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Blu-ray Proposes Incompatible BD-XL and IH-BD Formats 252

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-that-time-again dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "The Blu-ray Disc Association announced upcoming specifications for high-capacity write-once and rewritable discs. The BDA proposed two new formats, BDXL, the name given to new 100GB and 128GB discs; and IH-BD, a so-called 'Intra-Hybrid' disc that will incorporate both read-only and rewritable layers. Specifications for both disc types will be published during the upcoming months. Both formats will be incompatible with existing hardware; however, new players designed to take advantage of the new formats will be able to play back existing Blu-ray discs, which are available in both 25 and 50GB capacity points."
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Blu-ray Proposes Incompatible BD-XL and IH-BD Formats

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05, 2010 @05:05PM (#31740910)

    FTFA:

    "Professional industries have expressed a desire to find optical disc solutions that enable them to transition away from magnetic media for their archiving needs."

    Not that anyone expects you to RTFA.

  • by TheSunborn (68004) <tillerNO@SPAMdaimi.au.dk> on Monday April 05, 2010 @05:12PM (#31741024)

    That make sense, except for the part where the already have made write-able blue-ray disks available.

  • by Pulse_Instance (698417) on Monday April 05, 2010 @05:16PM (#31741078)
    If thats the case they must not have heard of devices like the Patriot Box Office [legitreviews.com] which will stream a Blu-Ray iso from your computer. Devices like this are definitely cheaper than whatever they will be charging for the new burners when they come out.
  • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@noSPam.gmail.com> on Monday April 05, 2010 @05:28PM (#31741292) Homepage Journal

    Sony doesn't set movie prices.

    I don't understand why Best Buy and other retailers keep trying to charge $35 for a BluRay movie, when Amazon.com has tons for $15-$20 or less. Blame retailers and studios for jacking up prices.

  • by EyelessFade (618151) on Monday April 05, 2010 @05:45PM (#31741564) Homepage
    And how was the DVD prices when this format was new? Exactly how Bluray is now. And I've seen a significant drop in Bluray prices the last 6 months also
  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Monday April 05, 2010 @06:02PM (#31741806)

    I used to do a lot of archiving to DVD-R disks but discovered that despite being stored in disk cases away from the light and day-to-day use, they still developed read errors within a couple of years of having been written - yet I also have a large music CD collection stored in a similar fashion but have music CDs that are 20 years old that still play absolutely fine. I know for a fact it wasn't a particular brand of DVD-R with the read error problems because I used to make two backup copies to different disk brands....

    Yes, a hard disk in regular use is probably going to start failing within a couple of years also - but it's much quicker to slot in a new 1TB hard disk and backup to it than it is to burn about another 200 DVD-R disks to store the same amount of data...

  • by PhantomHarlock (189617) on Monday April 05, 2010 @06:06PM (#31741868)

    Oh man. I thought we got away from this after we left the incompatibility of DVD-R/RW with most commercial video DVD players behind. Currently I can author my HD videos to Blu-Ray recordables and they play just fine on any Blu Ray player. Hallelujah. Fortunately I don't have much of a reason to use higher capacity discs, my videos aren't 6 hours long. At 12 GB / hr I can fit plenty on a stock Blu Ray disc. As a data application, this is probably OK, but hard drives are so cheap these days there's no point in doing optical backups. This might be used for 4k video and other very high end formats in the future, however.

    And if you say that there is no need for physical formats, you're wrong. At least in the USA, our level of broadband is not capable of delivering 25 mbits / sec video to the home, on demand and with everyone on your block doing same. With large LCD, plasma and DLP screens, that data rate makes all the difference in quality. Compare satellite HD to the same content on Blu-Ray and you'll see an enormous difference. Most Sat HD feeds I've seen are practically unwatchable due to compression artifacts.

    -M

  • by causality (777677) on Monday April 05, 2010 @06:07PM (#31741878)

    You also completely contradict yourself. You suggest Sony is part of some massive conspiracy because it is in their best interest to have high prices, and then immediately after say it is in their best interest to have low prices.

    I wouldn't call it conspiracy, I would call it collusion. It's reminiscent of the USA cellphone industry. For example, text messages cost next-to-nothing for the carrier of a CDMA network, and absolutely nothing for the carrier of a GSM network. Yet despite multiple competing cellphone networks, none of them have text message pricing that remotely reflects the actual cost of delivering SMS.

    It's not difficult to understand why. It benefits all of the cellphone companies to continue overcharging for this service, and the one company that undercuts the competition and forces all of them to lower their prices is going to ruin the high profit margins for everyone, itself included. No conspiracy is required; they didn't have to get together and plan this ahead of time. Each company only has to realize that changing this status quo will result in less profit, and they can realize this independently without consulting the other companies.

    Until and unless they start losing serious sales volume because customers feel that the price is too high, the movie producers have no incentive to engage in competition that they know will reduce their profit margins. Unlike the cellphone providers, they are not even directly competing with each other because of the monopoly nature of copyright. No one but Sony can produce and distribute copies of a movie for which Sony owns the copyright, so if you want a movie made by them you cannot purchase that same title from a competitor. So there is even less competition for each unique movie title than there is among cellphone providers for mobile phone services. That means there is even less incentive for any one company to rock the boat with aggressive pricing.

    Retailers ultimately set prices. And most retailers are being stupid because Amazon is massively undercutting them.

    If Sony's wholesale price for copies of its movies is X, then Amazon cannot charge less than X for those titles and expect to remain in business. That's why Sony's influence on the ultimate retail price is quite strong and should not be so quickly dismissed. I would venture that Amazon's lower prices have more to do with sales volume and the fact that they don't have the expenses of maintaining brick-and-mortar stores.

  • by PitaBred (632671) <slashdot@NoSPaM.pitabred.dyndns.org> on Monday April 05, 2010 @06:11PM (#31741934) Homepage

    I place Blu-Ray along with DVD... if I can crack it and use it like I want, I'll deal with it. AnyDVD HD seems to work pretty well for me, so I don't mind getting movies on Blu-Ray. If that stops, I'll stop getting Blu-Rays (I already don't pay more than $15 or so for them. Screw new release prices). DVD has encryption on it just like Blu-Ray. Using one but not the other seems like a meaningless protest, along the lines of "get off my lawn!"

  • by causality (777677) on Monday April 05, 2010 @06:13PM (#31741978)

    What else would provide a strong enough incentive for them to cooperate long enough to reach agreement on a single good standard?

    Pah, you forgot that the good thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from!

    Haha.

    Seriously though, when they are interoperable open standards this isn't a problem. The problem is that if you want to make a Blu-ray player, you need Sony's blessing in the form of licensing agreements. Not to mention that Sony has no incentive to make Blu-ray compatible with anyone else's standard. This makes it more difficult to economically produce a hardware device for which supporting several multiple standards is only a matter of firmware.

  • by RobDude (1123541) on Monday April 05, 2010 @06:31PM (#31742206) Homepage

    Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't there all sorts of ways to limit the rights of the consumer with DVDs? And even VHS before that? And before that, even the old Cassette Tape had copy protection.

  • by Verunks (1000826) on Monday April 05, 2010 @06:36PM (#31742272)
    except that the blu-ray isn't owned just by sony but by many companies that are part of the blu-ray association http://www.blu-raydisc.com/en/about/SupportingCompanies.html [blu-raydisc.com]
    also sony and all those other companies are part of the dvd forum as well so what makes you think that hd-dvd wouldn't have this kind of problem?
  • by EdgeyEdgey (1172665) on Monday April 05, 2010 @07:59PM (#31743168)
    Stored as audio CDs or data CD's?
    CD error correction chips and your ears smooth out any data losses in audio CDs.
  • by Anpheus (908711) on Monday April 05, 2010 @08:04PM (#31743214)

    Are you serious?

    No one has an answer for long term media over twenty five years. No one. CD-ROM has barely been around that long, tapes that old cannot be read in any current players, and hard drives back then used IDE, which I can still get adapters for.

    The only realistic way to archive digital media is to have a planned rotation policy. So, if I were to start today I'd start with 1 or 1.5TB disks in bulk, in 3 years consolidate those 2:1 to 2 or 3TB disks, etc. And keep consolidating (reducing the number of disks while also storing the data at multiple sites) perpetually. That's the only solution that keeps your data yours, and not at the mercy of a technology that you know won't be supported in twenty five years.

    And of course, just because I recommend hard drives don't mean I recommend throwing everything else out the window. Judicious use of ECC, storing archive data at multiple sites and even biting the bullet and storing data multiple times at a single site are all options that should be explored when determining your archive policy.

  • by Anpheus (908711) on Monday April 05, 2010 @08:05PM (#31743222)

    I work full time IT, part time as a movie theatre projectionist.

    Guess how all our digital movies arrive?

    Hard disk.

  • by josath (460165) on Monday April 05, 2010 @08:28PM (#31743454) Homepage
    I'm pretty happy with 720p movies that run around 5-10GB on my 55" 1080p LCD (ie, one DVD5 or one DVD9). The difference between 720p and 1080p is very slight to my eyes. Much smaller than the difference between DVD and 720p.
  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @11:23AM (#31748580) Journal

    This is modus operandi for Sony. They think like engineers, not customers, and are constantly tinkering with their projects:

    - Betamax I became Betamax II which was the new standard for store-bought movies. Early adopters couldn't play these movies on their Beta-I machines.

    - SuperBetamax increased the resolution to broadcast quality, and although Sony claimed it was a compatible standard, in reality it created strange white lines on older machines.

    - Umatic became Umatic SP and Betacam became Betacam SP, which forced TV studios to upgrade to new machines.

    - MiniDisc adopted new formats (codecs) which forced previous owners to throw-out their devices and buy new.

    - The PS2 became the PS2slim which not only can't use a HDD (for final fantasy 11), but also isn't 99.9% compatible with older games like the original PS2 was.

    - And now it appears Sony is doing the same thing with Bluray, and eventually the BRD Player I bought will not be able to play the new format.

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