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HD VMD Shows Up Late For the Format War

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the other-guys-will-kill-each-other-off-see dept.

Media 280

Fishead writes "As the fight heats up between HD DVD and Blu-ray, and as consumers seem to care less and less, a new contender has entered the fray. Next month, New Medium Enterprises will be selling a 1080p player through Amazon and stores such as Radio Shack and Costco for around $150 — half what the cheapest HD DVD player costs, and a quarter the cost of a low-end Blu-ray. The difference this new HD VMD (Versatile Multilayer Disc) format brings is that the discs are created with the same (cheap) red laser as DVDs. From the article: 'HD VMD discs, which hold up to 30GB on a single side, are encoded with a maximum bit rate of 40 megabits per second... between HD DVD's 36 Mpbs and Blu-ray's 48 Mbps. The format uses MPEG-2 and VC1 video formats to encode at 1080p resolution for the time being, and will possibly move to the H.264 format in the future.'"

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Fourth (4, Informative)

The Iso (1088207) | more than 6 years ago | (#20531649)

Fourth contender. [engadget.com]

Re:Fourth (4, Insightful)

Perseid (660451) | more than 6 years ago | (#20531687)

Ooh! The same crap with MORE DRM on it? Sign me up...or not.

Re:Fourth (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20531739)

It's basically HD-DVD with a layer of DRM-tainted paint!

Re:Fourth (1)

NickCatal (865805) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532175)

Bringing a new meaning to "pumping him full of lead"

Re:Fourth (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532825)

I think I'd rather have EVD [wikipedia.org] .

I hope it wins! (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#20531651)

That will serve them fine.

Re:I hope it wins! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20531921)

It surely beats the Microsoft/Toshiba format HD DVD, the 45 mbit bandwidth is 25% higher than HD DVD (and not that far from Blu-ray Disc actually). The capacity is on pair with HD DVD but the 50GB Blu-ray Disc still has a huge 66% advantage, especially for recording.

Could this be the last nail in the HD DVD coffin? Based on the tech specs one should actually prefer HD VMD over HD DVD for prerecorded stuff!

But should one go for the cheap HD VMD today or support BDs more expensive route (which surely will be cheaper tomorrow)?

Re:I hope it wins! (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532263)

Since I don't have a HDTV and aren't intrested in buying movies anyway the choice is rather easy for me. Wait and get the technicaly better format once prices has fallen due to mass production.

A more advanced format will last longer. (Well, atleast as long as it doesn't lose vs a cheaper one that is :D)

I don't think this format have any feature because the other ones are already known and as someone said Toshibas HD-DVDs aren't that expensive either anyway. Personally I would just had prefered if Microsoft (?) didn't managed to get more people over to HD-DVD back when everyone except one studie supported blu-ray and this whole thing would had been solved.

Worst case scenario is paying two (or three) licenses for hd-dvd/bluray/dvd/hdvmd combo player =P

Re:I hope it wins! (2, Interesting)

click2005 (921437) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532443)

But should one go for the cheap HD VMD today or support BDs more expensive route (which surely will be cheaper tomorrow)?

It will take much larger numbers to be produced for BD to even get close to HDDVD/HDVMD in manufacturing cost. HDDVD/VMDs can be produced using existing equipment with small modifications. Manufacturing BD requires new equipment and is a much more complex process.
BD Players also cost about 10 times as much to manufacture as a HDVMD player does.

There is also the issue of media longevity. The recording surface in a BD disc is very close to the underside of the disc. This will increase the likelihood that scratches will cause errors and also increase the chances of warping. The HD format discs are manufactured the same way as DVD and are much more resistant to scratches & warping.

The only advantage that BD really has over HDDVD is the amount of data storage. Dont forget that both BD & HDDVD are still only generally using 1 or 2 layers. HDVMD uses 4 layers to reach 20Gb.

I don't care about HD Video... (5, Insightful)

Perseid (660451) | more than 6 years ago | (#20531657)

...but I do want a cheap burner I can throw 30GB at. Sell THAT to me at $150 and I'll buy.

Re:I don't care about HD Video... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20531873)

...but I do want a cheap burner I can throw 30GB at. Sell THAT to me at $150 and I'll buy.

Oh they'll sell you the burner for $150 but the discs will be $35/ea.

Re:I don't care about HD Video... (2, Funny)

dattaway (3088) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532033)

I just wanted the cheap burning laser, but $150 is a bit much for 250mW.

Re:I don't care about HD Video... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20531895)

I second that aswell.

Re:I don't care about HD Video... (0, Redundant)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 6 years ago | (#20531967)

...but I do want a cheap burner I can throw 30GB at. Sell THAT to me at $150 and I'll buy.

<AOL>Me Too</AOL>

Re:I don't care about HD Video... (3, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#20533103)

Don't count on a four-layer burner ever becoming cheap, or even possible. They've been at it with these multi-layer discs for a long time, and while readers are doable the laser power required to burn that 4th layer is just insane. Pressed discs don't have this problem, but unless you got a stamping press at home, well...

Sounds good... (3, Insightful)

exploder (196936) | more than 6 years ago | (#20531669)

...but how many giant media corporations are behind it? None? Bummer.

Re:Sounds good... (0)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#20531823)

Just market it with cheap HD porn and the customers will follow.

Personally I'd rather wait for the next-gen format, this one are to little to late now anyway =P

Re:Sounds good... (3, Insightful)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 6 years ago | (#20531935)

As another responder mentioned the porn moguls aren't too pleased with either Blu-Ray or HD.

This probably won't work in the US, Europe, or the Far East. However the one interesting bit from the article that I would like to know more about is that Bollywood might be interested in this. Though not as large as the Western movie market it is still a huge group of people to sell to and that group is probably excluded from the other HD formats because of price and piracy concerns.

So I say, bring me my 1080 Indian porno!!!

Re:Sounds good... (4, Funny)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532695)

So I say, bring me my 1080 Indian porno!!!
I for one don't welcome our 60 inch HDTV vagina overlords.

Poor Sony (5, Insightful)

psychicsword (1036852) | more than 6 years ago | (#20531681)

Sony just pissed themselves.

$487.99 for Blue-ray [bestbuy.com] Vs. $150... wonder who will win that aspect to the format war?
The only thing that may limit this format is whether the movie companies will pick it up, and more importantly the porn industry. [engadget.com]

Re:Poor Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20531723)

Movie studio support vs ...?

I don't think Sony, Toshiba, or anyone is pissing themselves over this. (Nor the CH-DVD from the Reds)

Re:Poor Sony (5, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#20531855)

Can we give up that stupid porn argument yet? I've posted this more than once, but that keeps coming up. Porn will not decide the new format.

First, when VHS and Beta appeared, the only real way to see porn films was in a XXX theater. You couldn't watch them in the privacy of your home.

Today, I can watch porn on VHS, or DVD. Or pay-per-view. Or satellite. Or the 'net. Or video-CD. Or I could play a porn related video game. Porn helped VHS because it was really the first time you could watch porn in the privacy of your home, so the inability to do that on Beta was big. That's not an issue today.

Please, can we just drop that stupid argument? It doesn't hold much water any more.

Re:Poor Sony (4, Insightful)

urbanriot (924981) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532015)

Just because you keep posting, doesn't make your opinion true, or make the argument hold any less water.

Regardless, the point is moot, since porn *is* being released on BD with the first release being Debbie Does Dallas. Since the porn industry generated considerable amounts of media attention, the BDA has relented.

Can we give up that stupid porn argument yet? I've posted this more than once, but that keeps coming up. Porn will not decide the new format.

First, when VHS and Beta appeared, the only real way to see porn films was in a XXX theater. You couldn't watch them in the privacy of your home.

Today, I can watch porn on VHS, or DVD. Or pay-per-view. Or satellite. Or the 'net. Or video-CD. Or I could play a porn related video game. Porn helped VHS because it was really the first time you could watch porn in the privacy of your home, so the inability to do that on Beta was big. That's not an issue today.

Please, can we just drop that stupid argument? It doesn't hold much water any more.

Re:Poor Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20532297)

> Just because you keep posting, doesn't make your opinion true,

Nor does continually asserting the same old debunked urban legends regarding porn. Porn was very much on Beta, it just didn't have a thriving rental industry until VHS had thoroughly (ahem) penetrated the market. There was no restriction against it on the Beta format.

The extent of Sony's "no porn" restriction on Blu-Ray is that they won't contract to use their own manufacturing facilities to press porn discs. Purely a matter of what customers they choose. Now given that Blu-Ray does need different manufacturing lines while HD-DVD doesn't might indeed sway adult video companies to choose the latter, out of economics -- it's just cheaper to press HD-DVDs. But they'll press whatever format the market demands, and it isn't the porn industry that steers it. If that were the case, we'd all have ditched physical media in favor of streaming video years ago.

Agreed. (2, Informative)

crhylove (205956) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532053)

http://www.youporn.com/ [youporn.com]
http://www.pornotube.com/ [pornotube.com]
http://www.shareaza.com/ [shareaza.com]

Um yeah, why are people still buying discs ???!? I agree with the above poster, there is no way porno is even going to effect this format war. The internet has taken over that industry and distribution completely.

Re:Poor Sony (1, Interesting)

Suicyco (88284) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532085)

Umm, the argument holds as much water as it ever did. Pornography has driven new technologies since porn was invented. It wasn't only vhs. It was Super8. It was the cinema. It was PHOTOGRAPHY. Cheap printing. PAINT. Etc.

Porn will drive new content mediums as long as people are into porn. So you have more choices now. So what? The porn industry produces more video content than all other non-porn video content producers put together. Some porn houses release upwards of 10-20 titles a WEEK.

Also, Super8 projectors were the first time you could watch porn in your home. Err, or was that postcards? Playing cards? Plain old photos? Oil paintings? Fucking stone statues?

So your argument holds no water at all. He who produces the content drives the market.

Re:Poor Sony (1)

matazar (1104563) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532117)

He's right, if it wasn't for porn, we'd have no need for such fast internet connections.

Re:Poor Sony (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532941)

My argument holds water. Let's not forget that BluRay and HD-DVD are just higher resolution DVD formats. The ability to record a moving picture of pornography was a big leap over printed pictures. The ability to take pictures instead of having people paint them was a big leap. The ability to print many prints of something instead of having to hand-make them was a big step bringing costs down.

I'm not saying porn won't have an effect, I'm saying it won't be the deciding factor. That's the difference here and the heart of my argument. Both formats have porn on them... so I'd say both comparisons to the VHS/Beta argument are seriously flawed.

PS: First time you could watch porn at home referred to convenient on-demand moving pictures. VHS was much easier than 8mm film. Postcards and Playboy weren't moving pictures. I'm sorry I wasn't perfectly specific. I figured people would get my point.

Re:Poor Sony (1)

FauxReal (653820) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532275)

Nah... I remember when I was a kid my dad had porn on 8mm reels [wikipedia.org] . I remember watching Puff the Magic Dragon on 8mm as a kid.

Re:Poor Sony (3, Funny)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532491)

I remember when I was a kid my dad had porn on 8mm reels. I remember watching Puff the Magic Dragon on 8mm as a kid.
OMG!!!!! Puff the Magic Dragon did porn??!!

Re:Poor Sony (1)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532761)

I'm not sure whether to run away screaming and burn my eyes out with an acetylene torch, or post this with "rule 34" to 4chan to see what happens...

Re:Poor Sony (1)

AI0867 (868277) | more than 6 years ago | (#20533119)

You forgot rule 34?

Whoever fight, we already know who has won.... (4, Insightful)

DrYak (748999) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532035)

who will win that aspect to the format war?


Be it BlueRay, be it HD-DVD, or HD VMD, or chinese EVD.
We don't give a fuck about who battling against who on the market.

We already know who won the battle :
- the unknown noname chinese hardware maker who'll market a cheap plastic reader, that'll read anything you'll put in it and that'll cost only a few dozens of .
Seriously.

whether the movie companies will pick it up


No, the only thing that will matter is if the cheap hardware maker will pick it up.

Last time, the whole DVD "plus" RW vs. DVD "minus" RW vs. DVD-RAM debate was made pointless once asian makers started to push multi format burners.

Before thatm the DVD (the hidef format) vs. SuperVCD (the cheaper with older hardware) vs. DivX (the internet alternative) was made obsolete now that you can pick-up a DVD/MP3/MPEG-4 reader for less than 50$ at your local store.

The exact same story will repeat it self the next few years with the HD format war. While marketoid will go at great lenght arguing which is better between BlueRay and HD-DVD and while you should pick *their* technology because most of the studio are backing *that one*, the public will quietly stand back, enjoy the fight, and wait patiently until cheap multi-format reader appear.

LG and Samsung have such movie players and media burners coming to their products line-up and others companies are to follow. The cheap brandless aren't far away.

Re:Whoever fight, we already know who has won.... (1)

samdu (114873) | more than 6 years ago | (#20533015)

Er... no. They could give these things away for free, and if there is no content available for them, they'd still fail. There's a balance between cheap hardware and content support. Neither, in and of itself, is enough to win a format war.

Re:Poor Sony (1)

AV Enthusiast (1154139) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532373)

Nobody is scared of this, least of all Toshiba or Sony. HD VMD only holds 20gigs a side, contrary to the incorrect info in this post. No studio support. Porn will not drive adoption of an HD optical format because nobody rents porn anymore, they get it off the internet. HD DVD is already at $199 and offers visual performance that is equal to or surpasses Blu Ray, and had finalized specs to boot. I honestly don't know what New Media thinks their market is for this format. It brings nothing new or better to the table, which is foolish in the face of an already heated format war. Obscure hardware collectors snag your HD VMD players fast, they won't be here long. http://aventhusiast.com/ [aventhusiast.com]

Re:Poor Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20532847)

"The only thing?" That's a pretty big "only". Considering that several of the major studios have already signed exclusive deals for either Blu-Ray or HD-DVD releases...

For data storage, a new format is great news. But for the home entertainment market, the price of the player isn't really an issue. As with VHS/Beta, the deciding factor will be the availability of content.

Yes, but... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20531715)

...how bad is its DRM? That's really the only thing I care about. Whichever format will give me - a paying customer - the freedom to do what I want with my movies will get my money. If none do, I'm sticking with regular DVDs.

Re:Yes, but... (1, Offtopic)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#20531889)

True that, I guess you can count out anything supported by Apple to begin with. Not all that related but their vendor lockin is stronger than anyones and now when they released iTunes with ring tone supports for the iPhone you have to PAY for being able to transfer over the ringtone which are made of a piece of music you already owned!?

People came around this by simply renaming the files but then Apple updated iTunes, so someone came up with a new idea, and we'll see how long that one works ..
In that regard Apple really suck and are worse than even Microsoft.

Re:Yes, but... (2, Insightful)

yabos (719499) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532109)

Apple doesn't own the music they sell you, they license it from the music labels. If the music labels say they can't use the same songs for ringtones then Apple can't easily let you do it under the terms of their contract. Why don't you blame the labels because it's their fault not Apple's.

Re:Yes, but... (1)

l3prador (700532) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532205)

Apple doesn't own the music they sell you, they license it from the music labels. If the music labels say they can't use the same songs for ringtones then Apple can't easily let you do it under the terms of their contract. Why don't you blame the labels because it's their fault not Apple's.

Maybe, but what about music from CDs I bought and imported myself into my library?

Re:Yes, but... (0)

yabos (719499) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532229)

I don't know, they may have limits with AT&T on what they can put on there. No one really knows what the contracts between the companies are so I would find it hard to take a guess. But it seems you HAVE to buy the song from iTMS to even put it on the phone you can't use any self-ripped songs without going around the iTunes way of doing it.

Re:Yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20532273)

Apple doesn't own the music they sell you
However,
Apple owns the hardware they sell you. Apple also owns the software they sell you.

Why don't you blame the labels because it's their fault not Apple's.
I think that would be convenient for Apple's tactics.

Re:Yes, but... (1, Flamebait)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532325)

In the world where I live when I have bought a tune I can do whatever I want with it, if I want to make it shorter and crappy quality and play it as ring tone on my phone why should I be allowed to? Are you sure this is because of music labels? Maybe because so many retards buy stupid ring tones for massive cash. That blue frog and shit. During swedish adds "jamba" or whatever it's called tries to sell you ringtones with poo humor, it's so awful.

And as another answer had said what about CDs? Not that I understand why CDs and electronic music would be different.

Also what about if you make your own fucking tune and want to transfer it? Or if the tunes are public domain? Or if Apple doesn't sell them?

This is just bullshit, and Apple are so fucking gay. (Not to compare gays with Apple, you're great! ;D)

(All I want is software which works in whatever OS I prefer =P)

Re:Yes, but... (2, Insightful)

niktemadur (793971) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532881)

GPP: In that regard Apple really suck and are worse than even Microsoft.

PP: Apple doesn't own the music they sell you, they license it from the music labels.

I have to agree with the second quote. Due to the current laws as well as unnegotiable terms of contract drafted by the giant labels, either Apple complies or gets locked out of the market, so in this respect Apple is a gear in a vast, putrid machine they did not create.

Remember that Napster corporate and legislative hysteria preceded the iTunes Music Store, which is important to emphasize, offered the first legitimate and user-friendly music download option. And even now, after massive and prolonged negotiations, the major labels keep on flexing muscle, so that at all times, fleets of lawyers remain deployed by all sides. And then there are countless nuances, such as Led Zep wanting customers to buy the full album, as opposed to individual songs, etc.

In this sense, the consequences of the success of the iPod has placed Apple in a tightrope, navigating between bad PR and loss of content for sale. Technological uncharted waters may be a fine thing, but legal and corporate... yuck.

BTW, I'm not trying to apologize for Apple, which pisses me off in several other respects, it's just that I see an unholy maze out there, and I have to call this one for Apple.

Re:Yes, but... (2, Interesting)

psychicsword (1036852) | more than 6 years ago | (#20531913)

I didn't know regular DVDs let "a paying customer - the freedom to do what I want with my movies" Isn't circumventing the encryption illegal because of the DMCA?

Re:Yes, but... (2, Interesting)

BalanceOfJudgement (962905) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532271)

I didn't know regular DVDs let "a paying customer - the freedom to do what I want with my movies" Isn't circumventing the encryption illegal because of the DMCA?


You have the RIGHT to format and time shift, but the MEANS to do so is made illegal to you by the DMCA. It's such an artful contradiction written into the law; you'd admire the artistry if it weren't so evil.

Re:Yes, but... (4, Funny)

RDW (41497) | more than 6 years ago | (#20531997)

From the article, it looks like they're using a unique and theoretically uncrackable new form of DRM. All movies released on this format will be encrypted as Bollywood remakes.

MOD PARENT FUNNY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20532927)

n/t

Re:Yes, but... (1, Insightful)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532063)

>Whichever format will give me - a paying customer - the freedom to do what I want with my movies will get my money. If none do, I'm sticking with regular DVDs.

DVDs certainly do not give you any freedom, they locked down with css. Oh right, so becuse css is crackable makes DVDs the idealized format. You are ignoring that the DVD people think just as little of you as the HD format people. Hollywood will not give you what you want. If you want to be mr copyleft then address your hollywood addiction, give up on companies that force format makers to do this, and enjoy your reams of public access television HDDVDs. Sad that mr activist will never boycott hollywood or the music industry. Why should they change their ways if you keep handing them your paycheck? Thats like going into a mcdonalds, buying a value meal, and then complaining that there's too much fat in the McLean while biting down on a Big Mac.

There's nothing worse than a complainer who wont get off his ass. The collective lack of action has led to the acceptance of DRM in our lives: dvd, hddvd, apple music store, etc. Lets not pretend DVDs are some magical drm-free format. Thanks.

Re:Yes, but... (2, Insightful)

johnkzin (917611) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532149)


I think his point wasn't "DVD's are good", I think his point was "I'm not going to shift to a NEW format unless it is good". In essence, he's saying "I'm not going to shift from smoking cigarettes to smoking cigars, because cigars can cause cancer, so I'll stick with the carcinogen I've got until there's a non-carcinogen alternative".

You could argue, as you seem to, that "if you don't stop smoking cigarettes while you wait for a non-carcinogen alternative to come along, then you're still at risk of cancer" ...

But I think his perspective is "I'll keep the devil I know, instead of adopting the devil I don't know".

I see your point: if none are good, then pick none (not even DVD's). But, I also think it's not very realistic. The only people who are going to pick that option are people who aren't enamored with the movies in the first place. So, saying it to someone who clearly is enamored with movies is just pissing into the wind.

How's that for a mixed bag of metaphors :-)

Yes, but...will the real customer please stand up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20532153)

"Whichever format will give me - a paying customer - the freedom to do what I want with my movies will get my money."

I feel the same way.

Your neighbourhood pirate.

Re:Yes, but... (1)

radish (98371) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532185)

It's not the format which gives (or doesn't give) you the right to do as you please with the movies, it's the copyright holders.

Re:Yes, but... (0)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532419)

...how bad is its DRM? That's really the only thing I care about

Really? The only thing? I kind of care about image quality too.

Re:Yes, but... (2, Insightful)

obeythefist (719316) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532867)

How bad is the DRM? Great question. But step a little deeper. We know the MPAA coke snorters firmly believe DRM works. We can therefore assume that they will only support formats that use "strong" DRM (that means, DRM that has a lot of marketing behind it to make the coke snorters believe it actually works).

So, either it has equivalent DRM to Blu-ray and HD-DVD, and then there's really no benefit over this technology than the others apart from maybe cost or whatever, and the MPAA cartel still might not invest in it because they already have new revenue streams from the other formats anyway.

Or it has no DRM, in which case no MPAA support. It might be an awesome product, but if you can't buy new movies on it, it won't reach mainstream acceptance and the economies of scale that drive the retail costs down, so it will not compare with the other formats in terms of features and price.

Waste of time (4, Informative)

DrXym (126579) | more than 6 years ago | (#20531729)

No studios are going to support the format, and I doubt many rippers will either. I could see the potential of a DVD player that could play H264 HD content from a DVD. But yet another HD physical format? The field is already crowded.

Re:Waste of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20531777)

Unless the piracy industry adopts it.
At least they could be more relevant in places like russia and china where they don't give a shit about copyright and don't want to be bothered by all that DRM crap.

Re:Waste of time (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 6 years ago | (#20531835)

I doubt the pirates would give a crap either. It would probably suit them to use DVD-9 for burning. 9Gb is probably more than sufficient to get a very acceptable image quality even in HD.

Re:Waste of time (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#20531805)

There are a few studios that said they would introduce on the format, but most of them are Bollywood and Asian studios. They claim to have several of Mel Gibson's movies, but it's not much. As it is, the A2/ A3 HD-DVD player includes 5 movies in the deal, making it close to the price of this VMD deal, and HD-DVD has an active product pipeline.

Re:Waste of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20531811)

It could be the media of choice for computer data.... Ie., HD/Bluray movies that you rip from NetFlix and then give to all your friends and family.

Re:Waste of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20531931)

From "the studios", I can watch a gay version of "GI Joe" who fights for the New World Order.

Or, I could just stay home and watch a porno where an unapologetically American couple fuck the heterosexual shit out of each other.

Who's gonna win that "format" war?

The game's over for Hollywood. There's no more shoving stupid, crappy content on consumers.

Re:Waste of time (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532081)

I could see the potential of a DVD player that could play H264 HD content from a DVD.
So Why doesn't it yet?

"The format uses MPEG-2 and VC1* video formats to encode at 1080p resolution for the time being, and will possibly move to the H.264 format in the future."

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VC-1
"VC-1 is the informal name of the SMPTE 421M video codec standard initially developed by Microsoft. WMV3, better known as Windows Media Video 9 codec, served as the basis for development of the VC-1 codec specification. On April 3, 2006, SMPTE announced the formal release of the VC-1 standard as SMPTE 421M. Its most popular implementation is Windows Media Video 9."

I didn't realize Microsoft had their fingers so deep into the HD/Blu-Ray/VMD pie. If you compare VC-1 and H.264 [wikipedia.org] you'll see they had different goals in mind.

Re:Waste of time (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532425)

So Why doesn't it yet?

Give the Chinese manufactures some time. We've already seen HDMI upscaling players as well as those that can play MPEG-4 ASP (otherwise known as DiVX, XVid etc.). Sooner or later some manufacturer will do the same for H264. And then some more and some more.

VC-1 is probably one reason Microsoft is propping up HD DVD. It doesn't give a damn about HD DVD, but keeping the format wars going mean more sales of its VC-1 codec, authoring tools and also opportunities for the MS XBL download service. I doubt that VC-1 will take off outside of professional authoring tools. After all, who the hell wants to rip to a proprietary format when H264 does such a good job and is widely supported by software and hardware?

VC1 is supported by Blu-ray (1)

Hobart (32767) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532645)

What do you mean "The format wars mean more sales of VC-1"?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluray#Codecs [wikipedia.org]

Blu-ray *supports* VC1.

Re:Waste of time (3, Interesting)

Divebus (860563) | more than 6 years ago | (#20533007)

One thing to keep in mind about Microsoft's success at "requiring" the VC-1 codec was that neither HD-DVD nor Blu-ray had a VC-1 requirement at first. That was a long, painful battle for Microsoft which was typically used to dictating standards to everyone. Ultimately, Microsoft skillfully played the game of leverage between competitors to shoehorn themselves into both disk standards. With the future of digital media unfolding in the early 2000's, Microsoft simply offered High Definition equipment manufacturers and movie studios the whole Windows Media system [for a fee] expecting a quick surrender to the obvious victor of any technical battle - themselves. Microsoft envisioned their Windows Media player as the basis of all future television with themselves in control, dispatching all their competitors to oblivion and erecting a global toll booth between media creation companies and viewers. However, manufacturers tend to avoid these traps and SMPTE wouldn't touch Windows Media with a 10 foot pole for exactly that reason, recognizing that the Windows Media Player wrapper was fairly treacherous ground under Microsoft's control. Microsoft was informed by SMPTE that the codec inside Windows Media could be accepted if it was split out and properly standardized like all the other codecs. Leave the "player" wrapper with undocumented controls out of it. Although the DRM offered by Microsoft was attractive to Hollywood, it became clear that manufacturers would not simply hand their future technical path over to Microsoft, nor would the Hollywood production studios hand over control of their assets to an organization with a history of modifying the terms of an agreement to benefit themselves. Manufacturers and content creators knew that Microsoft could suddenly replace VC-1 with VC-2 and demand a ransom to stay in business. Windows Media 10 was on the horizon and everyone knew what that meant. Microsoft wasn't trustworthy in either of those circles and proper SMPTE standardization was the only road to considering any products from Redmond. Microsoft finally did separate the codec from the Windows Media player and offer it for ratification expecting a rubber stamp approval by SMPTE while refusing to release the source code, refusing to define the royalty conditions in advance, promising to deliver finished codecs while retaining control of the current and future source (and a few other tricks). This all prevented ratification by SMPTE. It was Microsoft's first foray into the workings of a real standards body and they thought they could simply bully their way through it. They weren't used to anyone standing up to them like this. Microsoft was very much out in the cold and basically entered panic mode as they watched other formats develop, deploy and gain momentum. Manufacturers were not going to commit to a proprietary codec which would later hold them hostage. No SMPTE standardization? No use for VC-1. Period. End of codec. End of Microsoft's influence on media. PANIC! As Microsoft was slowly releasing control of VC-1 and approaching SMPTE compliance, Microsoft released premature press releases claiming SMPTE ratification months before they were in actual compliance. SMPTE had to smack them down at least once for this tactic. Finally, Microsoft did what was needed for SMPTE ratification and gained acceptance by the HD-DVD camp [support and funding had something to do with this, I'm sure]. I don't personally know the back story of HD-DVD very well but VC-1 incorporation into Blu-ray had everything to do with the greed of MPEG LA [mpegla.org] . More on that later. I can say that the buzz at the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) [nab.org] show floor was that HD-DVD was a Microsoft backed entity which didn't do it any favors. The NAB members are typically only interested in repeatable standards. Looking around the 2006 NAB show floor, the only people using Microsoft video standards were their direct "partners" in a confined area. Everyone else was using AVC/H.264. Meanwhile, the BDA (Blu-ray) camp examined the VC-1 codec and found it inferior to the AVC/H.264 which was already identified as a desired standard, so VC-1 was removed from consideration in Blu-ray. Smackdown. Greed played a significant part in how this finally shook out. There was a serious delay of over a year while royalty negotiations between BDA and MPEG LA were going on over the inclusion of AVC/H.264 in Blu-ray. This gave Microsoft plenty of time to scare enough BDA members (buy enough votes?) to get VC-1 included in Blu-ray. The clock was running and it didn't look like AVC/H.264 negotiations were going to make it. Using this fear, Microsoft's angle was to offer the BDA a finished codec with higher efficiency than MPEG2 which could be put to use immediately so that Blu-ray would not miss the window of competition against HD-DVD. Blu-ray initially only had MPEG2 support (the AVC/H.264 and VC-1 codecs were added later). With the MPEG LA holding out for more money, more BDA members began realizing that VC-1 may well be their only other alternative for a higher efficiency codec. The MPEG LA, not thinking VC-1 could possibly be ratified given the parent company, saw their negotiating position collapse and the pressure of competition against VC-1 forced the MPEG LA to suddenly relax their royalty demands. Too late. The result was both VC-1 and AVC/H.264 were included in Blu-ray. Had the MPEG LA not been so greedy and unreasonable, Blu-ray could have come to market sooner with AVC/H.264 and VC-1 wouldn't be a factor in Blu-ray at all. VC-1 would have ended its useful life with along with HD-DVD. Microsoft's dream of influencing all media (except their own) would have fizzled almost completely. Damn them.

Re:Waste of time (1)

Divebus (860563) | more than 6 years ago | (#20533023)

Shit. Big "sorry" to everyone for that huge block of unreadable text. I can't believe I didn't put all the paragraph tags in there and missed the Preview button.

Re:Waste of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20532619)

Who cares about "next generation" media formats? The MPAA and RIAA can't figure out how to watch a movie or listen to music over the internet, but I figured it out years ago.

VMD? (5, Funny)

Daniel K. Attling (1003208) | more than 6 years ago | (#20531749)

Videos of Mass Destruction!?

Re:VMD? (1)

m1sha (1113269) | more than 6 years ago | (#20531839)

Nyet Ve haff creeated Veapons Of Mass Destruction Or haff they created us? I vorget how this joke goes..

Re:VMD? (1)

JonJ (907502) | more than 6 years ago | (#20531957)

Almost, it's Videos of Mass Distraction, but close.

Re:VMD? (1)

Loconut1389 (455297) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532005)

at least its not HD-VD. Thats a fever i dont want to catch!

Re:VMD? (1)

mux2000 (832684) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532581)

link?

Re:VMD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20532799)

Anybody thought Video Marc Dorcel?

What's the point? (1)

spooje (582773) | more than 6 years ago | (#20531759)

If you could actually find a company to release movies in that format you might have a good plan. If they really want to sell this thing they'd make it play HD-DVD and Blueray.

Re:What's the point? (1)

NeuroManson (214835) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532437)

Considering that for the last 30 some odd years, that the movie industry's goal after TV started stealing viewership, and that their solution was to ensure that they charge people multiple times to watch the same movies over and over again? I think you already know what their plan is.

At least it beats... (1)

thanatos_x (1086171) | more than 6 years ago | (#20531785)

CH-DVD, which is basically a HD-DVD plus more copy protection...

http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2198290/china-de velops-definition-dvd [vnunet.com]

I've still yet to care about this format war, but this sounds more promising than either of the other two standards. Too bad it will never get off the ground.

I have just invented another contender (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20531831)

Since the field is obviously WIDE open... I, Anonymous Coward, have entered the fray with HD 8-Track... yes, that's right: High Definition 8-Track tape. As a big disco fan, I have accumulated lots of Bee Gees, and Donna Sommers 8-Track tapes over the years (for some reason, people kept throwing out these gold)... and I've managed to record video onto the tape. At first I had a lousy 100x348 resolution, but after months and months of work in my parent's basement, I have UPGRADED the resolution and so I am calling it High Definition. Yes, that's right, I have achieved 320x240 pixel resolution in 16-colour glory! And to make sure, this format catches on like wildfire, I am licensing the technology for $1 per tape.
I'm gonna be a millionaire! I love capitalism.

TDz.

Re:I have just invented another contender (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532061)

You can encode four movies per tape, right? With the advantage that, since it is physically impossible to rewind, you never need to?

Will there be content? (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20531887)

That's the core question. Will there be any content for this player? Will the studios release content for it?

The only other chance, if the studios don't jump onto it, is to squeeze out a writer for it quickly and make this the next big thing in computer storage and HD content copying. If it can hold a full HD movie, people who don't care too much about DRM or buying content will be very interested in it. Then, and only then, you can get a standard into the market without the support of the content providers.

Re:Will there be content? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20532001)

If you have RTFA it says it supports more formats than the standard DVD/CD/MP3/BBQ formats and is upgradeable by firmware. This suggests maybe AVI/MP4 files with H264 encoding and more might be available.

If there is also a burner, count me in! This sounds like a nice XBMC upgrade to me!

Re:Will there be content? (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532119)

The only other chance, if the studios don't jump onto it, is to squeeze out a writer for it quickly and make this the next big thing in computer storage and HD content copying. If it can hold a full HD movie, people who don't care too much about DRM or buying content will be very interested in it. Then, and only then, you can get a standard into the market without the support of the content providers.

Well at that price it could easily become a feature found on east Asian players and then submarine itself as a DVD replacement for computers, if they can sort out the burning issue. The movie companies will find that even if the do dictate the market to a certain extent, they aren't only influence.

Bit chilly in hell right now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20531897)

A kdawson story that could actually be called "news for nerds"? Damn....

Formats from hell. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20532041)

Can you imagine what your next multi-format burner compatability chart is going to look like. It's bad enough now with all the types of CD's & DVD's and trying to figure out if your family memeber's equipment can read/play back anything you send them. It's gotten easier just to box up a external HD and mail that home with the raw files on them than to try to make DVD's for them to play.

Now as far as Blu-Ray or HD-DVD, the third one listed doesn't mean anything till they start actually releasing movies on it, if you've been sitting on the fence waiting for an easy DVD-decryptor style program to come along and break the DRM so you can do what you want with the movies, your wait is over. Check out anyDVD HD from Slysoft. It'll let you rip the movies or at a minimum break the DRM so you can play back the disc without having fully compliant hardware. Now all you need is a few TB of HD space to upgrade your media machine since the rips tend to be around 25gb each.

To the nay sayers... (1)

doombringerltx (1109389) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532077)

...who say that there isn't much content out for this format, it has Welcome to LazyTown. Honestly, its the highlight of Icelandic children's shows. Between that and the Bollywood movies, who really needs choice?

Re:To the nay sayers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20532167)

I bet all the pirate copies will start with this. [youtube.com]

We Have a Winner? (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532087)

From the quick, initial info list there, this sounds it might be the format to support (not that anyone can support Blu-Ray, just on basic principles, right?). While I don't care about HD content, per say, I wouldn't mind upgrading my DVD player and opening up such new possibilities at that price. Hell, my DVD player already cost about half that, since I try to get quality components that don't come from Wal-Mart's $20 electronics bin. That said, content storage is what is more appealing to me as far as the new formats go. It's not HD movies.

VS DVD (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532095)

Now I might be missing something here and its probably just me but just like fancy graphics in video games I could care less about seeing my movie in Hi Def. I look at my tv and wonder how much better could this crappy move be in Hi Def. So the dvd will do just fine in my house for years to come. Now for data storage this would be great. I could backup my whole server and everyone elses website on the server in 4 discs instaed of 40 DVD's.

Re:VS DVD (1)

Targon (17348) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532311)

HD really comes into it's own on a larger screen. With lower resolutions, the lower quality video needs to be up-sized to fill the screen, and you can tell there is a distortion from the original.

If you really want to check out the difference in quality, rent a DVD of a movie, and then order the same movie on pay per view. The DVD will show a LOT more detail due to having a higher resolution from source to screen than the pay per view(unless you get it in HD where you live).

So, it's about the source image and how clear it is. Do you want to notice that there are jagged edges in the movies you watch, or would you rather see things as they are intended to look?

If it would only.. (1)

wamerocity (1106155) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532171)

If it supported Matroska files, THEN we'd be in business, seeing as how you can download ALL HDDVD and Bluray movies from USENET and Bittorrent right now (in .mkv format). If they could get a burner to computers, I'd buy that standalone version right now. Then I'd burn all my HDDVD and Bluray rips onto them, and BAM! Problem solved.... 1080p content from all studios at a discount price.

Legal Disclaimer: Not that I would ever *really* do the aforementioned activities. I don't condone the pirating of overpriced and DRM-crippled movies. /snicker

Re:If it would only.. (1)

wamerocity (1106155) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532195)

Me again. I know that HDDVD burners and pretty rare, and BD burners are prohibitively expensive, but is there anyone out there that knows how well these players work with playing YOUR OWN CONTENT that may have been recorded from an HD camcorder, or your own works createdon computer? Or for example, if I took all my standard def south park episodes and burned them onto a single BD-R, trying to convert it into the correct format, would it play on a BD-player? AFAIK, I've never heard anyone mention how nicely those players cooperate with anything but legitimate HD movies.

Re:If it would only.. (1)

deftcoder (1090261) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532537)

I think you meant "I'd be in business".

Most people don't pirate movies.

Whoever puts out a cheap recorder wins (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532383)

Once these recording devices make it into the hands of legislators and judges, nothing can stop them. Think about how RIM survived the injunction order. There were so many congress people and senators using crackberry, that nothing could shut them down. And if someone were to create better home recorders with the new "old" technology, no amount of lobbying, donating or influencing will force them out... now if we could just get this technology into the hands of legislators fast enough...

What about HD Divx from a normal old DVD? (2, Insightful)

Kris_J (10111) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532463)

My current DVD player will play high definition Divx files from DVD or from a flash drive or hard drive plugged into its USB port. The compression rate is plenty good enough to shoe-horn a full-length HD movie onto a dual-layer DVD. Lots of existing devices and pretty much every PC on the planet made in the last five years should be able to play that.

Re:What about HD Divx from a normal old DVD? (2, Informative)

sl3xd (111641) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532699)

DivX on DVD also can't make use of the higher-bitrate Dolby Digital Plus or DTS audio, and definitely couldn't use Dolby TrueHD or DTS Master Audio. The audio alone for TrueHD or DTS Master takes up most (if not all) of a DVD-DL's 8.7 GB.

The new disc formats all use newer and better codecs for video compression than DivX, providing better quality at lower bitrates. DivX was great when the only game in town was MPEG-2. But as ISO MPEG-4 (on which DivX is based), and now H.264 have come on the scene, DivX is showing its age. Both H.264 and VC-1 beat out DivX in quality, all while using less space on disc.

Simply using a slightly better video codec than MPEG-2 on a regular DVD does not make a good high definition player.

HD DVD and Blu-ray both use better codecs (H.264 and VC-1) than DivX on DVD, and then they use higher bitrates for both audio and video. The audio & visual quality of a DVD-DL+DivX doesn't even compare.

So, for $150... (0, Flamebait)

Asterra (1087671) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532465)

So, for $150, I guess we can be assured that the hardware does essentially nothing besides play videos. No PIP, no exotic menus.. heck, probably no TrueHD or DTS-HD, for that matter. And, probably more to the point.. no movies.

If people are not caring for this new format now, they'll really stop caring when the third gen HD-DVD players drive the second gen prices to the same point as this new contender.

Go, Mel Gibson.

Targetting Bollywood might be a winner (2, Interesting)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532567)

Coming late to the game, they need to establish a 'home ground', a niche that they can dominate and then grow out from. India could be that home ground.

A fine feature would be if it were possible to play the new HD VMD disks at DVD resolution on standard DVD players. Given they use the same lasers, it might be that DVD players will see one particular layer, on which the DVD data could be stored. This again would help greatly to break into the market.

However, they don't mention such a feature, and I'd hope they'd have thought about it, so probably it is technically infeasible.

PS3 is low-end? (2, Insightful)

perdue (1153995) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532737)

for around $150 ... a quarter the cost of a low-end Blu-ray.
If it was intentional flamebait, no one seems to have taken it. Good on y'all.

It all comes down to $$$ (4, Insightful)

D.A. Zollinger (549301) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532779)

I am of the impression that uninformed consumers do not concern themselves with technical details, and are far more motivated by cost. I believe this is why VHS won out over Beta, and why HD VMD will destroy both Blu-ray and HD DVD formats.

While movie studios will want DRM on their disks, ultimately they desire sales, and will go with whatever format dominates the marketplace, no matter how much or little DRM is in place. However, as the article mentions that the $150 player comes with HDMI, I suspect they have comparable DRM to the other HD competitors.

Might sell in Norther Virginia (1)

Secrity (742221) | more than 6 years ago | (#20532909)

The large number of Bollywood titles might mean that there will be a good sized market in Northern Virgina.

Criterion Collection. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20532981)

I'll move to a high-def format as soon Criterion Collection moves to a high-def format. As it stands now, I couldn't care less about watching cars explode in 1080p.

I'm still betting Blu-Ray (2, Interesting)

DumbSwede (521261) | more than 6 years ago | (#20533035)

As someone that just purchased a PS3 for $350 (after $150 rebate) with free shipping and 8 free movies I'm not too worried about this development. In fact I rather welcome it as HD-DVD and VDM will battle to the death for the low end and most likely neither will survive.

If worst comes to worse I still have a great game machine and a Linux computer.

I must confess one bit of annoyance with Toshiba and the HD-DVD camp; I bought my PS3 primarily as an HD movie player, but the HD-DVD camp screams day and night that only standalone players count (except when they want to include the XBox 360 addon). Blu-Ray may not win, but it certainly has the largest installed base at 6 million plus; it is much less likely to just stumble and fail completely as HD-DVD was in danger of doing until the Paramount defection (strange doings that).

It will be a delicious irony to hear HD-DVD proponents now claiming low-price is not the biggest determining factor in who wins.
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