 1.st gen blu-ray gives you not even a factor of 3 -- and the price gets multiplied by like 50. Not worth it.

      As someone said: at these prices, why buy 3 50GB blu-ray writables

      • going from CDROM to DVD gives you 10 times as much storage.

        Not even close. CD to DVD-5 gave an improvement of just over 6x. DVD-5 to DVD-9 gave less than a 2x improvement.

        Going from DVD to 1.st gen blu-ray gives you not even a factor of 3

        That's dual-layer DVDs to single-layer blu-ray discs. HOWEVER, you can't buy a blu-ray drive that will only burn single-layer discs (unlike the case with DVDs)... The very first one will be entirely capable of burning dual-layer blu-ray discs, so you're really talking a

        • I wasn't talking of the hypotetical future, but of *now*. I agree with you that next-generation optical storage may provide value at some point in the future, just that they likely won't with the prices and capacities quoted here.

          I said "going" (as in currently) from cdrom to DVD gives like 10 times the storage. This is *currently* true, there are *still* machines sold with combo-drives that can only burn CDs, but that can read DVDs. Changing one of these for a current DVD-burner lets you burn like 9GB in

          • I wasn't talking of the hypotetical future, but of *now*.

            They aren't available *now*, so you could only possibly be talking about the (near) future.

            I said "going" (as in currently) from cdrom to DVD gives like 10 times the storage.

            If you really meant it that way, it's a very, very stupid and pointless comparison to make. Why not talk about going from floppies to Blu-ray as well?

            This is *currently* true, there are *still* machines sold with combo-drives that can only burn CDs, but that can read DVDs.

            There a

    • by Jesus_666 (702802) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @08:19AM (#14947579)
      > The new DVDs aren't big enough to make an impact on the backup market (where
      > you need 100s of GB per disk to even be considered), and they are (and will
      > remain) far more costly than ordinary CD/DVD-RW media. They have some
      > attractiveness for PC and console gaming, but even there, without a huge
      > amount of in-game video, current DVD capacity will suffice for years for the
      > vast majority of games.

      Just wait until the new .NET Generation Secure Gaming Framework comes out! All executables will be stored as Secure Managed Code, which means that the executable comes with 12 MiB of executable code, 25 MiB of security certificates and 120 MiB of Trusted Computing interface code. All videos will be stored via a proprietary XML extension (the .NET Generation Secure Media Framework Professional Edition)...

          <bytestream type="video/mpeg" drm-clsid="{1435:543236:EF32EF:AB543634E:3565363B3 4:432242342:ABAD5}"
                      checksum="14758f1AFD44C09B7992073CCf00B43D">
            <byte drm-clsid="{435:AA564:CC922329:32323244AB34:A54654 B3343E32:EEFEEF3434:AB3A}">
              0x15
            </byte>
            <byte drm-clsid="{ABC123:F00BAA:CAFEBABE:DEADBEEF:100010 01001110:123456ABC:ABBA}">
              0x15
            </byte>
          ...

      ...which will ensure that no one in their right mind would ever want to copy that three-second cutscene. Not if it's 500 MiB big.
    • All three of these things fit nicely into the current DVD/CD sizes,

      You could have said the same thing when DVDs came around. I mean, VCDs and SVCDs worked just fine for video... Disc space is disc space. People will find many, many uses for it.

      At most, it's 1-2 hours of little bobby's Soccer game/birthday party. Which still fits on a DVD via MPEG4 (even in HiDef).

      No, it only fits on a DVD if you do heavy filtering and denoising, such as WMVHD DVDs, which kill detail, cause compression artifacts, etc. He

    • One hour of mini-DV is 12gb (90 mins in LP mode)

      A disk that holds 1 tape's worth of raw DV is a VERY useful disk to have.

      At the moment, we have to spend ages making DVD movies of DV rushes. Duplicating tapes is much less convenient but pressing "burn now" at the end of an import would be v. useful.

    • Agreed. I figure HVD will have the necessary jump in capacity for people to adopt it on the computer side - as long as it's relatively open. Neither Blu-ray nor HD-DVD is exciting now to be more than a laserdisc of this era - luring the video-philes in who have to have the latest thing with the highest resolution - but for it to succeed on a wider market - it has to appeal to computer users in this day and age. For some reason, I don't see Blu-ray or HD-DVD taking off much in this area.
    • 20 years!? You have NO concept of how fast things change. 20 years ago, a large hard drive was 50MB, you could get 720K on a diskette (800K if you used a Mac), really decked out computers had 4MB of RAM and ran at 10MHz (maybe even 20!). A really good video setup gave you 800x600 with 256 colors, and a 2400 bps dial-up connection was a welcome relief over 300 and 1200 (but getting access to the Internet was not very easy - when NCSA Telnet first came out, it had the SLIP and TCP/IP protocols built in, no

    • Well, I disagree about writable BR disks not being necessary. 4.7GB (actually around 4.35GB) disks were nice for movies, or half a season of TV shows. But the DL disks were even better, could rip an entire season from my DVDs to to one disk in DivX format and play it on my DivX player. Now, if they come out with a BR divx player, it might be possible to get all seasons of a show on one disk. That right there is worth it to me.

      (Or porn, or both. Just don't mix the two and forget about it.)
  • by grungefade (748722) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @07:54AM (#14947524)
    I can already see this new format going the way of many past failures (ie. Laser Disk, Beta, Minidisk).

    The timing just isnt right. Consumers are not ready to start embracing a new technology when they just barely started embracing dvds. Lots of people have just begun moving their entire collection to dvd. Yes there were early adopters of dvd, but for the majority it has only been a few years. To introduce a new and improved format so soon will only make consumers realize what a sham it is. By making them have to buy the movies they have already bought a second time (maybe 3rd).

    This new generation isnt revolutionary. Its not a big enough improvement to get an entire industry to switch. And 5 years from now 50GB is going to look very small.

    We need a new standard that can not only support our needs now, but that can sustain them for many years to come.

    Lets see... to get 400GB(rewritable) in discs would be $480.
    For a decent 400GB hard drive today, around $225.

    Already does this seem yesterdays technology.... and this is supposed to sustain us for many years?
    • by westlake (615356) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @11:23AM (#14948080)
      I can already see this new format going the way of many past failures (ie. Laser Disk, Beta, Minidisk).
      The timing just isnt right. Consumers are not ready to start embracing a new technology when they just barely started embracing dvds. Lots of people have just begun moving their entire collection to dvd...

      An estimate posted on Slashdot the other day put HDTV in 8-15% of households. No matter how inflated, these numbers look pretty damn impressive.

      RCA Color TV entered the U.S. market in 1954. It took ten years for color to become mass-market and RCA was out there alone.

      In one jump, consumers are moving to large-screen, wide-screen projection, high-definition digital video and digital television sound, as standard.

      DVD videos look grand on your 27" screen. But not so hot at twice that size.

      • What HDTV? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Penguinoflight (517245) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @02:30PM (#14948707) Homepage Journal
        Do the 8-15% of households with HDTV's have the HDMI port? If not, they wont be watching hi-def. All the backstabbing in the consumer electronics business is really what will keep people away from BD/HD, either because people are paranoid or just simply confused out of their minds. By treating early adopters of HDTVs with no respect, Sony and Toshiba will likely find many problems selling their next-gen equipment.
        • Do the 8-15% of households with HDTV's have the HDMI port?

          You are a little behind the curve.

          "Downsampling" analog outout is more or less dead. But 960x540 is not going to look hal-bad on your first generation ATSC set even if the ICT token is set in some future releases.

      • by Xugumad (39311)
        Can't find the article you're talking about, so here's another (which claims the numbers are 15% of US households):

        http://www.digitaltvdesignline.com/howto/showArtic le.jhtml?articleID=178601629 [digitaltvdesignline.com]

        I can't comment on other countries, but as an example, the UK has only had HDTV sources since late 2005. Sky, the most popular television platform, has not even launched its HDTV service yet! Suffice to say, we don't have a lot of HDTVs yet!

        Lets move on to another point... " RCA Color TV entered the U.S. market in 19
    • HD is a bigger quality leap than laserdisc to DVD, or even VHS to DVD. We're talking 6.5x as many pixels, with a better average pixel than with DVD to boot.

      I spent much of last week looking at the compressed VC-1 masters for the HD DVD launch titles, and it's astounding how much more detail there is compared to the DVD, so many little details you never would have noticed on a DVD.
      • I spent much of last week looking at the compressed VC-1 masters for the HD DVD launch titles

        Why aren't we seeing D-Theater (HD-VHS) titles like Die-Hard on the list?

        • I can't really comment on why particular titles are chosen or not. I work with the compressionists, who just get handed a D5 and are told "make it look perfect."
  • Linux support? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Libor Vanek (248963) <libor DOT vanek AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday March 18, 2006 @08:07AM (#14947549) Homepage
    Does anybody has ANY info about Linux support for these drives?
    • Won't happen - everything must be encrypted and lock down right through to the display, which precludes any possibility of opensource versions.
    • Re:Linux support? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jrmcferren (935335)
      It should be, DVD Jon is already working on the DeAACS system now with a target date of late 2006/early 2007. The reason I know this is I know Cody Brocious (remember PyTunes/PyMusic) because I went to vo-tech with him. He now works for Linspire.
      • As I mention in another post - I personally don't care about movies. I'm in CD/DVD duplication bussiness and I need to be able to record "pure" data on it....
  • Possible uses ? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by smoker2 (750216) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @08:42AM (#14947628) Homepage Journal
    I think one possible use of the rewritable disks would be in bootable disks, like knoppix et al.

    while the write speeds are still low compared to hard disks, and the access times would suck, it would be nice to be able to boot a disk on any computer, and be able to save all your work on that same disk. Beats having to work with only web based documents, or leaving small images on the local hard drive.

    I can imagine a time when you could go to a net cafe (for example) and the pc you hired didn't have a hard disk at all, just a HD rewriter. You bring your own OS and leave no traces (incriminating or otherwise).

    I guess this is possible now with DVD-RAM but the available space is a bit limited.

    Another possibilty would be true use anywhere software. You wouldn't need to write for any particular market segment anymore, as you would provide the software and OS on the same bootable disk, great for corporate desktops or front of house applications.

    I realise this idea will be shot down in flames for various reasons, but I still think it has merits. For example you could have MoviX [sourceforge.net] or GeexBoX [geexbox.org] AND 40 or 50 movies all on the same disk.

  • by transami (202700) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @08:52AM (#14947658) Homepage
    Considering it takes around 10 years for optical media to make a 5-fold increase in capacity (CD 0.7GB 1983/91 -> DVD 4.7GB 1997 -> BD 25GB 2006) and Flash memory seems to be doubling every year (512Mb 2001 -> 16Gb 2006), the question is how long before Flash over-takes optical in capacity? Answer: about 5 years. Of course it will probably never beat optical discs for capacity/$, but at some point flash memory should be cheap enough that it doesn't rally matter a great deal. Flash memory is much more convenient to use. In other words, if the current trend continues, optical disks will be obsolete within 10 years. (Yes, that's right. 1TB flash cards anyone?)
  • by Hamster Lover (558288) * on Saturday March 18, 2006 @09:14AM (#14947716) Journal
    With 25 or 50 GB capacity it would be nice to copy a collection of standard DVDs to the discs for use when travelling, etc. Imagine being able to keep one disc in a portable DVD player and be able to choose from three, six or as many as ten different DVDs all on one disc. I realize there are technical limitations such as creating a custom DVD menu and the cost of BD media, burners and portable players is going to be prohibitively expensive at first, but will a BD player play a movie from a burned BD-ROM? And I don't mean a HD movie, I am talking about the current DVD standard we have now.

    Anyone know or is it even possible to know at this point?
    • Imagine being able to keep one disc in a portable DVD player and be able to choose from three, six or as many as ten different DVDs all on one disc.
      That's what laptops with hard drives are for... no removable media required.

      Of course, it only works because "they" slipped up on DVD copy protection... a mistake I doubt they'll soon repeat on Blu-Ray/HD-DVD (despite the prevailing wisdom here on /.).

  • by MindPrison (864299) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @09:18AM (#14947724) Journal
    As many so correctly point out - we've seen this before, they come out, are expensive, the media at ludicrous prices and most of us play the waiting game until it actually pays to buy one.

    Not a bad thing really. Those who wants to ride the "fast-tech-lane" and be first with the latest - pay for innovation and pave way for the normal people who wouldn't get caught dead paying 60 bucks for a CD.

    Personally I was "first-with-the-latest" all the way in my early twenties when the Commodore-64/Amiga was all the rave...and it stopped when I grew older and prioritized differently. I then found out that instead of buying a DVD-Recorder at 500 dollars (plus 30 bucks each DVD-R) I'd use my trusty CD-recorder and bought CD's for 20 cents each, easily reaching 4.7 gb with just a few bucks, sure....I'd have to change discs a bit, but it was more practical for the time as no single file took 4.7 gb so I could have a neat archive with files and names.

    Later on, the DVD recorders dropped to an astonishing 50 bucks, and an even more astonishing 50 cents pr. DVD if I bought these "overseas" which I certainly did. Because NOW it paid to buy DVD's instead of CD's.

    Interestingly enough - the need for storage haven't been in sync with the expansion of program/file sizes, so we're in for a treat.

    I can't for the life of me fill up my old 80 GB harddrives, even with multi-booting systems with Linux AND windows. I'm actually more likely to use the 80 GB harddrives as "2-year-milestone-swapdisks" just replacing them with the need for change (new os/ new stuff etc.) and it's actually cheaper keeping my old stuff ready to use on those older drives, way safer too!

    My old CD's peel after 5 years, some lasted 10...but I have 10 years old harddisk I still can connect and get my old photos, documents etc.

    Food for thoughts...
  • Let's say 50MB for a reasonable, average CD encoding of tolerable quality.

    That's around 500 albums per disc.

    Which is about 25,000 per stack of 50.

    Which, if you have a carousel/jukebox holding 400 discs at a time, is 200,000 albums.

    That's about 80 years worth of listening if you listen to music about 7 hours a day.

    And when prices of BD-R 100 stacks come down to $50 next year, you'll be able to get every album ever released so far for $200 plus whatever markup your friendly ripper charges you.

    Soon the problem
  • Congratulations for finally announcing end user computer usable drives.

    I say one thing:

    If there is no Mac OS X support with external Firewire/USB on the products of first bench, you lost it. Call your Movie/Music division to ask why.

    This warning may sound needless but it is. Pick up those cool corparate phones you have and better call 1-800-MY-APPLE , OS X device driver team/3rd party products office now.

    People may think this is a needless message but we should also post a message warning them not to instal
  • by djrogers (153854)
    So far most of the threads here are revoving around the cost, but what about HDCP? It's worth noting that Sony didn't anounce any standalone drives, only PCs with the drives. Tie that to the fact that no shipping video cards today have implemented HDCP, and you've got a recipe for forced-upgrade-itis. I'm guessing sony actually implemented the HDCP features of one of the video chips out there, but what will this mean for playback of protected movies on projectors, TVs, and monitors that don't support HDC
  • There will be no playback of encrypted movies on the Sony PC. The poster failed to mention that nugget of information, or are we not supposed to bring that up on this site?
  • High-Def Blueray movie: $35. Writable Blueray disc: $45. At these prices you're losing money to priate a high def movie, seems like pretty good DRM to me!
  • Wake me when:

    1. The blank discs cost around $1 each
    2. They sort out which format is going to dominate
    3. The drives cost less than A$200
  • The original purpose of copyrights was to promote progress in science and the arts. Oh. what a cruel world we live in. If it wasn't for content "owners" stifiling the world's creativity, we would be much more advanced than we are. How many of you own a TiVo? I do, it is one of the best purchases I have ever made. However, I just bought a 50" TV (upgeraded from, 27" since I have a 19 foot living room). HD broudcasts look awesome, which I only get with local channels and without cable. I have cable,

Whoever dies with the most toys wins.

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