AfterDawn: Tech news

Toshiba puts one up on Sony

Written by Dave Horvath @ 15 Jan 2007 6:18 User comments (39)

Toshiba puts one up on Sony In an attempt to steamroll their format into the basis of standarization for next generation DVDs, Toshiba has just submitted its latest creation. A triple layer HD-DVD capable of holding 51Gb worth of data. This is in addition to the previous single and dual layer HD-DVD disks with storage amounting to 15GB and 30GB of data, respectively. It appears they've taken direct aim at rival Sony's 50Gb Blu-Ray disk in hopes of wowing consumers with it's sheer size.
This increase was achieved by the ability to cram 17Gb worth of data to each layer, which is more than they had anticipated when they announced back in May of 2005 that they were in development of a 45Gb solution. Industry leaders state that the previous 30Gb capacity was more than enough to fit full 1080p movies plus loads of extras on one disk. From what can be seen, it appears that Toshiba has intiated a "mine's bigger than yours" contest.

The only catch in all this is current generation HD-DVD players will not be able to read data from these new larger capacity disks, so early adopters may be in for a shock when they find out they're stuck with "only" 30Gb capacities.


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39 user comments

115.1.2007 6:25

All the reason not to buy a next gen player yet.

215.1.2007 6:26

The only catch in all this is current generation HD-DVD players will not be able to read data from these new larger capacity disks, so early adopters may be in for a shock when they find out they're stuck with "only" 30Gb capacities
Thats sucks for HD-DVD owners just another reason how this whole damm war is nothing than a money maker and these two company love it.

315.1.2007 6:39

I agree, all they want to do is make more money. So now HD-DVD owners need to buy another player that reads Three layer dvds...

415.1.2007 6:58

Ok its good and bad,but then BR has first batch of movies to be in bad codecs eh? first gen stuff is always troubled,so we have 51 V 50 and a 3 layered BR would be what 70ish GB? all in all they need to focus on price get the recorders and media price down to near 5-10 a disc,recorders and stuff to under 400 the industry can do it but they refuse to fight dirty and finish this war and because neither side wants to lose some to gain alot its going to take a few years for anything to settle.

515.1.2007 7:00

BTW 3 layered discs have not been used for movies yet so it will take another 2-3 years for it to be used. and in acouple of years a new HD DVD player should be 300-400

615.1.2007 7:13

this sucks because i would think that if they produce hd dvd players they would make it so all players work look at blu ray even most blu ray players dont work with movies like descent and eve problems with king kong due to java script bull garbage

715.1.2007 7:24

tabletpc how many first gen DVD players supported DVD9 or the menu codecs used now adays?? take that number and now half it,if you keep up with allot of tech things the resulting number dosent seem to bad,theres a reason why I don't early adopt,things change quickly and even more so now adays we have soemthign like 1/2 or 1/3rd of players on field that are already obsolete,and BR still have a layer it can add to its format,HD DVD might still have another,I was hoping a end was in sight but thats just my stupidity...the war continues it might even be 4-5 more years of this mindlessness...I can only hope the dual players bring a quicker end...

815.1.2007 7:49

"it appears that Toshiba has intiated a "mine's bigger than yours" contest." Not even close! Blu-ray has had the 200 GB capacity for several months prior to this announcement (6 months, to be precise). Blu-ray also had the first 50, 75 and 100 GB capacities YEARS prior to this announcement. Where Dave is getting this statement that Toshiba has initiated ANYTHING other than an all-out format war is completely ridiculous. For those who are unaware, HD-DVD is truly the "Johnny come lately" in this format game. Blu-ray specs were first proposed back in 1995, TWO YEARS prior to the release of DVD, and SEVEN YEARS prior to the HD-DVD spec was even proposed. Blu-ray is a true technological advance, whereas HD-DVD is just "more of the usual" as far as format, copy protection, storage capacity, etc. It's all over for HD-DVD, with their defective players and inferior format. BLU-RAY is the reigning king. Period.

915.1.2007 8:54

IMG I would like some proof about that 1995 figure. I did a wikipedia search and it doesn't mention anything. But going back to '95 there was barely any Hard-drives over a 10 Gigs let alone the idea of a media disc which could hold 50 Gigs.

1015.1.2007 9:10

What kind of movie will be released on a 50Gb disc? Thats insane! Nobody needs to buy a new player because there is no way a single movie could fill that ammount of space!

1115.1.2007 9:12

first gen stuff is always troubled,so we have 51 V 50 and a 3 layered BR would be what 70ish GB?
I agree, first gen stuff always sucks. I bought a first gen Sony DVD Burner and it only burns DVD+RW. It won't even burn +R disks. Just wondering, did the Blu-ray camp ever get the two-layer BR disks stable?
It's all over for HD-DVD, with their defective players and inferior format.
How do you know the HD-DVD players are defective? This article is saying that HD-DVD has been updated, the current HD-DVD players may not read the 3rd layer but early adopters always get screwed from both camps. The players still work on non-three layer disks and therefore aren't defective.
BLU-RAY is the reigning king. Period.
Are you so sure about this? Betamax (another Sony project) was technically superior to VHS and yet VHS won. The VHS camp won, from what I can recall, partially because they adopted the adult film industry to release its products on VHS instead of Betamax. According to a recent article here at AfterDawn:
Joone has stated that he wanted to provide content on Blu-ray, but the Blu-ray copying facilities in the United States refused to comply with his wishes. Joone also stated that the copying companies unanimously said that Sony had issued a warning to any company who produces pornographic material on a Blu-ray disk would lose the Blu-ray license.
Sony will take away Blu-ray licensing from anyone who produces adult films on its disk. HD-DVD, however, has agreed to let Digital Playground (the adult film company There Joone founded) produce adult films on HD-DVD. This, my fellow aDers, sounds like the same mistake Sony made with Betamax. According to [url=]this[/url] article the adult film industry is responsible for pulling in some $14 billion since 2001 or roughly $2.8 billion a year. That is a huge amount of money and would give HD-DVD a decent boost in the format war if its HD-DVD adult films sell even decently well.

1215.1.2007 9:14

How about a SINGLE layer that holds 50GB?? Wouldnt THAT be nice!!

1315.1.2007 9:32

The truth is we will be forced to adopt to one or the other. DVD will go the way of the VHS tape. Get over it, and no one is the "reigning king" yet. I have the HDdvd addon for the 360 and thank God it was only two bills so if the format tanks then oh well. I think most people who respond here are too young to remember when things used to cost money and were of good quality. Anyone old enough to remember when VCR's came out? Or that you had to shell out large monies for Laserdisc and DVD too? Also, you need to have a HD tv for it to matter and guess what, they are going to force that too! I think HDdvd will win out, but who cares if it doesn't! Im only out $200, which lets face it; is disposable income these days.

1415.1.2007 9:53

This, my fellow aDers, sounds like the same mistake Sony made with Betamax.
The problem with betamax was price,But this been decades ago.HD-DVD had no choice but to add the adult film company.Sony has just about all the major film company backing them.If you look Blu-ray has surpass HD-DVD in sales as of Dec/24/06 even with HD-DVD lauching first in U.S.Blu-Ray already own 96% of Japan.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 15 Jan 2007 @ 9:55

1515.1.2007 10:22

your getting that from the blueray site could just be bullsh** to make you buy a blueray 1000$ player and buy movies for it...i think blue ray is bull**** in my over hypes anything they is bluethooth technoloy on there ps3 contollers serouisly just say its a wireless controller...and most companys that back blue-ray also back it really dosnt is to much money the only ting keeping it alive is the ps3 and the ps3 is doing a very bad job i see them everywhere and noones buying them only fanboys..this is all my opionion..sure ill have other fanboys with huge statemetns and hate towards me ahahahahahahahahah!

1615.1.2007 11:30

No if you just go into any retail store you will see it with your own eyes HD-DVD has not did a good job of marketing there product.HD-DVD Player are being put into corners & Blu-ray player are out front & center.Just go to any BB or CC store and you will see what im talking about.Blu-Ray has also had a price drop 1,000 to 799.Plus Gamestop has offer 100.00 off if you trade in your PS2 toward a PS3.Far as returns the reason they getting returns because alot of fools was trying to cash in on a profit on E-bay and it back fired in there face.I'm glad to see this happen.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 15 Jan 2007 @ 11:33

1715.1.2007 13:24

The problem for all early adopters (HD-DVD & Blu-ray) is that later developments always pass them by.

Hey ho, such is life; it always has been that way and always will be that way, get over it and don't be so pathetic as to be sucked in by ridiculous and dumb 'ad-man speak' like 'future proof' again.

If TL HD-DVD cannot be integrated with a firmware upgrade (and this has been suggested by some with connections to Toshiba as a possibility) then existing HD-DVD owners will not reap the benefit.
(This comes from the avforums. One guy who had been to a Toshiba 'internal industry' presentation said he had been told it was possible but another guy at another internal seminar said he had been told it was not possible.)
So existing HD-DVD owners might just have to carry on enjoying the excellent current HD-DVD content and hardware as it is.
(btw 300 new HD-DVD titles announced at CES this year!)

But on the otherhand thanks to the excellent VC-1 codec (a codec so good that several Blu-ray movie producers are ditching Mpeg2 and are now adopting it) 30gb has proved perfectly sufficent to produce sound and image quality second to none
(including HD sound usually conspicuous by it's absense on Blu-ray products).

But for all the crowing regarding the potential capacity on the Blu-ray side there is not the slightest official indication that a single Blu-ray product currently on sale will be able to use the supposed 'just around the corner' 100gb or 200gb discs.

It's also worth noting that VC-1 reduces the need for Blu-ray movie producers to use the 50gb DL discs.
With less demand for this expensive and difficult to produce technology one wonders how it will manage in the mass-market place.
Nevermind the even more expensive and difficult to produce larger size discs.

.....and don't forget, anyone and any format that goes beyond 3 layers means having additional checking for data reading errors for corruption of data through the layers, thus significantly slowing the data transfer rates.
It is far from conclusive that these super-sized Blu-ray discs will be suitable for storing & using for real time movie playing, as happens now.
They are not part of the current 'standard'
(of which there are, IIRC, 4(!)......which maybe explains why so few current Blu-ray products can support all the supposed great features Blu-ray is meant to bring; even though some of then are spectacularly dumb, pointless and a total diversion from what movies are supposed to be about - idiotic little java based game(s) anyone?).

HD-DVD meanwhile does not have all these problems as the tech is still close to existing DVD tech.

If raw data storage is really the issue then both systems have vast potential.
Each can manage 10 layers.
10 x 25gb in the case of Blu-ray and 10 x 17gb in the case of HD-DVD, for now.
All far beyond any practical foreseeable need......and probably at a price the mass-market would never bear.
HDD's anyone? :D

.....and lastly for those looking for the lower prices to come the Toshiba HD A2 can be had on US Amazon for $399/210 right now.

The Chinese are also due Q2/3 with their cheaper still HD-DVD players.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 15 Jan 2007 @ 14:32

1815.1.2007 13:35

Some people try just a little too hard to be spokespersons for Sony.

1915.1.2007 14:57

I just need a $199 player any of the two.

2015.1.2007 21:45

hughjars great info ^^

2116.1.2007 4:59

the hd war is a JOKE!

2216.1.2007 5:11

georgeluv almsot as bad/pointless as the +/- war ;_; the main difference in them corperations that back them 0_o

2316.1.2007 6:53

All this means is that if you own a dual layer dvd burner now the price of the media will come to be more reasonable... so they have a 3 layer nice as that is its only good for data back up the gaming systems use blue ray or HD-DVD already now someone is working on the cross over media that will work on both thats kewl ... but when will the burners come out at a reasonable price.... for me the only thing this means is that those new dual layer dvds out that cant be copyed because they use up 6 gb will now be added to someones collection... Im more interested in when the price war will begin for our hard earned dollars....?

2416.1.2007 7:48

Well, it's clearly FAR too early to pick a winner in this war. Toshiba has been pushing HD DVD, Sony id pushing Blu-ray, MS seems to give light backing to HD DVD(Light, because it's not packed in), Warner Bros. is trying a "Let's do both" approach(Not a bad idea, really); and consumer reports are indicating it's far too soon to buy safely. Good times. I'm pretty happy right now, because I haven't liked Blu-ray since the demo incident done with a DVD+R disc. Sony swears that wasn't the disc they used, but why was it the only disc in the computer that demonstrated this 'amazing technology'? Either way, both formats are equally useful at this point. I personally would prefer HD DVD, because it's a royalty-free system, whereas Blu-ray is owned by Sony, like UMDs, and it keeps the market higher by nature, because for every disc printed, Sony gets a cut. Even if they had nothing to do with the contents of the disc. It really doesn't help get the market price of a new media down. And that's really the only edge I feel that HD DVD has; other than that, with this recent development, they're neck and neck. I'm not buying an HD player yet(Though I have an HDTV), but that's because I don't want to risk getting stuck with obsolete hardware any time soon. Not for those price tags. Ouch.

2516.1.2007 14:03

HD-DVD's pricing is far more consumer friendly and therefore far less 'risk'. After this years CES (where 300 brand new HD-DVD movie titles were announced to add to it's already larger catalogue) it's clear HD-DVD isn't going away - in fact with Blu-ray becoming a predominantly PS3 format it may well be that HD-DVD 'wins' by this years end. On the otherhand some say both media will be around for the next 5yrs with no actual winner. Only 3% of Blu-ray sales are for their stand-alones, 97% of Blu-ray players sold to date are PS3s. So much for all that noise about Blu-ray having the 'support' of the majority of the CE industry. No doubt they are thrilled to have spent so much investing in and creating Blu-ray only for Sony to undercut them all so much and render every one of their players utterly pointless. Watch for more to follow LG's lead and go from Blu-ray exclusive to dual format. Right now it's a low-risk $200/130 for the HD-DVD add-on or $399/300 for the Toshiba HD-A2. Those are prices that not one of the Blu-ray side can match......and when the even cheaper Chinese players come along and hit the mass-market it could well be 'game over' for Blu-ray as anything but a PS3 media.

2616.1.2007 18:55

I didnt think Sony had their claws into BR with royalties no wonder they went Mpeg 2 and tried to get more royalties 0-o

2716.1.2007 19:15

I don't think Sony gets a lot from royalties on the use of MPEG-2. It's only one of over 20 companies (and one university) holding the patent. I think it's more of Sony not wanting to pay royalties to to the VC-1 patent pool of which Microsoft is a member. Anyway some movie studios particularly Warner have been thumbing their noses at Sony (and MPEG-2) and have been releasing BluRay movies in VC-1 and AVC.

Panasonic PT-AE3000 1080p Projector//Carada 110" Criterion High Contrast Grey 16:9 Screen//Oppo BDP-83SE//Toshiba HD-XA2
Classe SSP800 Processor//Classe CA-5200 5 Channel Amplifier//Classe CA-2200 2 Channel Amplifier
Bowers & Wilkins 802D L-R/HTM 1D Center/SCMS Surrounds/JL Audio Fathom f113 x 2

2817.1.2007 5:46

I won't say that Sony personally got a lot. However, they are a major pusher for overall high royalties, and they were very clear about that with the PSP's UMD movie format. So much so, that one by one, studios have cut back on the format, to the point where they have claimed no intention to continue producing new titles for the format at all. Even Sony officially claimed it dead. However, they refuse to acknowledge that it has anything to do with it being royalty-based. They blame it on 'people not understanding the format'... Right. If these movies had not been royalty based, the format could've had much lower price points right off the bat. The studios would have had more opportunities to do bundles and bonus packs. And the media, at a lower price point would have stood a much better chance. Instead, studios got frustrated with the royalties system, had to keep prices high (Higher than DVD for a while there, and now just comparable); and consumers didn't buy. I'm not saying that this means the Blu-ray will or won't win. Not at all. In honesty, I hope it fails, but I'm not crossing my fingers, they're a conglomerate; and they've linked this format to their flagship. They'll do whatever it takes to try and make it work. Even if that means giving in, and making their own blu-ray/HD DVD player, and supporting these dual format discs. Now if someone will just hurry up and mix the technology for triple layer HD DVD, with the double format disc; we can just start producing those, and be done with this whole thing. "You've got Blu-ray? I've got HD DVD." "So, just flip it over." Somehow that seems like it would be a great end to this debate. lol.

2917.1.2007 5:50

handsom you said it beautifully,they dont get it thus a game machine is 500-600$ and their arrogance will be there end,or so I hope.

3017.1.2007 6:12

error5 is correct. Sony doesn't want to have anything to do with VC-1 since it's considered a Microsoft product and damned if they'll pay royalties to their competitor. It's good that Warner and others are brave enough to defy Sony and release VC-1 or AVC encoded discs.

"The emergence of a single, high-definition format is cause for consumers, as well as the entire entertainment industry, to celebrate."
-Craig Kornblau, president of Universal Home Entertainment Feb 19, 2008

3117.1.2007 6:51

You're right. Sony doesn't want to pay royalties to their competition. Instead, they prefer to pay it in lawsuits: -They were taken to court and made to replace PS2s that were found in a court of law, to be manufactured faulty. -They sent out waves of PSPs with dead pixels -They were the only one of the big three who didn't have the sense to pony up the cash when turtle beach called them on patent infringement(Rumble technology) and have their flagship(PS2 at the time) in and out of production for legal reasons. -They were sued in the UK for a racist ad, for the new white PSP. Which clearly displayed a white model with platinum hair choking a black model. Then the UK spokesperson mustered the worst apology in history "We didn't know it would be offensive." Which makes it even worse. -The New York state police are considering action against the Sonystyle store in Manhatten. It seems they had very inadequate security to keep control at the launch, when angry gamers who had been camping for over a week broke out in spurts of violence. lol. None of this has anything to do with the media formats. But it is ironic that Sony spends so much time getting sued; and doesn't want to join a format that is less expensive, would lead to more revenue and support, which overall would help their system's popularity. I believe it was Gamefaqs, who the week before Christmas did a survey of their visitors, asking which system they wanted to receive for the holiday. There was a majority split between the 360 and the Wii; and the PS3 was a distant third. Whether you're a fan of theirs or not, it's clear they could really stand to get some popularity back. Sony will really have to work to get customers at these prices. I'm curious to see how they'll do it, because they didn't get to number one by being ignorant, and I'm sure they've got something up their sleeve, regarding Blu-ray, and regarding the PS3.

3218.1.2007 8:11

"If you look Blu-ray has surpass HD-DVD in sales as of Dec/24/06 even with HD-DVD lauching first in U.S.Blu-ray already own 96% of Japan. "-BoobyBlu Lies, Lies, Lies. That was for one day even the biggest sony fans at avs said this. Stop spreading FUD you make people hate sony because u act like an idiot.

3319.1.2007 17:42

to hell with sony and all thier schemes.

3419.1.2007 19:32

What are we going to do with such huge capacity levels?? The only thing i can think of is the capacity's are good for backing up hard drives.

3519.1.2007 23:22

handsom oh please that AD was so non racist,its the Race card burners that just could not let black guy get pawned by a woman! However everything else you say is true,sony is a arrogant corperation that dosnent give a damn about itself its consumers or anything else the CEO's and people running the company seem to be to busy hiding away money in order to destroy the company we have seen this scenario time and time again its just a matter of time before Sony implodes because of bad management.

3620.1.2007 9:39

Seems like the triple layer issue might be a lot simpler than some originally thought -

Toshiba Unsure Whether 51 GB HD DVD Works in Existing Players By Scott M. Fulton, III, BetaNews January 17, 2007, 11:54 AM A spokesperson for Toshiba of America told BetaNews late yesterday that the company is still researching whether a new, three-layer HD DVD disc format it may propose -- the existence of which was carefully leaked at last week's CES -- will work in the first generation on HD DVD players, including its own. "Since the disc is not standardized yet," the spokesperson told BetaNews, "we are researching whether it is applicable to the current HD DVD players." Toshiba representatives apparently handed out press releases to a few journalists last week who probably noticed a "51 GB" label on some of its display discs, and asked what it meant. Independent journalist Henning Molbaek of was one of them, publishing as soon as January 9 what many sources were only learning a whole week later. The capability for HD DVD -- as well as Blu-ray -- to implement three layers on one side has been written into the specifications since the format's inception.

3720.1.2007 9:52

hughjars Nice,but wasn't that the case for DVD being DVD 9 compatibility and the compatibility was fickle at best for older drives? in any case HDVD has another leg up on BR,BR needs to get its act together but worst case it seems BR could just be for storage and everythign new be dual format and such. BR cant sem to do anyhting right without revising and HDVD seems to do things correct the first time.

3820.1.2007 14:46

I guess that the tech is so new that there may well be fickle-ness at first, there usually is. But it's nice to see it in black and white that TL was always part of the planning.

3924.1.2007 16:03

TL was always a part for Blu-ray, but it's not so much the case for HD-DVD. Like your article says, it was announced as soon as January 9th, but I don't recall hearing the triple layer on HD DVD (I was paying some pretty close attention back when the two formats were more than a year off); maybe I'm wrong.

And yes DVD9 is fickle on older drives (PS2 owners suffered tremendously over this when games like MGS 2 substance, GoW, and GT4 came out.) Very very fickle. But by some stroke of luck M$ seemed to have no problem with it on their system(As much as I love the xbox, I refuse to call it anything but luck.)

"Its not stupid, its advanced!" - The Almighty Tallest, Invader Zim

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