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Data Storage Hardware

Toshiba Touts 51GB HD DVD 236

srizah writes to mention that Toshiba plans to launch a 51 GB HD DVD, with a 1 GB advantage over Sony's Blu-ray disc. From the article: Toshiba has submitted a triple-layer, 51GB HD DVD-ROM disc to the standard's overseer in the hope the technology will be adopted as a standard by the end of the year. If approved, it allow the format to exceed the 50GB storage capacity of rival medium Blu-ray Disc. The HD DVD standard currently defines single- and dual-layer discs capable of holding 15GB and 30GB of data, respectively."
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Toshiba Touts 51GB HD DVD

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  • Fifty one! (Score:5, Funny)

    by plover ( 150551 ) * on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:31PM (#17620100) Homepage Journal
    Ours goes to 51. Yes, but you see -- that's one more, isn't it? Fifty-one is one more than fifty, that's what makes it so special. It's one more.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by KUHurdler ( 584689 )
      640K of memory should be enough for anybody.

    • by Wavicle ( 181176 )
      Do not be too proud of this technological terror you have created. The power to store 51GB of data is insignificant next to the power of the market forces demanding pr0n.
      • by nbert ( 785663 )
        The problem is that the "pr0n industry" hasn't decided yet - some studios release in HD-DVD, others in Blu-Ray.

        Disclaimer: I'm just keeping an eye on this industry because they really indicate which standard will win from time to time - not that I'm a geek drooling in mom's basement. Seriously ;)
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Wavicle ( 181176 )
          I've heard that Sony doesn't want it on Blu-Ray [].
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by binkzz ( 779594 )
            They say that's what killed Philip's superior video cassettes - that they didn't allow porn on it.
          • by nbert ( 785663 )
            I'm sure this plays a minor role compared to the VHS/Betamax war, because Sony not wanting it doesn't mean that they will have to face major obstacles to release it this time.
        • Wrong again, Sparky. Nobody in porn has released a single Blu-ray Disc yet and at least one studio that had previously planned to go Blu-ray (Digital Playground) has switched to HD-DVD because none of the duplicators would take their business, supposedly thanks to discouragement from on high (Sony and the other rulers of the BD consortium).
    • by L7_ ( 645377 ) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:41PM (#17620280)
      I always think of that hitchiker clip in "Something about Mary" when I hear of these comparisons:

      Hitchiker: You heard of this thing the 8-minute abs?
      Guy: Yeah, sure, 8-minute abs. Yeah, the exercise video.
      Hitchiker: This is going to blow that right out of the water. Listen to this. 7-minute abs. Right.
      Guy: Yes. OK, all right, I see where you're going.
      Hitchiker: You walk into a video store. There's 8-minute abs and 7-minute abs beside it. Which one are you going to pick?
      Guy: I'm... I would go for the seven.
      Hitchiker: Bingo, man, bingo. 7-minute abs. ...

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by dubbreak ( 623656 )
        I love that. My favorite part is when he mentions the possibilty of someone introducing 6 minute abs.

        Hitchhiker: You heard of this thing, the 8-Minute Abs?
        Ted Stroehmann: Yeah, sure, 8-Minute Abs. Yeah, the excercise video.
        Hitchhiker: Yeah, this is going to blow that right out of the water. Listen to this: 7... Minute... Abs.
        Ted Stroehmann: Right. Yes. OK, alright. I see where you're going.
        Hitchhiker: Think about it. You walk into a video store, you see 8-Minute Abs sittin' there, there's 7-Minute Ab

    • by Annirak ( 181684 )
      That's why I tagged this "pissingcontest"
    • Re:Fifty one! (Score:4, Informative)

      by AftanGustur ( 7715 ) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:52PM (#17620480) Homepage

      According to Wikipedia [], Blue Ray is up to 33 GB **PER LAYER** in the labs, that would give 66 Gigabytes for a *two layer* blueray disk.

      And of course, a 3 layer "standard" blueray disk would be about 70GB.

      And then there's reality, it looks like Sony will manage to shoot itself in the leg (head) with it's silly restrictions on content. (No pron).

  • 200 GB blu-ray (Score:5, Informative)

    by Naksu ( 689429 ) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:34PM (#17620146)
    TDK actually has made six-layer 200 GB blu-ray disks, way back in 2006 :) e=con&recid=127 []
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Karganeth ( 1017580 )
      Nonsense! A company who distributed a rootkit and lost a different format war in the past could never create a technology superior to HD-DVD. Besides, a blogger posted something about Sony not licensing his pr0n movie so, obviously, Blu-ray is bound to fail.
  • by andrewd18 ( 989408 ) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:34PM (#17620148)
    R&D: Billions of dollars.
    Marketing: More billions of dollars.

    Squeezing that extra GB out of your next-gen DVD to claim your format is "better": Priceless.
    • by 7Prime ( 871679 )
      Carl Sagan (aka: Butthead Astronomer ©): "Billions and Billions of Dollars"
  • by User 956 ( 568564 ) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:36PM (#17620200) Homepage
    Toshiba plans to launch a 51 GB HD DVD, with a 1 GB advantage over Sony's Blu-ray disc.

    This will clearly make it victorious over blu-ray. The fact that the porn industry has chosen HD-DVD will have nothing to do with it.
    • by phlegm ( 146308 ) on Monday January 15, 2007 @07:13PM (#17620782) Homepage
      Why does everybody keep saying this. It is not true. Just because a blogger says something does not make it fact. This was all over Digg and thoroughly debunked in the comments there. But people still believe it. Many producers including Vivid (The biggest) are exclusively blu-ray.
      • by c_forq ( 924234 )
        Personally I want people to keep saying it. It everyone keeps saying it then the porn producers will say "Hey, it looks like everyone is expecting us to produce on HD-DVD, so lets do that". Plus, I feel if something is said enough it has a way of becoming true. I think this is how G.W. Bush got his first term, by constantly saying he was going to be President until people actually believed it.
    • People, this is not VHS vs. Betamax. It is 2007, and porn is freely available on the Internet. Not to mention that companies like Vivid are Blu-ray exclusive. And so is Disney. You can't go around forming your worldview based solely on Digg and Slashdot headlines. It's just plain ignorant!
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Babbster ( 107076 )
        Okay, here's the problem with what you say about Vivid being "Blu-ray exclusive": They still haven't released a disc. On the other hand, Wicked has already released an HD DVD movie and Digital Playground (which was also supposedly going the Blu-ray route) has 5 on the way. The entire basis for Vivid being "Blu-ray exclusive" is a statement from the boss over there that they were leaning toward Blu-ray because the PS3 would have it and they expected that community to be open to buying Blu-ray porn. Of co
  • No way (Score:2, Insightful)

    by koh ( 124962 )
    Are you kidding me?

    The previously capacity-challenged HD-DVD grows larger than its Blue-Ray rival, therefore eliminating the last remaining advantage or BR and more or less killing it in the short-to-medium term... Along with the PS3.

    This just after HD-DVD encryption was broken? I have to get my tinfoil hat.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Blu-ray can go up to 200GB. With HD-DVD being publicly cracked before Blu-ray, that's pretty much the death knell in my eyes. The movie studios are even more paranoid about DRM than the music industry.
      • 1) The capacity issue is a complete non-starter. The battle they're looking to win isn't for the next computer backup format - that's purely hardware and media which always ends up in small profit margins. The battle is for selling movies and capacity just isn't an issue in that fight since both formats can accommodate an HD movie plus extras. Capacity only becomes an issue in putting HD television shows on disc, and the market seems quite happy with multiple discs (which, BTW, is an advantage for HD DV
  • Not a big deal... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NineNine ( 235196 ) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:41PM (#17620286)
    None of these high capactiy DVD formats are going to get any traction at all for at least the next few years. DVD has just recently become ubiquitous, and I'm willing to bet that nobody is buying these new players yet (except for the ones in the XBox 360 and the PS3). The TV technology (plasma and LCD) is still unbelievably crappy and overpriced, so there's no real reason for these new formats yet.
    • The XBox 360 requires a $199 add-on.

      I really don't get your comments on LCD and plasma, most of the problems were with older generation products. They still have some negative aspects but so does every other display technology. You can get a 42" 1080p CD for around $1500, which is a fantastic price for how great the picture is.
      • 1080p CD

        This should read 1080p LCD.
      • I really don't get your comments on LCD and plasma, most of the problems were with older generation products.

        Eh. I've never seen a plasma or LCD TV that looked anywhere near as good as a plain ol' CRT. Either everything looks choppy and digitized, or things look terribly washed out, or you have to look at them directly (90 degree angle) to see anything. I'm a movie fanatic, and incredibly anal about picture quality. I've never seen one of those new TV's that I would ever consider buying (and I've look
    • by rm999 ( 775449 )
      "The TV technology (plasma and LCD) is still unbelievably crappy and overpriced"

      Uh, no. Good, relatively cheap solutions have existed for more than a year now. I bought a 720p projector (which projects onto a 110" screen) more than a year ago that retails for around 1200 dollars right now. My monitor can handle 1080p with its 1900x1200 resolution.

      Your argument has been repeated ad nauseam for a long time now, but the inflection point has hit where it is no longer even remotely valid. My blockbuster already
  • by bherman ( 531936 ) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:41PM (#17620288) Homepage
    Ok, I'm a tad confused

    1 Layer = 15 gig
    2 Layers = 30 gig (makes sense, 15 x 2)
    3 Layers = 51 15 x 3 = 45
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by InsaneGeek ( 175763 )
      1 layer = 17 not 15
      2 layers = 34
      3 layers = 51
      • by hattig ( 47930 ) on Monday January 15, 2007 @08:24PM (#17621732) Journal
        You've got to +5 Informative by giving incorrect information.

        HD-DVD is 15GB per layer, in the current shipping product.

        1 layer = 15GB
        2 layers = 30GB

        In this product the capacity per layer has been increased to 17GB.

        3 layers = 51GB

        Theoretically that will also make 17GB and 34GB HD-DVDs a possibility. However there is a wee slight issue. Current HD-DVD players may not be able to read these new 17GB layers, and quite possibly may not manage 3 layers either. The first may be fixable in the firmware, but the laser is very much hardware - although the laser power might be firmware controllable, and hence make it possible to read with firmware tweaks.

        BluRay is 25GB per layer. However in a similar vein 33GB/layer BluRay discs have been done (200GB capacity in 6 layers), but some current players may read them, AFAIK. However if a firmware update would work then 66GB dual-layer BluRay discs are a possibility.

        OTOH Hitachi apparently showcased a 25GB x 4 layer BluRay disc recently however: "Hitachi demonstrated reading from a 100 GB Blu Ray disc, comprising four layers of data. It is probably in reaction to the upcoming adoption of triple layer HD-DVD. The good news is that this technology seems close at hand: the device used to read is very close to the LG GBW-H10N that we tested. A firmware modification was all it took to allow all four layers to be read."
    • by this great guy ( 922511 ) on Monday January 15, 2007 @07:21PM (#17620932)
      1 layer = 15 GB
      2 layers = 30 GB = 2 x 15 GB/layer
      3 layers = 51 GB = 3 x 17 GB/layer

      For 3-layer HD-DVDs, Toshiba decided to use 17 GB layers instead of 15 for the sole purpose of obtaining the upper hand in capacity over the competing 50 GB Blu-ray discs. I agree that this is a bit laughable :)
  • by javilon ( 99157 ) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:42PM (#17620298) Homepage
    Will current HD-DVD players be able to read three layers disks? If that is not the case, they are adding to the DRM nightmare.

    Now you have to check that:

    - You are using the right disk with the right recorder BlueRay/HD-DVD
    - You are using the right variety of disk that you recorder can read (triple layer won't work on old players).
    - You have everything hooked using HDCP cabling.
    - All of your hardware supports DRM (if it doesn't your content will be downgraded and you will be worst off than you would with a dvd player).

    And off course, the way things are going, in no time your new shiny expensive hardware will be rendered obsolete by a new iteration of the technology and/or the Digital Restrictions Management schema imposed by the studios.

    You have to be masochistic to refuse the easy route to High Definition, a DVI connector, P2P and a BFHD (Big F*****g Hard Drive).
    • by alen ( 225700 )
      in a few years when there is mass adoption of HD-DVD this won't matter because the early adopters will buy the cheaper and better players that will be out. Just like they did when DVD first came out
      • Say it twice. A lot of early players had trouble switching between two DVD layers (long pauses, sometimes complete crashes), and many of those choked completely on DVDs that came along later (pre-2000 versus post-2000). Of course, relatively few people are even aware that this is the case since DVD only really started taking off in 2000.

        The entire HD DVD versus Blu-ray discussion is academic for this very reason. Both formats are still firmly in early-adopter territory and will continue to be so for a
  • Amazing! (Score:4, Informative)

    by oGMo ( 379 ) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:46PM (#17620368)

    Someone's competitor plans to launch a product with a 2% advantage over the product you can already get, mere years after something with a 100% advantage was demonstrated [], and within only 8 months of something with 200% advantage []!

    • by koh ( 124962 )
      Someone's competitor plans to launch a product with a 2% advantage over the product you can already get, mere years after something with a 100% advantage was demonstrated, and within only 8 months of something with 200% advantage!

      Sorry, Sony. Those 2% are the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. Come back next gen.

  • by Wesley Felter ( 138342 ) <> on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:52PM (#17620474) Homepage
    (This article appears to be a dupe, so I might as well repost my comment from last time.)

    The HD-DVD spec was finalized a while ago. HD-DVD players can only read two layers, therefore no movie can ever have more than two layers. All this talk about more layers is just PR wanking.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by eclectro ( 227083 )
      HD-DVD players can only read two layers, therefore no movie can ever have more than two layers.

      I suspect that future players will be backwards compatible with the new format.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      The HD-DVD spec was finalized a while ago. HD-DVD players can only read two layers, therefore no movie can ever have more than two layers. All this talk about more layers is just PR wanking.

      Technically, no.

      Think about it for a moment. Look at all the HD-DVDs on the market, and HD-DVD players. They're missing something. Something that has annoyed the world over (not so much North America, but the rest of the world). Blu-Ray has it alright (they've simplified it - somewhat, but it's still present).

      The "featur

      • Now how in the world is the content industry going to accept that a major "next-gen" format will allow someone in Europe to get a high-quality movie that's probably just playing in theatres?

        Digital projection has arrived, and it allows a movie to open simultaneously in at least the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. (Ever notice that anglophone countries tend to come in pairs?) A week later, it opens in other countries, subbed into a dozen different languages. If that's not enough, then just delay the HD DVD release until the worldwide theatrical run has completed. Release the DVD first and then the "collector's edition" HD DVD.

    • by hurfy ( 735314 )
      Exactly my thoughts

      Who would produce something on this new disc that early adopters could not use? Wouldn't it be incompetent of a producer to use one disc that alienates half your customers when the simple choice of putting it on 2 discs would be useable by all?

      If people can't get up and change the disc after like 10 hours of video....

      Maybe a nice big epreen battle so they can woo the people for a backup drive, but i dont think i want to trust my data to em anyway. Even if it makes to recordable media i be
      • by rhizome ( 115711 )
        Who would produce something on this new disc that early adopters could not use?

        This one goes to 51.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Hamoohead ( 994058 )

      I'm old enough to remember the capacity wars between Beta/VHS. The first Beta (B-I) was 90 minutes on an L750 tape and the first VHS (SP) was 120 minutes on a T120. Not to be outdone, Sony created B-II which doubled the recording time to 180 minutes. The problem was B-II was incompatible with the first gen machines. Sony's "solution" was to eliminated B-I (except for playback via a switch on the back of the deck) on all B-II decks. JVC (VHS) followed suit with LP (240 minutes) and the same incompatibil

      • OTOH, the DVD spec has gone a decade with no such changes. I suspect that HD-DVD and Blu-ray will stay frozen until 4K "ultra definition" downloads take off around 2017.
  • Is there going to be a triple-layer writer as well, or will this work only for manufactured discs?

    And as for all existing players being unable to play these discs, that's the price you pay for being a HD-DVD early adopter. One would hope, despite their past track record, that Sony won't obsolete all their (say 500K) existing BluRay players just to squeeze out 2GB more.

  • Behind the curve (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Straif ( 172656 ) on Monday January 15, 2007 @07:12PM (#17620750) Homepage
    I'm not a big fan of Blu-Ray (lack of standards is going to play havoc on first gen adopters) but if this was a fight about capacity HD-DVD would have been dead before it ever began. Capacity is about the only aspect of the next gen formats where there is a clear winner and it is not HD.

    TDK was showcasing 100GB blu-ray discs [] almost two years ago and has recently shown off 200GB blu-ray discs []. The problem is people are slow to adopt the use of next gen optical drives for performing important back ups and at present the excess capacity is next to useless for the movie industry.

    This does help HD-DVD in that the increased capacity does help them match Blu-Rays superiority in the important TV DVD market. Previous to this you could fit an entire high def season on one BR disc but would be forced to use 2 or 3 HD discs. Now they can both meet the single disc hurdle.

    I just hope someone wins this battle quickly and we'll get one standard for both PCs and movies or if not at least drives/players capable of reading both.
  • one basket. 51 GB on a single CD-sized disc means the data is more physically compact.... which just means you lose more data if the disc gets scratched. 51GB is an improvement from 700 MB, I suppose, but I think cooler things could be being done.

    The data storage technology development seems to be progressing the same way video games were/are for a while. Video games pushed for more violence, more sex, a higher polygon count, neater visuals, blah blah blah. Too many of them are just the same old crap

    • So now we have a disc that holds more than the last disc.... Whoo.


      On the other hand, where are those super-cool hologram storage things I remember hearing about years ago??

      Why, would they enable us to store more info in the same space..? Whoo. :-)

  • by dagamer34 ( 1012833 ) on Monday January 15, 2007 @07:27PM (#17621036)
    It's not about the amount of storage space a HD-DVD or Blu-Ray disc can hold, as both formats have proven adequate to storing HD movies with amazing quality. No, it's about being able to get those discs into mass production with little increase in costs. That's why that 200GB Blu-Ray disc is pointless if it costs 10 or 20 times more to produce. Blu-Ray lost out earlier last year because while it did HAVE 50GB discs in it's initial spec, it took until late November to use them in movies. HD-DVD has been using dual layer 30GB discs from the start.

    We'll just have to wait and see how long it takes before these discs become reasonable to manufacturer. Until then, I'm sticking to DVD.

  • i would rather have the Bluray
    they were first to propose the idea, they came up with the best format(capacity wise) and they are the only ones to produce a PC-writer AFAIK. I don't care about past mistakes (Sony Media), they produce good shit.
  • by melted ( 227442 ) on Monday January 15, 2007 @07:45PM (#17621298) Homepage
    The war is already won by HD-DVD, for three reasons:
    1. It's cheaper to produce
    2. There's porn on it
    3. Higher capacities don't matter for H.264/VC-1 encoded content

    These map very closely to VHS vs Betamax war:
    1. VHS was cheaper to product
    2. There was porn on it
    3. Higher image quality didn't matter much

    Except #3 is not even about image quality this time around. Image quality is identical between two standards, they use the same codecs at the same bitrates.
    • by GauteL ( 29207 )
      I really don't think the porn is going to matter much. Back in VHS vs. betamax it may have mattered, but now physical media has already been made obsolete for porn by internet distribution. This would have happened for regular movies as well if the studios hadn't been so stubborn/scared.

      Yes, people may still by porn on physical media, but it is not going to have such an impact.

      What really matters is the name and the price. WTF is "Blue Ray"? HD has become the standard acronym for High Definition and DVD is
  • Here in Brazil is almost impossible to find a double layer DVD media for recording, and when found it's way to expensive (R$ 15,00 against R$ 2,00 for a single layer, or in U$: 6.50/0.85).

    So, who cares? It's news just for big players :-P

  • While I know Holographic Versatile Discs (HVD) [] are still quite experimental/in development, the technologies it utilizes are far beyond the scimpy Blu-ray/HD-DVD conundrum. HVDs are able to push 300GB+. If you took the R&D money currently being pumped into Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, and if Sony/Toshiba combined forces on HVDs, it would be amazing how fast they would come to market, and there would be no tit-for-tat between companies. 51GB? BAH HUMBUG! 300 GB? yeaaahhh baby!! That is where the future lies
  • I'll tell you what I think -- Sony supports "Blu-Ray" -- and they hosed a computer of mine (ok, a relatives) with a root-kit. Disney seems to support "Blu-Ray" -- just advertised all their movie-wares on Blu-Ray. I don't like their attitude toward Copyright Extension. (But I do like Squeak, go figure).

    So, I lean to HD-DVD, just to pimp-alap Sony and Disney a bit. You know?

    Do I care about the GB? As long as its lots, and (reasonably) reliable, no. Now, if they came up with a disc/changer that was affordable
  • Not only that they read my posts []:

    That means you'd need 51 GB just to store the same length movie as a dual-layer DVD.

    I'd like to ask that no one remind me that this would have taken more than a couple days to develop, and just let me go on thinking I inspired this technological breakthrough. And for my next trick, I'd like to suggest that HD-DVDs need to go to 200 GB. Are you listening Toshiba?

The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you're still a rat. -- Lily Tomlin