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A HD DVD and Blu-ray player in one? Not for a long time

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 11 Jan 2006 13:06 User comments (35)

A HD DVD and Blu-ray player in one? Not for a long time To make investing in next generation disc formats more comforting for consumers, the sale of a device capable of playing both would be ideal. However according to many executives and analysts, intellectual property issues, legal agreements and simple pride will keep such a consumer-friendly option at bay for a long time. "Until everyone agrees to check their egos at the door and help the consumer, there is nothing we can do about a universal product," said Peter Weedfald, a senior vice president of marketing at Samsung North America.
The battle between HD DVD and Blu-Ray Disc continues to heat up after the announcements from both camps at the Consumer Electronics Show. Both revealed very similar upcoming movie releases and the first players for the discs. Each side is confident that they have the best format with consumers interests in mind. Microsoft also announced plans to release a HD DVD add-on for the Xbox 360 console so owners could enjoy high definition movies with the console.

Microsoft, Intel and Toshiba stand on the side of HD DVD while Sony, Samsung, Philips and Dell are supporting Blu-ray. Hewlett-Packard (HP) however, is right in the middle. But is pride among these major tech companies going to cost consumers in the coming years? Steve Kovsky, an analyst at Current Analysis, remembers how a meeting in Tokyo saw a reporter asking an executive at a major Japanese consumer electronics manufacturer about the possibility of a "universal" player. The executive blew up and just called the idea "stupid". It does sound like a response you would hear from a young child, doesn't it?

"Japanese executives in general are very political, so this was very surprising," Kovsky said. "Technically, it is possible...but at this point, it doesn't look like it will happen, which is a shame, because it will hinder adoption." Of course the rules that govern all of these companies just makes the battle more bitter for consumers. "The conundrum is that you've got two different camps. You've got licensing issues, you've got trademarks, you've got copyrights," Weedfald said. "You can't just be on the Blu-ray side and say, 'We will put HD DVD in there,' and the reverse is true."

He also went ahead to say Samsung may make a separate line of HD DVD players to complement the Blu-ray players it plans to release later this year but the company had no current plans to do so.


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35 user comments

111.1.2006 13:44

Three cheers for a universal is really in our 'the consumers' best interest. But..alas I know it cannot be. After all the Xbox vs PS2 war and now the Xbox360 vs PS3 war igniting.....another format war...siiggh...

211.1.2006 13:48

I was right all along. Everybody's stupid but me.

311.1.2006 16:07

blu-ray>hd dvd. nuff said.

411.1.2006 16:23

I think I'll skip the whole HD DVD/Blu-ray thing. This petty bickering between all of these companies just shows me one thing: greed is bigger than consumer need. I refuse to support any of these companies in their "next-gen" format wars. I'm sticking with the normal DVDs.

511.1.2006 16:54

How do I lose out??? Unless they plan to stop producing DVD in the current format. I will speak the loudest without having to raise my voice and that is with my wallet.

611.1.2006 17:04

Will the players be able to play normal DVD's? I'll back what ever one can do that ive got a great collection and im not going to throw it away.

711.1.2006 17:17

I'll just ignore this war and go DVR baby!!! Since soon HD DVR will come out and DESTROY both competitors hahahahaha! Don't take the DVR lightly or you'll end up like Micro$oft when they released defective Xbox 360's and now trying to make up for it by having people download "secret patches", if you relized you download a little something when you start your Xbox 360 up. It should be called the Xbox 180. PS3Rulez! Esclads, Out!!!

811.1.2006 17:19

I'll just ignore this war and go DVR baby!!! Since soon HD DVR will come out and DESTROY both competitors hahahahaha! Don't take the DVR lightly or you'll end up like Micro$oft when they released defective Xbox 360's and now trying to make up for it by having people download "secret patches", if you relized you download a little something when you start your Xbox 360 up. It should be called the Xbox 180. PS3Rulez! Supasonic, Out!!!

911.1.2006 18:04

I don't think I'll buy any of the next-gen format. I don't even have a HD TV. Plus my main gripe is that they did this diliberately and I am waiting for both companies to write this whole fiasco as a sunk cost. When I do buy a new computer I am just hook that up to a decent used HD TV and play media off of it there problem solved as I don't need some player dedicated to Blu-ray or HD-DVD.

1011.1.2006 18:43

Blu-ray offers more storage per disc than hd dvd...But besides that, just the fact that playstation 3 games will all be made from Blu-ray is enuff to give it the edge over hd dvd! PS3 is the best!!!

1111.1.2006 19:07

to anybody who thinks about making this into a console war... I hope you die

1211.1.2006 19:32

Since you' re not the first! My opinion is that theese two formats have a long way yet before dominate the market since digital store of data has already become true some years ago with DVD-R discs. I know that three years ago I purchased a 2X dvd -rw for 550 and some discs for 4,00 each paying at pioneer' s prices. The same has to happen know for the hardare firms. But now the way is not wide open. Long time ago a poor relative has been in the market which can still be used from individuals for their needs. This time formats except fighiting each other have to convince people that they have to subsitute their old equipment with all the pioneer 's defects with the new hardware. So I don 't think that the prices will fall as soon happend with dvd +/-rw sl and dl discs. The entertainment industry is the one which, with his support, will led the market. On the other hand I don' t believe that they will invest in both formats. Pepole will wait to follow the final winner. Remember what happend with Philips/Grundig video 2000 in the analog days formats. An excellent charateristics product felt into the deep watres in luck of supporting titles (even betamax). Personally I 'll stay and watch the battles sitting on my existing dvd format.

1312.1.2006 2:37

Evberytime you see people saying how the PS3 is going to rule and how Blu-ray has the edge because SONY are backing it makes me laugh, do these people who say how the PS3 is going to stomp all in its path actually read the news on the internet or papers if they did they would see how each PS3 game is going to be only usable on 1 machine, as soon as you put your PS3 game in the console data is written to it making it useless to everyone except the console it was originally in, so say you have FIFA and your mate has ISS Pro Evo and you want to swap you will need to swap consoles along with the games as your mates ISS wont work on your console, after the rootkit fiasco SONYs public opinion has dropped so far down the meter it is near impossible to see, and also who needs a Blu-ray 47gig disc, if the coders start writting their games right now they may have it finished by the year 3000, the only thing the PS3 is going to use a full Blu-ray disc in a game is if they use DVD files in the games movie sequences, the only real reason I see for a 47gig disc is for Backing up hard drives, but I suppose we the public will need to wait and see after all look at the video format wars from years ago, on 1 side we had BetaMax and on the other VHS, Beta Max was superior in every way but the USA porn industry choose VHS as its format so VHS eventually pushed BetaMax out teh door.

1412.1.2006 5:51

I for one am going to wait until I can get a blue ray/ hd dvd burner/player at a good price. It is so stupid not to put these 2 great formats into one unit. I mean really think about it !!! why should we have to buy 2 Players. If you look on the brite side the dual lare disks which are currently on the market should go down in price a lot and that is fine with me. I dont like taking 2nd best but I will not support this format war in any way what so ever. One more thing $ony as a company SUCKS !!! I will not spend my hard earned money on there products again. I am not saying I will not use them just will not buy any more $ony personally. If I get a $ony present for xmass or birthday I will exchange it for some other brand. They may sound childish but thats how I feel.

1512.1.2006 5:54

Sorry for the type o's above

1612.1.2006 6:18

The format war isn't going to be won over consoles. Microsoft and Sony both are going to play huge roles but because of what they do besides make consoles. I personally don't agree with consoles being home entertainment ports but thats a different topic. Microsoft has a very heavy weighing on the topic because of how much control it has over the computer industry, if every new computer has HD DVD readers, chances are that format is going to win the war regardless of what format is actually better. A universal player would be best for the consumer's but competition is also great for the consumer. If the next generation format war is close enough then prices will certaintly be driven down even faster then they were with DVD players. There isn't much sense arguing over this at this point. The consumer [us] really don't have much say over the issue anyway, which is really unfortunate but it's just how it works.

1712.1.2006 7:25

just a thought and i havent researched it yet but since Blu-ray uses a blue laser can that also read normal dvd's? i believe it can but is the laser for HD-DVD the same or different from the normal red dvd laser.

1812.1.2006 8:19

A country on the verge of winning war is not likely to shake hands and call it quits when the other side asks to be friends. The Blu-ray side has mor ebacking, industry, and public than HD-DVD. HD-DVD is merely on their knees at this point and a universal player is only in their interests. Unfortunately we have to face the fact that Sony will sit back and watch HD-DVD die.

1912.1.2006 15:10

I think that a lot of people are just going to say screw HD and BluRay both and stick to standard dvds for the forseeable future. Look at the DVD Audio vs. SACD wars of a couple years ago. Most people just went ahead and kept on buying regular cd's and both formats died from being ignored-I can see the same happening to the competing HD formats.

2012.1.2006 16:15

I can't. Audio is saved at a fairly high quality on a standard CD and 80 minutes is enough time for any CD being released today. On an even larger note, visual details are more easily distinguished by a larger population of people. Most people also are buying TV sets that can represent pictures much more accurately then most people's audio systems as well. My thoughts arn't exactly very well laid out there but I think you get the idea. The need for a larger storage device is obvious.

2112.1.2006 16:42

Maybe for storage purposes but with all the DRM crap that both new hd formats are going to "impose" on us consumers I, for one am gonna pass on both until some figures out how to crack the DRM like decess was cracked on dvds pretty quickly after the format took off.

2212.1.2006 17:12

Yeah I think many people didn't move to DVD until it was common to be able to backup their fragile discs. However let's recall Sony's 2 previous flops. 1) BetaMax 2) MiniDisc. I know MDs are really popular in asia but in america they are worthless as next to no-one has a MD player. I think it's all the protection the new discs are gonna have plus the fact that there isn't a universal player then the fact most people are going to be confused. I think the "only" way this war can be won is with actual marketing strategy and not technology. DVDs only became accepted because the marketing for them was about the quality difference but now there isn't much of a quality difference as they both produce HD picture so it's all about price, portability and presence on store shelves.

2312.1.2006 18:09

There will never be an uncrackable copy protection, it's just a matter of time for someone to figure it out, and to get our hands on a burner. To write these discs is going to be even mor fragile then DVD's which is definetly going to impose problems when people try and do it themselves. Just think how much harder it is to do DVD's then CD's. We'll just have to let it play out though, I'm personally rooting for Blu-ray just because it has the higher capacity.

2412.1.2006 18:11

Actually CD's aren't big enough, even wav audio CDs right now are actually compressed. If Audio was put onto a format with more room, quality has room to increse.

2512.1.2006 18:23

Who cares. It is all about selling more hardware now that evey man and his dog had a DVD player. And whoopee now the movie makers will have to find more gaqrbage to fill the extra space with. Anyhow all is irrelevant. Movies by demand via ADSL is a near reality. My ISP will begin to offer free ADSL to Set Top Box movies by demand giving a near DVD qulality. All for the extra cost of er nothing.

2613.1.2006 8:01

The purpose behind it is to accomodate HD movies. They're looking at all the poeple with 720p or 1080p tvs that would benefit from HD video and woudl buy it. Real HD video consumes up to 4 times as much space on disc than what we have now. You are not very enlightened to this fact are you?

2713.1.2006 11:18

I know Blu-ray is better, but HD DVD actually sounds like a DVD. Blue ray sound like a kind of laser pointer. I don't think Sony will make the betamax mistake again. But they're the dumbies that put spyware in cds, so they might.

2813.1.2006 11:53

Sony's backing Blu-ray? In that case, if I were to buy any hardware, it's going to be HD-DVD all the way. Sony lost my respect long ago and not buying anything that they're backing will help in bringing them to their knees.

2913.1.2006 11:58

The winner of the consoel war will be the better format, not a name or brand preference. When peopel go into Best Buy or any other store, and they ask the guy about HD-DVD and Blu-ray, the second they hear that the the difference is 2/3 increase in storage space for the same price (When the formats become more avail they will both be more resonably proced and matchign each other), they will buy it. You have to be stupid to A. believe any HD-DVD propaganda against BD-R disc cost and B. Not buy the 25GB per layer format

3013.1.2006 20:45

In my opinion the hackers and pirates should boycot Blu-ray just to show sony who needs who.... blue ray and beta will meet the same demise no one is going to chuck thousands of dollars of thier old dvd collection for Blu-ray when HD-DVD will be backward compatible. HD-DVD will be adaptable to x-box 360 and thus sony will most likely loose both its battles...GOOD!

3114.1.2006 0:13

It was my understanding that while Bluray will not be directly backwards compatible with DVD the first large wave of players will play both formats Blurray and DVD for the simple purpose of keeping new adopters happy. Even if it is a little larger of an expense I think that would be the way to go. Oh yeah, and to all the people who are taking sides based on which corporations created what "FONG YOU" you are the reason technology slows down. In a utopia the better technology / benefit would win. I personally think Blu ray is better, however Ill wait to watch the smoke clear first. Ludikhris

3214.1.2006 5:12

Both posts above need some serious corrections - People against SOny and Blu-ray because of DRM, HD-DVD are required by content studios to have unified DRM standards. They both suffer from HDCP, AACS, and the two bus control systems. Those four are required for both, and are the worst and tuffest four. Aside form these only HD-DVD has mentioned the possibility of watermarking. The very first PC (I haven;t checked for the home players, but they are probably the same) BD-R drives are compatible with DVD but not CD, the omitted CD to save time. Besides - You all have a DVD/CD drive in your PC now that I know you wouldn't throw out because you have a new multi-format drive, AND, I know you all have DVD players you wouldn't throw out because of a Blu-ray - DVD player. That's beside the point that they are backwards comp.

3314.1.2006 9:28

The way things are looking now and for the forseeable future is simple, a lot of people including myself are just going to make do with our dvd collection and upscaling players and ignore both hd formats.

3414.1.2006 15:34

After seeing some solid HD content on a 1080p TV, you might change your mind. Jessica Alba...1080p...73" 1080p HDTV...

3514.1.2006 16:40

If anyone has watched a movie in HD on a HDTV and compaires it to a widescreen DVD version they know that most of the DVD versions are cropped at top and bottom! That is a aspect ratio 2.35:1 so with HDTV aspect 1:85:1 (16x9) you get to see more of the movie!This is a good ploy to advance HD whether on HD-DVD of Blue-Ray. Did they intend this?

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