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Portables Media Power Hardware

Blu-ray In Laptops Could Be Hard On Batteries 202

damienhunter notes a Wired story on the power-hungry ways of the first generation of Blu-ray players coming soon to a laptop near you. "With the Sony-backed HD format emerging victorious from a two-year showdown with Toshiba's HD DVD, many laptop manufacturers are now scrambling to add Blu-ray drives in their desktop and notebook lineups. Next month, Dell will even introduce a sub-$1,000 Blu-ray notebook... But the promise of viewing an increasing variety of HD movies on your laptop may be overshadowed by ongoing concerns over the technology's vampiric effect on battery life. Indeed, if the first generation of Blu-ray equipped laptops are any indication, you might not get more than halfway through that movie before running out of juice completely, analysts say."
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Blu-ray In Laptops Could Be Hard On Batteries

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  • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Friday February 29, 2008 @10:37AM (#22599620) Homepage
    I wonder....

  • Does anyone know? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Friday February 29, 2008 @10:51AM (#22599754)
    Is there any reason a high power laser is needed for reading? Writing may have a power requirement but I would have thought that to read a disk you could make up for a lowered power laser with a higher sensitivity detector.
  • by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Friday February 29, 2008 @10:54AM (#22599782) Homepage
    Interesting... I wonder how HD-DVD and Blu-Ray compare in this regard? Anybody know?
  • by dalmiroy2k ( 768278 ) on Friday February 29, 2008 @10:57AM (#22599822)
    Last night I played Transformers 1080P Blu-ray rip (10GB MKV file) in my Vaio VGN-FZ340E.
    I used "Media Player Classic" with latest K-lite codecs, using the just the stock battery and a medium power saving mode and everthing went fine for the entire movie.
    Yes, playing this files may not be legal but I just don't see a better or legal way to do HD with my current hardware.
    Same thing happens if you try to play a Blu-ray movie (Assuming you have a drive) with Linux.
  • Re:Does anyone know? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cube135 ( 1231528 ) on Friday February 29, 2008 @11:04AM (#22599894)
    I'm not sure, but it's probably the blue laser that the high-def formats use. It's a shorter wavelength laser than normal DVD or CD lasers, so it would take more power to create the beam. I can't see that taking more power than the 100% CPU needed to actually display the movie, or the LCD's power drain, though...
  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sandbags ( 964742 ) on Friday February 29, 2008 @11:24AM (#22600144) Journal
    My 17" laptop screen has full HD resolution. Sitting on my lap, it has the effective screen size of a quite large TV at a normal sitting distance. HD goggles have screens as small as 2.5", but have effective viewing sizes in excess of 100".

    I did a battery test. Not quite the same as watching realtime video, but I assume that pegging both my cores to 100% with the screen at 75% brightness while WRITING a DVD (at 1X just to make sure it took at least 2 hours) uses quite similar power to watching a BD or DVDVD movie, if not far more.

    My battery died at 1 hour 50 minutes. Feature length for "most" movies nowadays. Playing a 1080P rip of a movie from the HDD I've gotten over 2.5 hours before, but I typically use lower brightness and don't use DVD at the same time. My wife's poor machine however, playing just simple DVDs, she gets about 1 hour 20 minutes. playing games online she gets less than an hour if she forgets to plug in.

    Then again, the only places I watch a DVD is 1) in my car, where i have a power agapter, at home at my desk, or at work on breaks. I'm never out in a park wathcing DVD. At a coffee shop, there's an outlet handy if I need it.

    This Vista POS I have from work supposedly has a centrino duo, which uses less watts than any of my other systems by a large margin, but since Vista thrashes the HDD so much, it only gets about 90 minutes on a charge. When XP was on it, I got nearly 3 hours per charge. Since BD and HD can only play under Vista anyway (unless you convert and rip to HDD) I'd say Vista itself was a bigger battery hog than the DVD player...
  • whats the point? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by night_flyer ( 453866 ) on Friday February 29, 2008 @11:37AM (#22600328) Homepage
    HD BlueRay on a 19" screen?!? I cant see the difference on my 32" screen... talk about overkill
  • Re:o rly? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by genik76 ( 1193359 ) on Friday February 29, 2008 @11:38AM (#22600346)
    I don't see why anyone would want to see the individual pixels - if you're seeing them instead of the movie, you're too close. And when watching a movie, the bigger, the better. When watching a HD movie in any location, I would always prefer a 42" screen over a 17" screen. The discussion about who's gonna carry the plasma to a hotel room is another topic.
  • Re:o rly? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by teh kurisu ( 701097 ) on Friday February 29, 2008 @11:39AM (#22600368) Homepage

    My laptop screen resolution is 1280x800. 720p resolution is 1280x720.

  • Re:o rly? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Friday February 29, 2008 @11:55AM (#22600566)
    Isn't a laptop with 1080 lines of resolution pretty rare? Will a 1050-line laptop scale the image or just crop it? I'd hope that there is a crop option, since the scaling would probably use even more CPU and degrade the image.
  • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Friday February 29, 2008 @03:27PM (#22603650)
    I realize cropping sometimes sucks, but if you had a 1680x1050 screen (as I do on my Desktop), I contend that the 15 pixels missing on the top and bottom will not be missed - nor will the 120 pixels on each side. You're talking about 13% of the width going away and less than 3% of the height. I'd much rather get the crisp "raw" pixels and lose a teeny bit of the edge than have the "smeared" look of scaling along with black bars on the top and bottom of an already tiny laptop screen.

    The HDTV spec calls for a "clean aperture" size of 1888x1062 anyway, so you really are only losing 102 pixels on each side compared to what they "expect" you to see, and hardly anything at the top and bottom. I've never seen a movie where the last 5% of the screen edge contains anything essential to the plot :)

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun