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HD DVD's 3X DVD introduced

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 19 Feb 2007 16:38 User comments (31)

HD DVD's 3X DVD introduced In the ongoing format war between HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc, Blu-ray still holds the most studio support by far, but HD DVD is holding its affordable advantage. Now HD DVD is offering another way for consumers to move to high definition video called 3X DVD. Doug Carson & Associates (DCA), which produces DVD Mastering software, said that the first 3X DVD-ROM was officially mastered over the weekend.
3X DVD is like HD DVD on DVD discs; it uses actual red laser-based DVD discs, just with high definition content, UDF 2.5 file structure and AACS copy protection. Video content would be available at 720p in VC-1 or H.264/AVC to fit the maximum capacity that DVD discs offer while maintaining superb quality. Of course, 3X DVD's will not work with regular DVD players.

Movies and TV shows are sold in VC-1 at 720p on Microsoft's Xbox Live Video Marketplace, and are reportedly doing very well. Since 3X DVD uses the good old DVD format, it can be assumed it will cost much less than a regular HD DVD disc or Blu-ray disc for consumers.

A 3X DVD purchase might be adequate for example, with certain movies that wont particularly benefit from 1080p glory. The success of 3X DVD will probably depend on how much it costs and simply how good it looks. High definition content on DVD using newer, more advanced video codecs is interesting either way.

Source:
Ars Technica

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31 user comments

119.2.2007 17:08

Why not just put the movie on one dual layer dvd with one audio track and no extras? I would think that 8+gb would be plenty of space for high-def content, and people wouldnt have to buy new players all over again every time it rains.

219.2.2007 17:15

Quote:
people wouldnt have to buy new players all over again every time it rains
I think you partially answered your own question buddy.

319.2.2007 20:05

I"m sick of this war format!! I do not care about this anymore. taking forever. By the looks of it, it's going to be couple years.

419.2.2007 20:05

I have a High Def camcorder and about 2 hours equals 10 gigs, So Dual Layered DVD's wouldn't work for longer movies unless the quality is down scaled.

520.2.2007 1:17

What a waste, dont you think there's toomany formats aready? Toomany formats too complex, consumers I think wont go for this.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 21 Feb 2007 @ 2:19

620.2.2007 4:10

Quote:
I have a High Def camcorder and about 2 hours equals 10 gigs, So Dual Layered DVD's wouldn't work for longer movies unless the quality is down scaled.
Untrue with VC-1, AVC and of course, the industry standard equipment to encode video.

I don't thgink people are really getting the point here, 3X DVD is a damn good idea. Let me put it this way..

Venture to your local DVD store and what do you see? On the shelves there are some Blu-ray and some HD DVD titles and they noticeably cost more than their DVD counterparts right?

Now look everywhere else, DVDs that cost below $10 with "3 for $20" deals and better. The reason these are so cheap is they are catalog titles and DVD discs are so cheap to produce. These's DVDs are worths and hundred s and hundreds of millions of dollars for movie studios.

Now look back at Blu-ray and HD DVD discs, and what do you see? catalog titles that cost a lot right? Well that's where 3X DVD comes in.

Since they are basically HD DVD on red-laser DVD discs, they can be mass produced cheaply. Now think of two movies, "King Kong" and "There's Something About Mary" just as examples (excluding studio support details etc. for now)

IMHO, King Kong benefits greatly from 1080p, but "Something About Mary" doesn't really benefit more from 1080p than it would from 720p, and you know what, the movies that wouldn't benefit more from 1080p VASTLY outnumber those that would.

So all-in-all, if HD DVD group and supporting studios played their cards right, they could offer HD content at same price of DVD, and since production costs are so cheap, they could output way more catalog releases.

So back to your local DVD store, imagine seeing hoards of HD titles available that work with any HD DVD player, comparing to a few expensive Blu-ray titles, the average consumer might be more inclined to pick up HD DVD releases if they seem affordable. Also let's not forget that red-laser DVDs are a proven medium.

Of course, the success of this offering depends entirely on how well its potential is managed, and thats where I think its possible failure will come from.

720.2.2007 5:20

Dela has an excellent point. A few consider 3X DVD as the HD-DVD camp's secret weapon. Since they share the same file structure as HD-DVD's they'll play on current HD-DVD players and also on the upcoming low cost Chinese HD-DVD players. The entrance fee for getting into HD media just got cheaper.

820.2.2007 5:35

I think you can get a good idea on how this would be managed. It doesn't really matter whether it costs more to make. Heck, they still release some (a lot) of HDDVDs at 720p as it is. Most consumers probably wouldn't even tell the difference between HDDVD and 3xDVD in that particular case. So, naturally, the industry won't want you to pay the same price of DVDs-now for 3xDVDs.

No, they'll still charge you more for various reasons, but mainly for their natural inclination to take the most money they think you're "willing" to pay. The way this is typically seen is: The less we have to spend on making the SD/HD content, the more we make. The consumers typically never get the better end of the stick from a resulting change in technology, particularly on the media-side of things when it comes to content.

920.2.2007 6:02

Quote:
I think you can get a good idea on how this would be managed. It doesn't really matter whether it costs more to make. Heck, they still release some (a lot) of HDDVDs at 720p as it is. Most consumers probably wouldn't even tell the difference between HDDVD and 3xDVD in that particular case. So, naturally, the industry won't want you to pay the same price of DVDs-now for 3xDVDs
I'm not too sure about this... You have to remember the movie studios are looking in to HD in desperation now to pick up sales and maintain the kind of market that DVD has given to them.... that means offering consumers a way to bulk buy like we see with DVDs at major retailers right now, and this is actually exactly what I meant by saying it all depends on how iot is managed. :-)

1020.2.2007 7:24
hughjars
Inactive

The porno industry will love this for fairly obvious reasons, a couple of hours of 720p content at a low price to them and to the customer will suit them right down to the ground.

So too will the HTPC crowd - HD-DVD & Blu-ray rips will look fantastic on this (as they already do on DVD5 & DVD9).

Lastly those small and mid-sized content providers will find this an affordable way to provide niche product to the market in high def.
A 'for instance' would be someone like a specialist motor sports video publisher & supplier (such as 'Duke Video' in the UK.....well, Isle of Man actually).

This is possibly the difference between many of these small and medium scale guys being able to come to the high def market at all.

Basically it adds up to yet more high def content sources and more HD-DVD content at an affordable price.

It may well be an incredibly smart more, compliamenting the 'regular' HD-DVD movies with a lower cost and more diverse layer of content.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 20 Feb 2007 @ 7:26

1120.2.2007 9:15

I don't think people will go for this 3X crap, you can say it's a great idea but I would disagree. I agree with others about too many formats. It's good to have competition but I don't see the benefit in a slightly bigger capacity then DVD-9's. If I'm going to buy new gear it's going to be the best format not a compromise like 3X. The Audio industry did something like this back in the day with MD tapes you see how that worked out no one probably even remembers this format.

As to Hollyweird passing the cheaper cost on, fat chance on that, when DVD's got cheap and were MUCH CHEAPER to produce VHS tapes did they charge less for DVD's? NO they did not! They waited for everyone to wake up and stop buying VHS tapes before dropping their prices, they're not dumb.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 20 Feb 2007 @ 9:34

1220.2.2007 11:07
hughjars
Inactive

Originally posted by Mr-Movies:
I agree with others about too many formats.
- It's not a 'new format'.

It's simply another way of delivering high def content to HD-DVD.

There's nothing for anyone (besides perhaps the terminally retarded) to see as 'confusing' about this.

It's still HD-DVD and will undoubtly be 'branded' as such but with a nice and very low price tag all of it's own.

It's still read by an HD-DVD player.

Where on earth does anything in this report indicate any of the big studios will move to this method?

It doesn't.

It's all about giving low cost entry to the low and mid volume niche producers...... as well as enabling the production of material at a new lower price point.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 20 Feb 2007 @ 11:11

1320.2.2007 11:14
BobbyBlu
Inactive

Nope this is not going to sale very good but for a min there i was thinking it was a good idea but!

HD-DVD can make it affordable advantage but this is not going to sale you anything if you dont have a lot of content which Blu-ray has.

Quote:
3X DVD's will not work with regular DVD players.
Thats the real killer right there people not going to go out and buy new hardware just like that.If this would have worked with in home dvd player this would have been a killer but lets just stick to HD-DVD & Blu-ray.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 20 Feb 2007 @ 11:18

1420.2.2007 11:53

Funny that the name toshiba was no were to be found....

1520.2.2007 12:48

Hmmmmm....

QUOTE:
"There's nothing for anyone (besides perhaps the terminally retarded) to see as 'confusing' about this."

This must be a personal issue speaking of yourself I'd say...

They are using a red laser instead of the blu and I would assume the media is a bit different as well. These are big differences and even if the HD-DVD player can read both the device to burn is different isn't it. Besides who is confused I don't recall stating that or being that just commenting on the facts presented, I thought.

Some people :D

1620.2.2007 14:32
hughjars
Inactive

Originally posted by Mr-Movies:
They are using a red laser instead of the blu and I would assume the media is a bit different as well.
- Oh dear.
I though that everyone spouting off on these matters at least knew HD-DVD can read SD DVD's perfectly well.

It's actually part of the DVD Forum spec requirements - unlike BD's spec which has no similar actual requirement
(which is how come the BD spec still isn't actually 'frozen' and there are 4 different versions of it out now & a meeting at the end of the year scheduled to try and finally pin down & 'freeze' the BD spec....watch out you 1st & 2nd gen BD adopters don't get left out in the cold on that one!
Bit of a 'ticking timebomb' for BD that one.)?

Quote:
These are big differences and even if the HD-DVD player can read both the device to burn is different isn't it.
- OK, there are some differences, and so what?

There are differences between SD & HD DVD, what of them?

This is for HD-DVD players (and btw not SD DVD players, which have a fixed limitation in their resolution capabilities).

Any HD-DVD player will read it,
you don't need any 'new equipment', it's the same format as HD-DVD, read by regular HD-DVD players.

It would appear some folks have real trouble reading and understanding the plain written word.

All HD-DVD players will read this material (despite these supposedly "big differences" = pure FUD).

It's no more 'complicated' or 'confusing' than choosing between CD, DVD5, DVD9 or HD-DVD.

Right now (according to the information at hand) it's got nothing to do with HD-DVD PC burners (which are coming next month at a cost "significantly below that of the BD competition").

It remains to be seen if this system or method of encoding will come to the home PC HD-DVD burners.....but if it does the HTPC guys will be all over it.
30mbit/sec HD-DVD PC burning on a regular DVD9 would be an excellent capability (perhaps this is what they meant by "secret weapon" (and if so it's a hell of a plus for HD-DVD).
It may well do, why not?
But right now there is no news of that and we shall have to wait and see.

Right now though this is simply a method for small and medium sized publishers to produce high quality (up to 30mbit/sec bit-rate) low cost high def content for HD-DVD when otherwise they probably would not be able to enter the high def market at all.

It compliaments what is out now and adds to the available HD-DVD content playable on regular HD-DVD players.

More content at a lower cost for producers & consumers = (quite clearly) a good idea.

Obviously the Blu-ray fanclub have a problem with this and want to spread as much FUD and confusion as possible.

They seem to imagine small & medium scale publishers should either just keep away or die off or spend fortunes on BD publishing
(which also, incidentally and amusingly enough, has it's own possible version of this - BD9 - thanks to the Warner studio insisting on it when they went dual format......although it looks pretty obvious they're dead set against the idea).

I'm amazed at how much noise some people make on these matters when clearly there are vast holes in their knowledge on the subject.

What's up guys, isn't it in the 'how to respond' script? :lol:
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 21 Feb 2007 @ 4:57

1720.2.2007 14:52

so we have to have a HD DVD player to play it??

1820.2.2007 16:15

I do hope you're right, though, dela. It would be nice to see a price drop on the back-catalogued stuff. But, then where would they put all those "snazzy" extra features you find on typical DVDs? Oh no! XP

(@Andy Yes, you still need an HD-DVD player to play it... unless your player is upgradeable...?)

1921.2.2007 7:05

hughjars - You seem to make the most noise look at your lenghty responses and you still miss the point, which is too bad, but O'well that's how it goes sometimes.

2021.2.2007 7:48
hughjars
Inactive

What missed point?

You started on about "new formats", this isn't a "new format" at all.
It's simply another means of delivering high quality (30mbit/sec) HD-DVD by other media (DVD9).

You mentioned the big movie studios moving to this.
They aren't.
It's really aimed at small and mid-sized publishers (and possibly the home market).

You started on about needing new gear.
Wrong.
Besides a HD-DVD player you don't need any.

You started talking about it "using" red lasers.
Wrong again.
It is for use by a regular HD-DVD player and therefore uses blue lasers.

You brought up PC burners as if they will not be able to use this.
Right now we don't know if that is so.
But it might well be.

Of course for those who want to slam this as not working with their SD DVD players nothing one might say can satisfy that 'demand' but then that 'point' is so fundamentally and terminally confused with what this is about why even bother with it?

......so feel free to enlighten me as to where I have missed the point, cos the person doing that is clearly yourself, as your own posts show.

Whatever the failings and whilst they may be a little longer than your average my own posts at least have the benefit of having relevant and accurate information.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 21 Feb 2007 @ 8:01

2121.2.2007 12:19

If you guys missed it and I know some of you....

hughjars was saying that X3 can be read from ANY HDVD player unlike the 3 layer HDVD disc that needs a frimware update or any of BRs oddiests with itself 3X is a cheaper and better solution for HDVD.

or am I confused and 3X is the 3 layered Hdvd?

Also 3X is can not be used with the HDVD+DVD(HDVD with a DVD layer on it for NORMAL DVD players).

2221.2.2007 12:50
BobbyBlu
Inactive

Quote:
Of course for those who want to slam this as not working with their SD DVD players nothing one might say can satisfy that 'demand' but then that 'point' is so fundamentally and terminally confused with what this is about why even bother with it?
I'm going to my this simple read the article it say real clear that you can't use it with a SD DVD.No one is slaming this the problem with this idea is you got to have a HD-DVD player & Also with Blu-ray having a death grip on just about all the major movie studio's it going to be very hard not matter how low your price is you got to have some content to sale first then price.How many time do anyone go to a store to buy sometime because of price first then content?

2321.2.2007 13:53
hughjars
Inactive

3X has nothing to do with the 3 layered disc, zippy.
That's a different matter entirely.

The 3X refers to the HD-DVD players ability to read HD content from a DVD9 @ 3 times the bandwidth of a regular SD DVD reader.

(Which means 30mbit/sec HD-DVD on a regular DVD9 'red laser media' but read by the faster blue laser HD-DVD player.)

No one said anything anywhere about this being anything to do with an SD DVD player .
That is purely the predictable (and rather laughable) FUD coming from the 'guess who' side in this.

HD-DVD has plenty of studio support, once again despite the ridiculous claims of the 'guess who' side in this
(and is region-free, unlike BD, which means many BD titles that are claimed to be exclusive are only exclusive in the USA and are in fact available on HD-DVD elsewhere in the world....'Underworld Evolution' for instance is available on HD-DVD in Spain = with todays international market anywhere in the EU and beyond.

But even that attempt to divert is to utterly miss the point here, this is not about providing the major studios with an inexpensive media for big name movies.

This is all about providing an inexpensive media to small and mid-sized publishers and producers.

The kinds of publishers who might otherwise never go into high def DVD at all (especially not BD considering it's enormous costs).

Basically it means more HD-DVD content.

(and with luck it'll be part of the spec for HD-DVD PC burners, 30mbit/sec would make for awesome rips on a DVD9)

.....and the 'guess who' side can't abide that cos it goes against the 'drive' they've been on since CES to talk up 'momentum' - which is why they've recently once again declared themselves (so pathetic) 'winners' in this so-called format war a 2nd time
(if they do it a 3rd time it'll just be embarrassing).

Market watchers should just stick to looking at the numbers of discs sold and not these wild and deceptive claims about ratios or percentages.

As Crank showed these supposedly 'best selling' discs aren't even breaking into 5 figures sales (Crank managed 7500).

Some momentum. :lol:

2421.2.2007 14:01

hughjars
doh "3x" the speed there of.....sorry I been eye deep in Ut03 script half the day and my logic curcits have bowen....didn't know I had any anyway :P

ggaaaa mutators are kinda hard have to make scripting to replace the script I am replacing ><

altho at least it brings the weapons in game and their no longer a summon...man q4/d3 scripting is alot easier to replace a weapon...altho the scripting is still VERY beyond me.

2521.2.2007 14:17
hughjars
Inactive

lol

Don't worry zippy, plenty of time to work it all out before it matters.

If you've seen retail VC-1 (@ approx 12 - 14mbit/sec) or even some of the high quality HD-DVD/BD rips (@ approx 6 - 8mbit/sec) you'll know just how fantastic the quality of a 30mbit/sec rip could be.....

.....even if VC-1 does show it would be unnecessary, but even so it would be incredible quality for a home PC.

Here's hoping.

2621.2.2007 14:25

hughjars
lets see if I can recall things right VC-1 is MSs codec and overall one of the best video codecs currently used,because sony went with a lesser codec (their own ) BR had a rocky visual start,am I even close to being half right?

2721.2.2007 15:54
hughjars
Inactive

Originally posted by ZIppyDSM:
hughjars
lets see if I can recall things right VC-1 is MSs codec and overall one of the best video codecs currently used
- Spot on zippy, it's as up-to-date and effective as they come (and one of the prime reasons why sheer size is not everything in this so-called 'battle').

Originally posted by zippy:
because sony went with a lesser codec (their own )
- Mpeg2, circa 1988, almost 20yrs old.
It wasn't the wisest move and it's a comparatively inefficient & space-hungry codec.

Originally posted by zippy:
BR had a rocky visual start
- Something like the BD version of 'The Fifth Element' is truly awful.

Originally posted by zippy:
am I even close to being half right?
- Yeah you're there zippy.

You also need to know that AVC (a type of h264 & Mpeg4 codec) is also being used (by Paramount IIRC).

Sony will cling on to the ancient Mpeg2 cos they hold patents for it......and it's partly why they need the sheer size of BD to turn in anything approaching a credible high def performance.

2821.2.2007 16:01

hughjars
thats what I thought,how much space to make mpeg look like the better codecs 100gb? :P

2921.2.2007 18:20

What I want to know if thes could be read from a pc dvd-rom or even an iso, I have the a1 but I have alot of friends that have HD-DVD movies via downloads. They will one buy standalone players, and blanks, and recorder but that want to "test the waters" this would seems like a great way to bridge the gap because I have 800 gigs on computer on my computer while my froends have like 120. Any thought on this hughjars.
By the way this would excellent for single or even 2 episodes of a tv show, animation, porn, something like comedy or doc.

3021.2.2007 18:22

also amrim at avs has stated that vc-1 at 10-13 MBs will do 1:1 transparency very, very soon. I seen the movie Chronicles of Riddicl hit 9 and look very good

3122.2.2007 3:27
hughjars
Inactive

Originally posted by plutonash:
What I want to know if thes could be read from a pc dvd-rom or even an iso, I have the a1 but I have alot of friends that have HD-DVD movies via downloads.
- If you mean a HD-DVD PC ROM then I can see no reason why not.

This is after-all part of the specification registered with the 'DVD Forum'
(one of their strict requirements is that new devices must be fully compatible with existing machines if they are going under the same name - ie HD-DVD).

I am certain it can't be read by a red laser PC DVD Rom (the DVD is spun at 3 times the speed for this - to get 3X the bandwidth - and written for the Blue laser HD-DVD system)
but
someone has just reminded me that it might be possible to use a PC DVD-ROM drive as they spin faster and have higher bandwidth than 1x DVD of dedicated players.....but I couldn't say either way, my money would be on it being a 'no' tho.


It's all about an inexpensive process using blue-laser on inexpensive red laser media, but it does take a HD-DVD blue laser reader to read it.

(They should rip down to a very neat size with excellent quality for downloading/backing for a regular red laser DVD reader using the right codec tho)

Originally posted by plutonash:
By the way this would excellent for single or even 2 episodes of a tv show, animation, porn, something like comedy or doc.
- Exactly.
Anything 'less' than a full-on movie is liable to be cheaper and more easily made available in HD-DVD thanks to this move.

It's also interesting because small publishers and 'rights holders' may well bring older content to the HD-DVD market when otherwise they might not.

Originally posted by plutonash:
also amrim at avs has stated that vc-1 at 10-13 MBs will do 1:1 transparency very, very soon. I seen the movie Chronicles of Riddicl hit 9 and look very good
- Yeah, that's what zippy & I were discussing.
If the source is good and the encoding done by someone who knows what they're doing the 'red laser' DVD5 or DVD9 rips can look amazing.

But with this blue laser tech able to run as high as 30mbit/sec it ought to be everything we'll ever need
(and all at a price most of us can easily afford too.....with a spec unlikely to change and leave us 'high and dry' either).
We just need those burners!

VC-1 is probably the most advanced codec on the market right now (and it is still being developed).
It's a very very impressive bit of software (no wonder it's proved so popular).

I've seen an article where they claimed 9mbit/sec was looking possible (which is within the 10mbit/sec regular SD DVD bandwith limit and why for some applications DVD9 - or even DVD5 - might well be all you need).
This holds some very very interesting possibilities.

But that's the beauty of HD-DVD, it was designed from the outset as a video media.
Blu-ray on the other-hand was designed for huge data storage.....and whilst that might sound slightly odd it's not the same thing & it does make a difference.
It's how come BD is clunky and lacking in some features when compared to HD-DVD's iHD (things like PiP which requires multiple scanning).

BTW (just noticed this) using this tech also stretches a DVD9 capacity up from 8.5gb to 9.4, which is (always uesful &) nice.

http://www.engadget.com/2007/02/19/is-3x...gainst-blu-ray/
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 22 Feb 2007 @ 7:00

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