AfterDawn: Tech news

Still no agreement on single DVD-writable format

Written by Jari Ketola @ 18 Sep 2002 14:22 User comments (6)

The DVD+RW Alliance and the DVD Forum sat down and had a long discussion. The result: both groups still refuse to work together to find a single-format solution. But there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon.
Intel, as well as other electronics companies are getting involved in the debate, and are speaking with both the DVD+R as well as the DVD-R -party. Obviously Intel and others would like to see DVD-writers becoming popular in desktop computers as well as stand-alone devices, but that's not going to happen as long as there are two different formats, and four different types of media at the market.

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6 user comments

119.9.2002 2:01

But it may go a little deeper than this. Eventually people will want to be able to make a dvd backup with somewhere near the same ease with which we can make music cds today. And Intel, probably because of that, has been under pressure from Hollywood to incorporate hideous DRM into their chips, i.e. : user restrictions on what hey *may* and may *not* do with their dvd burners. But in the interim, yes, these multiple formats are turning people off and stifleing their growth in general. And what of blu-laser, or whatever the 'next big thing' will be? And what of HD-DVD? There's too many unanswered questions. Nobody wants to risk buying today what's going to be obsolete next week. -- Mike --

219.9.2002 2:29

But then again, maybe by letting markets to decide, we find the format that suits best for our purposes -- backing up DVD-Videos so that they play back nicely with most of the DVD players and consoles. That's what "minus" does, while "plus" doesn't work on PS2 -- which is the most popular "DVD player" in Western Europe at the moment. But yeah, it stinks if you "bought the wrong one".. Still feeling angry about the Betamax...

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

319.9.2002 6:39

Of the current formats, minus *does* seem to be catching on faster than the rest, doesn't it? It's still very eary in the game, especially in my neck of the woods. One local Walmart is selling 3-paks of Memorex single-sided DVD-Rs for $27 Canadian. (a little over 3-1/2 pounds, your currency, per disc). Those are the only discs I've ever seen except for those silly, overpriced "RAM" ones. If the inventors of the different formats don't compromise and work together (good luck) on coming up with a single unified format, there could be big losers. That's the way it always seems.....the companies want it *all* or nothing. The 'winning' format will reap the windfall profits, while the rest will have to obtain licenses to manufacture the competitor's products. (Sony has to pay Japan Victor Company licensing fees to make vhs machines now, don't they?). And 'letting the public decide' is the way it's always been. There is no other option, really. The people *always* decide, sooner or later, what succeeds and what doesn't. It's just simple economics. But in this case, with technology tripping over itself to get ahead these days, and with so many conflicting standards to deal with, it could take FOREVER for the companies to come together, if they ever come together at all!! I'm not buying any dvd burner until things are a *lot* clearer; the discs become relatively cheap and plentiful; the format becomes *widely* used everywhere, and hopefully, the wonderful software authors make it *much* easier to back dvds up than it currently is. You have to admit dRD, backing up dvds for the un-initiated is a horribly daunting task, one that the vast majority of non-tech people will never undertake. For the newbie, it is an effort of sheer will and determination to back them up into *any* format (vcd, svcd, cvd....) let alone dvd. If it weren't for a/D and other like-minded sites, we'd still be running off vhs copies. Hollywood's continual bitching and constant threats nonwithstanding, the manufacturers are going to *have* to cut the public some slack (afford some leeway) in backing up dvd content, if they ever want to contemplate being the 'format of choice'. (The 'next big thing'). And they'll have to at least make an *effort* to make the process simpler. (Can you think of anything easier to do than backing up a red book music-cd, or duplicating a vhs tape?). THAT's the kind of simplicity that will push a new format right over the TOP! I don't know that that will ever happen because of the differences that exist between blank, and pre-recorded media. (Pre-made dvds are often dual-layer, far exceeding the capacity of single-sided blanks). It would be nice (but impossible) to simply 'backup' or 'clone' a dvd *as-is* without having to reformat everything to death. oh oh, I'm starting to wander off again.... -- Mike --

419.9.2002 6:47

As far as the price goes, we're there already -- high street stores just haven't figured out that already. Check the prices in here: Around 0.40 per blank disc isn't too bad (US$0.60 for our dear American friends or 0.65 for Continental users... around three gazillion Yens if you like -- never learnt the exchange rate for that one ;-). There are several other stores in the US, Germany and in the UK that have prices like that. Then again, cheapest blank media what I've seen "off-line" or "real world" have been around 5 a piece. Anyway, yes. Ideal solution would be to allow backups as "fair use rights" allow them, but they're not going to bow until we're much, much older and is having its 30th birthday and major content owners have finally understood the economics and people's will. And sure, you can always wish for easy-to-backup solution for movie copying and such, but then again -- AfterDawn & co exist because it is so damn difficult ;-)

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

519.9.2002 6:53

I haven't read your (above) post yet, because I just wanted to mention what a *pleasure* it is to have you online evan as I speak (type). To have a response waiting for me even *before* I press the 'submit' button is *very* encouraging and pleasant a surprise. dRD, I *do* wish we had an 'instant chat' function here, so I could say *HELLO & THANK YOU* in real-time. I'll go read your post now. :) -- Mike --

619.9.2002 7:01

;-) Chat functionality on our site wont ever happen, as our advertisers have told us very clearly that 100% unmoderated live chat is a big turn-off for them. But IRC is there, has been there for WAY over 10 years now and works nicely :-) ;-) -> download -> connect some IRCNet server -> /j afterdawn There I am, 24/7, hanging around or just keeping my nick alive and sleeping meanwhile ;-)

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

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