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Industry Insiders Master Q&A thread IV: ONLY Questions to Insiders - Page 71  

post #2101 of 4687
Quote:
Originally Posted by benwaggoner View Post

A big part of this is presumably lower COGS for HD DVD players due to simpler components, and components and manufacturing being done in much higher volume. Even using commodity components, the price of manufacture, test, marketing, retail engagement, etcetera all go down per unit as volumes go up.

I'm sorry, I don't buy your theory that the COGS explains the price disparity. The Sony BDP-S300 has sold in volumes comparable to any of the individual Toshiba player models (i.e. within a factor of two or three, perhaps closer). Further, the BDP-S300 is SOC-based, while the Toshiba A2 is not. Sony also benefits from the much, much higher PS3 volumes when it comes to the only part which is notably more complex, the optical pickup (said to be a $9 part).
Quote:


You suggest that somehow having the cheapest BD players match the cheapest HD DVD players is somehow "not in the best interest of the format" - can you expand on that?

Sure. By rampant price-cutting Toshiba has ensured that HD DVD will not support the margins needed for other first-tier CE vendors to enter the market. Dropping to price levels which effectively make the player a commodity benefits only the one vendor who has a significant stake in the patent pool (Toshiba), and leaves only a small market at the very high-end and the rest of the market to those who compete on price. It will result in a bunch of essentially identical players which are little more than the chipset vendors' reference designs, and won't create a marketplace where vendors compete on innovation (i.e. as seen with Panasonic's latest video chipset in the DMP-BD30, or Sharp's quick-starting feature). Further, prematurely shaving hundreds off the player price doesn't help with the price of content, which over time is far more expensive than the initial player purchase. If rock-bottom player pricing attracts consumers unwilling to spend $30+ for content the studios won't see value in further investment in the format.
post #2102 of 4687
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdg345 View Post

Does Disney/BVE get any long-term royalties from the BDA or Blu-ray patent pools?

The BDA doesn't pay royalties. The Blu-ray patent pool is independently managed by MPEG-LA (as is the HD DVD patent pool); I've never seen a list of patent holders for the format, so I don't know whether Disney is likely to see format royalties.
post #2103 of 4687
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeSaint View Post

I ponder what exactly is the reason that Blu Ray Group (principally Sony, Philips & Panasonic on the Consumer Electronics side) consistenly has such a disproportionately higher number of CE companies producing players, supporting them or promising/pledging support for Blu Ray Format over HD DVD Format?

As opposed to the cynical and largely irrelevant reasons posted here previously by an HD DVD insider, most of the companies who have chosen to back Blu-ray over HD DVD have done so simply because they see more promise in the technology. Better and more flexible specs leads to a longer lifespan for the format, more opportunity to innovate, and ultimately a greater return on the large investment required to launch a new format. For instance, Blu-ray's strong support for writability leads to a wide variety of product opportunities (recorders, camcorders, PC-based burning applications), and BD-J as a software platform is much more open-ended than is a markup language-based specification, so lends itself to greater potential for supporting content which will be both compelling to the consumer and profitable for the device manufacturer and studio. Further, BD-J shares a common software platform with the OpenCable Platform which allows vendors to share development costs across product lines and more easily integrate support for both technologies in a single device (i.e. a Blu-ray player which is also an OpenCable set-top box).
post #2104 of 4687
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talkstr8t View Post

As opposed to the cynical and largely irrelevant reasons posted here previously by an HD DVD insider, most of the companies who have chosen to back Blu-ray over HD DVD have done so simply because they see more promise in the technology.

Hey, this reminds me of a question I always wanted to ask you . If DVD Forum had picked Java for its interactivity and BDA had not, would you say Sun would be on the board of BDA and pushing for BD format to succeed or the other way around?
post #2105 of 4687
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talkstr8t View Post

and BD-J as a software platform is much more open-ended than is a markup language-based specification, so lends itself to greater potential for supporting content which will be both compelling to the consumer and profitable for the device manufacturer and studio.

Not a single CE company has joined BDA after Java was added to the spec. The format founding companies saw was a stream recorder and not much more. I am sure Java has some merits but it had nothing to do with which CE companies decided to support BD format which was the question asked.
post #2106 of 4687
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talkstr8t View Post

As opposed to the cynical and largely irrelevant reasons posted here previously by an HD DVD insider, most of the companies who have chosen to back Blu-ray over HD DVD have done so simply because they see more promise in the technology. Better and more flexible specs leads to a longer lifespan for the format, more opportunity to innovate, and ultimately a greater return on the large investment required to launch a new format. For instance, Blu-ray's strong support for writability leads to a wide variety of product opportunities (recorders, camcorders, PC-based burning applications), and BD-J as a software platform is much more open-ended than is a markup language-based specification, so lends itself to greater potential for supporting content which will be both compelling to the consumer and profitable for the device manufacturer and studio. Further, BD-J shares a common software platform with the OpenCable Platform which allows vendors to share development costs across product lines and more easily integrate support for both technologies in a single device (i.e. a Blu-ray player which is also an OpenCable set-top box).

However, just as a follow-up, even assuming each reason you provided was a sound motivating factor, surely you must admit that since HD DVD (and not Blu Ray) was the format approved by the well-established DVD Forum, initially had pledges of support from 4 Major Motion Picture Studios back in 2004 (Paramount, New Line, Universal & Warner Bros.) and was being launched by a venerable CE company (Toshiba) which, with Time-Warner, had already proven itself (was the victor) years earlier in the launch of THE most successful CE product in history (i.e.: DVD Players/DVD software etc.) despite being up against Sony & Philips who were trying to launch an alternative format known then I believe as MMCD (multi-media CD?), several other CE companies, even including ones who expressed interest in supporting Blu Ray technology, would/should have had signed on to support HD DVD?

So what I ask now also is: when companies like Samsung, Sharp & Pioneer etc. declared to the BD Assoc. that they would support Blu Ray, did the BD Assoc.'s main controllers insist that if these companies wanted to support BD that they had to pledge (at least verbally) that there would not simultaneously pledge support for BD's rival HD DVD?
post #2107 of 4687
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Hey, this reminds me of a question I always wanted to ask you . If DVD Forum had picked Java for its interactivity and BDA had not, would you say Sun would be on the board of BDA and pushing for BD format to succeed or the other way around?

Had the DVD Forum not selected Java and the BDA not done so, I think it's fair to say I would be trying to make the best of promoting the format which combined the less-capable physical format with the more-capable software platform. Of course, had Microsoft not backed HD DVD I think it's also fair to say the format war would have been long over (given Microsoft's "helping hand" in "encouraging" some Blu-ray exclusive companies to go neutral and some neutral companies to go HD-exclusive).
Quote:


Not a single CE company has joined BDA after Java was added to the spec. The format founding companies saw was a stream recorder and not much more. I am sure Java has some merits but it had nothing to do with which CE companies decided to support BD format which was the question asked.

I disagree. Java was added to the spec very early in the process (at HP's initiative), though it wasn't fully approved until late 2005. Further, there are many companies who didn't come out in support of BD until relatively recently (i.e. Denon, Funai, Marantz).
post #2108 of 4687
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talkstr8t View Post

Had the DVD Forum not selected Java and the BDA not done so, I think it's fair to say I would be trying to make the best of promoting the format which combined the less-capable physical format with the more-capable software platform.

OK then. Doesn't this mean that at least this answer was correct?

"9. Hey look, they picked my technology, I have to get on board. Certain company's name which related to astrology comes to mind here."


See, not everything I said was cynical and irrelevant .


Quote:


I disagree. Java was added to the spec very early in the process (at HP's initiative), though it wasn't fully approved until late 2005. Further, there are many companies who didn't come out in support of BD until relatively recently (i.e. Denon, Funai, Marantz).

Not sure what you disagree with. HP and Dell joined after all the CE companies were already on board of BDA. As for others not on the board building player, we have a few like RCA, Onkyo, etc. so that is not material to the discussion.
post #2109 of 4687
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeSaint View Post

However, just as a follow-up, even assuming each reason you provided was a sound motivating factor, surely you must admit that since HD DVD (and not Blu Ray) was the format approved by the well-established DVD Forum

Bear in mind the DVD Forum is there to standardize, um, DVD. Blu-ray shares little in common with DVD formatwise other than disc diameter. While the DVD Forum would have been a convenient place to standardize a new format intended to replace DVD, the fact that Toshiba was in a position politically to block it made going elsewhere the only practical option.
Quote:


initially had pledges of support from 4 Major Motion Picture Studios back in 2004 (Paramount, New Line, Universal & Warner Bros.) and was being launched by a venerable CE company (Toshiba) which, with Time-Warner, had already proven itself (was the victor) years earlier in the launch of THE most successful CE product in history (i.e.: DVD Players/DVD software etc.) despite being up against Sony & Philips who were trying to launch an alternative format known then I believe as MMCD (multi-media CD?)

While Sony and Philips initially proposed different technology, that format war ended before most consumers ever heard of it, and in effect DVD had full support of the full CE industry at launch.
Quote:


several other CE companies, even including ones who expressed interest in supporting Blu Ray technology, would/should have had signed on to support HD DVD?

I wasn't there, but the fact that Toshiba, the company which stands to lose the most by adoption of a new format which is not based on existing DVD intellectual property, was truly the sole major CE vendor supporting HD DVD should suggest how truly the industry has been aligned behind Blu-ray.
Quote:


So what I ask now also is: when companies like Samsung, Sharp & Pioneer etc. declared to the BD Assoc. that they would support Blu Ray, did the BD Assoc.'s main controllers insist that if these companies wanted to support BD that they had to pledge (at least verbally) that there would not simultaneously pledge support for BD's rival HD DVD?

Doing so would be a major anti-trust violation, so even if such pledges were demanded and/or received you and I are very unlikely ever to know about them (and, for the record, I have heard nothing suggesting such pledges were expected or made).
post #2110 of 4687
Alex recently posted this about Blu-ray, which has caused a few posts like this one, and just to make sure of this has the official name for Grace Period Profile been changed to Initial Standard Profile? Also are the Blu-ray profiles officially called Initial Standard Profile, Final Standard Profile (marketed as Bonus View), and BD-Live?
post #2111 of 4687
Could some insiders comment on this explaination from Sony's head honcho about why Blu-ray players are more expensive? I find some of this to be flawed, like somehow the somewhat larger overall bandwidth BR has makes it really expensive? And I find the breakdown of bandwidth being 6 to 7 hours versus HD DVD's supposed 2 hours dubious. Could you guys shed some light on the claims?
Quote:


And one of the reasons it's more expensive is because it does more. The bandwidth is greater. If you just want a two-hour movie, the Toshiba version is a high definition picture. But we thought that to drive high definition into the customer's imagination, you should future-proof the disks so that you could have director's cuts, which are fairly obvious. We have six to seven hours of bandwidth available. You can have interactivity in three dimensions. We would be prepared to allow the package goods to survive much longer by making it much more innovative. But that does make the player more expensive.
post #2112 of 4687
Quote:
Originally Posted by jameskollar View Post

I'm trying to make sure I have a fairly good understanding of 24 bitdepth vs 16 bitdepth as it applies to playback. I understand that there are varying viewpoints on this but I would like to know if I am in the ball park with the following.

BTW: For arguments sake, sampling rate doen't matter but let's set it at 48khz

1) 24 bits is really only needed for recording and mostly because it allows for for more headroom in mixing. In other words, one an correct for deficiencies (i.e recording at an improper level such as -20db). I would think there are other reasons but this is not where I am going (yet) and I don't know what they would be.

Yes. And yes, there are other reasons besides correcting mix levels, such as insuring sufficient margin for accumulated signal processing stages.

Quote:


2) 24 bits is has a theoretical dynamic range well above 140db which is well above human hearing.

And it's also beyond the limits of analog circuitry to reproduce--thermal noise.

Quote:


3) A more realistic bit depth is 20 bits. The other 4 bits are really just noise. It would be difficult to tell the difference in either.

Not difficult, but impossible, all else being equal.

Quote:


4) 24 bits properly dithered to 16 bits produces a signal that is aurally closer to 18-19 bits.

It is true that dithering allows the carriage of signals much smaller than the LSB. Let ma also add that we should never entertain any digital audio system that lacks proper dither, regardless of the wordlength. It's improper usage of the medium.

Quote:


Following this logic, I would say it is posssible to take the end result of a fully mixed 24bit sound track, dither it to 16 bits, and play it back with very little loss (as applied to human hearing). Obviously you can measure the difference but I contend that all but the most discerning ears would not hear a difference especially as it applies to real sounds, not test tones. Apply the 5 channels to the mix, and I would say it would be very difficult to correctly pick out the 16bit tracks from the 24 bit tracks over consumer grade and perhaps even professional grade equipment.

I agree with your assessment.

Quote:


Does this hold water? I know not all insiders would agree with this but I assume this is still open to debate.

Thanks.

I would only add that delivered 16-bit sources usually encounter further post-processing after delivery, and even if that is done in a 24+ bit environment, any slight residual degradation can become audible. The 20-bit solution seems to strike an optimal balance of perfectionist sound, with some 10 dB of safelty margin for downstream processing, without excessive waste in the payload.
post #2113 of 4687
Quote:


Roger wrote: ...It is true that dithering allows the carriage of signals much smaller than the LSB. Let ma also add that we should never entertain any digital audio system that lacks proper dither, regardless of the wordlength. It's improper usage of the medium. ...


What will happen if a properly dithered 16 bit pcm (with or with out additional noise shaping ) is encoded into lossy DD(+) (and assuming DTS has similar effect)

Does the dither survive the encoding? Since dither is fairly hf and 'inaudible' I assume that the decoder may filter the dithering effect.

Or is the encoder somehow magically preserving the dither?
post #2114 of 4687
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

I would only add that delivered 16-bit sources usually encounter further post-processing after delivery, and even if that is done in a 24+ bit environment, any slight residual degradation can become audible. The 20-bit solution seems to strike an optimal balance of perfectionist sound, with some 10 dB of safelty margin for downstream processing, without excessive waste in the payload.

Thank you for your comment, it's appreciated. From what other insiders (e.g. FilmMixer) said earlier I already concluded that 20-bit might be a sweet spot.

Would Dolby be in a position to send a little friendly "recommended" note to the studios? I'd love HD DVD studios to up TrueHD tracks to 20-bit, or at least to 18-bit or 19-bit. But I don't think a lonely consumer voice will convince them. And unfortunately most people here on this forum seem to be satisfied as long as the box sais "TrueHD" without looking at the bitdepth. Maybe if Dolby could recommend using 18-20 bits to the studios, that'd have more chance to be heard? The bitrate and space cost to add at least 2 more bits shouldn't be *that* big.

Thanks!
post #2115 of 4687
I have a question for HD DVD insiders about Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix HD DVD. This has just come out in the UK, and I bought it and watched it last night on my XBox 360. After the 360 downloaded the latest software update, the movie played fine and after it had finished I activated the IME picture in picture mode and skipped to the final section of the movie, and all was fine until the wizard battle between Voldemort and Dumbledore. At the point when both wizards are doing the crazy elemental thing, and the screen is going crazy with movement, both the main picture and the picture in picture, went really jerky. After about a minute it just completely stopped playing, and the 360 displayed an error message complaining that it was "unable to obtain a license" or something like that. Is this a known problem with the 360 or any of the other HD DVD players and this title?
post #2116 of 4687
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talkstr8t View Post

I wasn't there, but the fact that Toshiba, the company which stands to lose the most by adoption of a new format which is not based on existing DVD intellectual property, was truly the sole major CE vendor supporting HD DVD should suggest how truly the industry has been aligned behind Blu-ray.

Talk

Isnt one of the reason why CE prefer BD is that its harder for chinese companys to make their own cheap BD players that cut into the BD companys profit?

Please correct me if Im wrong.
post #2117 of 4687
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Not a single CE company has joined BDA after Java was added to the spec. The format founding companies saw was a stream recorder and not much more. I am sure Java has some merits but it had nothing to do with which CE companies decided to support BD format which was the question asked.

link? is this information verifiable?
post #2118 of 4687
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talkstr8t View Post

The BDA doesn't pay royalties. The Blu-ray patent pool is independently managed by MPEG-LA (as is the HD DVD patent pool); I've never seen a list of patent holders for the format, so I don't know whether Disney is likely to see format royalties.

How would the plebs go about seeing that list?
post #2119 of 4687
Quote:
Originally Posted by crashby View Post

I have a question for HD DVD insiders about Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix HD DVD. This has just come out in the UK, and I bought it and watched it last night on my XBox 360. After the 360 downloaded the latest software update, the movie played fine and after it had finished I activated the IME picture in picture mode and skipped to the final section of the movie, and all was fine until the wizard battle between Voldemort and Dumbledore. At the point when both wizards are doing the crazy elemental thing, and the screen is going crazy with movement, both the main picture and the picture in picture, went really jerky. After about a minute it just completely stopped playing, and the 360 displayed an error message complaining that it was "unable to obtain a license" or something like that. Is this a known problem with the 360 or any of the other HD DVD players and this title?

This problem is unique to this title/player combo and under active investigation. Thanks for the report.
post #2120 of 4687
Quote:
Originally Posted by coneyparleg View Post

link? is this information verifiable?

I am not clear on which part you need a link on. The part in red, simply said that the OP wanted to know why there were more CE companies supporting BD vs HD DVD. Hopefully, you can look at OP's post for that and not me .

The other part yes, it is very easy to verify. This is the first link on my search (from Jan. 2004): http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/st...2098899&EDATE=

"HP and Dell have joined the Blu-ray Disc Founders....The BDF began licensing the Blu-ray Disc Rewritable format in February 2003 and is currently developing BD-ROM "read-only" and BD-R "Recordable" formats....The Blu-ray Disc Founders formed officially in May 2002 to pursue broad acceptance of the Blu-ray Disc formats. Member companies so far include Dell, Inc, HP, Hitachi Ltd, LG Electronics Inc, Matsushita Electric Industrial CoLtd(Panasonic), Mitsubishi Electric Corp, Pioneer Corp, Royal Philips Electronics, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Sharp Corp; Sony Corp; and Thomson. "


So there were 10 companies on the board before they joined including the many CE companies. And note the focus on "Recordable" with "ROM" being in development. So the only thing that folks could smell and touch, was a recordable format. Which makes sense because in 2002, DVD writers were doing great for CE companies in Japan and were highly profitable as compared to money losing DVD players.

Note that there is no explicit mention of "java" or "interactivity" in either the Dell or HP quotes although the typical buzzwords of "internet," etc are thrown in for good measure .
post #2121 of 4687
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Pennell View Post

This problem is unique to this title/player combo and under active investigation. Thanks for the report.

hey andy, wasn't it your job to qc this beforehand ? woops!
post #2122 of 4687
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talkstr8t View Post


...

Sure. By rampant price-cutting Toshiba has ensured that HD DVD will not support the margins needed for other first-tier CE vendors to enter the market. Dropping to price levels which effectively make the player a commodity benefits only the one vendor who has a significant stake in the patent pool (Toshiba), and leaves only a small market at the very high-end and the rest of the market to those who compete on price. It will result in a bunch of essentially identical players which are little more than the chipset vendors' reference designs, and won't create a marketplace where vendors compete on innovation (i.e. as seen with Panasonic's latest video chipset in the DMP-BD30, or Sharp's quick-starting feature). Further, prematurely shaving hundreds off the player price doesn't help with the price of content, which over time is far more expensive than the initial player purchase. If rock-bottom player pricing attracts consumers unwilling to spend $30+ for content the studios won't see value in further investment in the format.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Talkstr8t View Post

The BDA doesn't pay royalties. The Blu-ray patent pool is independently managed by MPEG-LA (as is the HD DVD patent pool); I've never seen a list of patent holders for the format, so I don't know whether Disney is likely to see format royalties.


If you haven't seen the list of patent holders for either format how can you state that Toshiba wins out with lower pricing b/c of patent royalties?

this is simply untrue and can be confirmed by visiting the currently public lists of patent holders for the 6c, 3c, avc, vc-1, mpeg-2, etc. and you will see that toshiba is NOT the dominant patent holder...6c/3c lists are relevant b/c contrary to the quote below, at least as far as intellectual property goes, both HD DVD and BD BOTH share much of the same, if not almost all, of the intellectual property (once the BD and HD DVD pools formally launch we'll be able to see the lists and confirm)

wrt content pricing, are you giving us a glimpse of the future of HDM pricing when/if the war is settled...$30+ ????!!!!???? the early adopters themselves have been complaining about pricing that approaches the $30+ mark, much less more than $30...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Talkstr8t View Post

Bear in mind the DVD Forum is there to standardize, um, DVD. Blu-ray shares little in common with DVD formatwise other than disc diameter. While the DVD Forum would have been a convenient place to standardize a new format intended to replace DVD, the fact that Toshiba was in a position politically to block it made going elsewhere the only practical option.
While Sony and Philips initially proposed different technology, that format war ended before most consumers ever heard of it, and in effect DVD had full support of the full CE industry at launch.
I wasn't there, but the fact that Toshiba, the company which stands to lose the most by adoption of a new format which is not based on existing DVD intellectual property, was truly the sole major CE vendor supporting HD DVD should suggest how truly the industry has been aligned behind Blu-ray.
Doing so would be a major anti-trust violation, so even if such pledges were demanded and/or received you and I are very unlikely ever to know about them (and, for the record, I have heard nothing suggesting such pledges were expected or made).

again, if the lists of intellectual property holders for HD DVD and BD haven't been seen by you nor been made public yet, how can you state this? the patent holders for sd dvd will largely be the same as those for HD DVD and BD, both in composition and distirbution. in fact, this seems to be the same ole same ole...Philips and Sony created the 3C licensing group b/c they didn't want to be part of the 6C group...

[EDIT: by lists of patent holders i was not referring to who will be on the list but what the distribution of patents and which specific patents...two posts below shows the announced holders...that isn't what i was referring to but it is useful to see the companies nonetheless]
post #2123 of 4687
Howard Stringer was being interviewed by Business Week's Steven J. Adler for their Captains of Industry series.

This seems to be the full relevent section of his mention of the HDM format war.

Any insider comments on this?

Quote:


...Adler: Of course, one of the big fights right now is Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD for the high definition video market. I mean, the first and most obvious question is: Shouldn't there just be one format? Why should people have to choose between the two? And is there any possibility that we'll be heading there?

Stringer: I should point out that that is not part of the software battle. I mean, that's actually in some ways sort of anachronistic. We're fighting over a packaged goods hardware that will not go on forever, from a classic sense. We have a more expensive version, as Sony tends to, and Toshiba has a cheaper version, which seems to keep getting cheaper. I believe it has slowed down the progress of high definition packaged goods. Oddly, the studios kind of liked it for a while. They were able to leverage one of us against each other. But in the end, it's counterproductive. We have a sort of stalemate at the moment. As you know, they had fewer studios, but then they paid a lot of money for Paramount. So we have four studios and they have two or three studios. It's a difficult... it's a difficult fight. There was a chance to integrate it before I became CEO. This is something I inherited. And I don't know what broke down. I wish I could go back there, because I heard it was all about saving face and losing face, and all the rest of it. But it's not a battle about the digital future. That's what's so strange about it. If it doesn't work out, that doesn't say very much about where we're all going. It's just... it's a scorecard: one-nothing or something. But it doesn't mean as much as all that. PlayStation 3 will still go on playing games. It would have to have a different disk drive. And that's about it really.

Adler: So when a consumer now has to choose between the two, if they want to get into the high definition video, Wal-Mart was selling the Toshiba HD-DVD for $99 last Friday for a couple of days. Usually, it's been $199 there. I think your list price is $499 for Blu-ray. That's an enormously big difference, particularly in a slowing economy. Can you play that game with the difference being that great?

Stringer: Well... we've been selling them as fast as we're making them because the brand -- first of all, we're not the only ones selling them at that price. So is Panasonic, so is Samsung, so is Sharp. And one of the reasons it's more expensive is because it does more. The bandwidth is greater. If you just want a two-hour movie, the Toshiba version is a high definition picture. But we thought that to drive high definition into the customer's imagination, you should future-proof the disks so that you could have director's cuts, which are fairly obvious. We have six to seven hours of bandwidth available. You can have interactivity in three dimensions. We would be prepared to allow the package goods to survive much longer by making it much more innovative. But that does make the player more expensive. Now, they all come down. The race is to bring costs down. It always is in consumer electronics. So it isn't going to stay at $499.

Adler: But are you surprised by how little Toshiba can sell its unit for?

Stringer: No, because -- look, I can sell it for a dollar. I'd lose a lot of money, but if you want to go that route, it's a tough competition, and it seems to be about a lot of things, including face. So if you want to cut the price down and engage us in a price war, that's a different system. We were trying to win on the merits, which we were doing for a while until Paramount changed sides.

Adler: Microsoft seems to have an interesting role in this. They're selling add-on HD-DVD drives for the -- they're taking HD-DVD to the Xbox, and Xbox competes strongly with you. Is Microsoft kind of working in cahoots or in alliance with Toshiba on HD-DVD? Is that a competitive challenge to you?

Stringer: Only the spirits know. [laughs] Yeah... you never know with Microsoft do you? You never know. Xbox versus PS3 is sort of a subplot. What Microsoft's role is in that? I don't know. We're still selling software at a faster level than Toshiba. Obviously, we care about the software side more than the Toshiba does. It doesn't have a studio. It doesn't own a studio. So it's in our interest to -- actually the most significant thing in some ways about Blu-ray, going back to Microsoft... the Blu-ray Disc has a very high security level, which Fox in particular, but also other studios, was most excited about -- wanted to have some protection from instant ripping. So the specs that went into the Blu-ray, which were done in conjunction with many studios, had this security level. That is probably not in Microsoft's interests. The Toshiba disk is certainly far easier to rip. Whether you like that or don't like that depends on your consumer enthusiasm....
post #2124 of 4687
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

I am not clear on which part you need a link on. The part in red, simply said that the OP wanted to know why there were more CE companies supporting BD vs HD DVD. Hopefully, you can look at OP's post for that and not me .

The other part yes, it is very easy to verify. This is the first link on my search (from Jan. 2004): http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/st...2098899&EDATE=

"HP and Dell have joined the Blu-ray Disc Founders....The BDF began licensing the Blu-ray Disc Rewritable format in February 2003 and is currently developing BD-ROM "read-only" and BD-R "Recordable" formats....The Blu-ray Disc Founders formed officially in May 2002 to pursue broad acceptance of the Blu-ray Disc formats. Member companies so far include Dell, Inc, HP, Hitachi Ltd, LG Electronics Inc, Matsushita Electric Industrial CoLtd(Panasonic), Mitsubishi Electric Corp, Pioneer Corp, Royal Philips Electronics, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Sharp Corp; Sony Corp; and Thomson. "


So there were 10 companies on the board before they joined including the many CE companies. And note the focus on "Recordable" with "ROM" being in development. So the only thing that folks could smell and touch, was a recordable format. Which makes sense because in 2002, DVD writers were doing great for CE companies in Japan and were highly profitable as compared to money losing DVD players.

Note that there is no explicit mention of "java" or "interactivity" in either the Dell or HP quotes although the typical buzzwords of "internet," etc are thrown in for good measure .

To clarify my question:
You state
"I am sure Java has some merits but it had nothing to do with which CE companies decided to support BD format which was the question asked."

My question is can you clarify by what authority can you state the factors were and were not behind said CE companies decisions' to support BD format?

Or said another way, if you can state what did not factor into said CE companies decisions' to not support the BD format, can you expand on what knowledge you do have of what did factor into those decisions? and how your experience/position gives you prespective on the aformentioned information.

Thanks
post #2125 of 4687
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

...

Thanks Roger! I now know more about this stuff and am getting dangerous.
post #2126 of 4687
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Paul View Post

Alex recently posted this about Blu-ray, which has caused a few posts like this one, and just to make sure of this has the official name for Grace Period Profile been changed to Initial Standard Profile?

I wouldn't call it an official name. The only place I know of a "formal" name is in the spec book, which calls it Profile 1. It has been referred to as Grace Period Profile and Initial Standard Profile by working groups, but I'm not aware of an official name for it.
Quote:


Also are the Blu-ray profiles officially called Initial Standard Profile, Final Standard Profile (marketed as Bonus View), and BD-Live?

The only consumer-facing names are Bonus View and BD Live. In the spec book it's "Profile 1 V1, Profile 1 V1.1, and Profile 2".
post #2127 of 4687
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpHeRe31459 View Post

Could some insiders comment on this explaination from Sony's head honcho about why Blu-ray players are more expensive? I find some of this to be flawed, like somehow the somewhat larger overall bandwidth BR has makes it really expensive? And I find the breakdown of bandwidth being 6 to 7 hours versus HD DVD's supposed 2 hours dubious. Could you guys shed some light on the claims?

Blu-ray's physical format allows for tighter packing of data (resulting in the higher capacity and higher bandwidth) which does require a more complex optical pickup (OPU) than required by HD DVD. I've seen reference to this currently being a $9 part (relative to $50 when the PS3 launched), so we're certainly not talking about "significantly more expensive"; for current HD DVD models the extra OPU expense has likely been offset by lack of a system-on-a-chip solution.

I can't directly rationalize his reference to 6 to 7 hours versus 2 hours. Both formats support the same baseline codecs, so 50GB would obviously provide 2/3 more capacity at any given bitrate than 30GB. Blu-ray's 60% greater bandwidth provides the ability to throw more bits at the decoders when needed for difficult scenes, and to provide more simultaneous programming (i.e. additional audio tracks, additional secondary video, more data for interactive assets, broader seamless branching). You could argue that the greater bandwidth allows for more content delivered via secondary video, but it would be somewhat of a tortured argument.

- Talk
post #2128 of 4687
Quote:
Originally Posted by MovieSwede View Post

Isnt one of the reason why CE prefer BD is that its harder for chinese companys to make their own cheap BD players that cut into the BD companys profit?

I definitely believe that the technology innovation in Blu-ray being less prone to short-term commoditization is one of the reasons why the major CE vendors (other than Toshiba) all favor Blu-ray, and why you haven't seen the big push to bring in Chinese manufacturers. I continue to assert that rampant price-cutting too early in the launch of a format, while popular in the eyes of many consumers, ultimately sacrifices the health of the format because you immediately cease investment by many of the vendors in the marketplace.
post #2129 of 4687
Quote:
Originally Posted by b.greenway View Post

How would the plebs go about seeing that list?

Keep an eye here. A February 21st press release lists the following companies as patent pool participants:
  • CyberLink Corporation
  • Dell Inc.
  • Hewlett-Packard Company
  • Hitachi Ltd.
  • Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V.
  • LG Electronics Inc.
  • Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (Panasonic)
  • Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
  • Pioneer Corporation
  • Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
  • Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd.
  • Sharp Corporation
  • Sonic Solutions
  • Sony Corporation
  • TDK Corporation
  • Victor Company of Japan, Ltd.
  • Warner Home Video Inc.
Note that the press release notes 18 companies, but this list only includes 17, so there appears to be one company who doesn't want to be publicly identified (Toshiba? Microsoft?).

I see no corresponding list for HD DVD patent pool participants.
post #2130 of 4687
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talkstr8t View Post

Blu-ray's physical format allows for tighter packing of data (resulting in the higher capacity and higher bandwidth) which does require a more complex optical pickup (OPU) than required by HD DVD.

The tighter pitch has no bearing on cost or complexity of OPU. The impact would theoretically be on the "back-end" processor reading the bits and there, as far as I know, the costs are even and ASICs used can actually decode the bits for both formats.

The cost adder comes from the depth of recording (0.1mm for BD and 0.6mm for HD DVD), while attemping to also be backward compatible with CD and DVD, each with a different depth/wavelength. HD DVD gets a free ride here since it already has to focus to that depth to read DVDs. So your conclusion about OPU being more expensive is correct but for different reason .
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