Sunday, September 18, 2005

Future DVD standard

Maybe I’m behind the times but I never realised until recently that there is a new format of DVD on the horizon. So far one single standard hasn’t been decided on and two rival camps are fighting it out to establish themselves as the next generation DVD leaders; the two groups are ‘Blu-ray’ and ‘HD-DVD’.
Blu-ray promise higher capacity DVD disks (up to 50 Gigabytes), which can store high definition films and provide better interactivity and security. However, these disks will not be compatible with current DVD players.
HD-DVD on the other hand claims it has a cheaper technology that IS compatible with current DVD players.
Blu-ray is backed by the likes of Sony, Hitachi, Samsung and Philips, while HD-DVD has the support of Toshiba and Sanyo. I imagine this will have a significant impact on which standard will eventually win out and in turn whether your current DVD player will soon be obsolete or not.
Here I was thinking that our current DVD standard was fine, but Frank Simonis of Blu-ray stated in an article I read, “[current] DVD is not good. It isn't secure, the capacity is too low, [and] the bit rate is too low”. Personally, I find it hard to envision DVD being any better than it already is and I find myself wondering whether the difference in quality will be noticeable to the average person – a bit like those super-CDs or whatever they’re called, which never took off but were meant to sound better than CDs.
If Blu-ray becomes the new DVD standard the next generation players will have Internet connectivity. I’m not sure for what purpose exactly but the article I was reading did mention that if you attempted to tamper with the player’s region coding (e.g. making a Zone 4 player a multi-zone), the player will shut itself down as a measure of preventing/lessening piracy. It’s kind of a weird thought to think that in the “privacy” of your own home you’re being monitored to make sure you don’t try do anything illegal with their DVD players.
While the two standards are battling it out to be the winner there is no date on when the/a new standard will be introduced, so hang on to your DVD player for now. But if you’re thinking about going down to the stock exchange to invest in some current DVD companies, you might wanna hold off on that one.


At 11:58 PM, Blogger Andrew Cozens said...

refer to this post a while back for further discussion:

on a sidenote, i am noticing an interesting pattern of posting at the moment, there seems to be a big rush on a sunday night and then mon-sat fairly quiet, wonder why that is :p

At 12:24 AM, Blogger Spivey said...

Thanks Andrew for not forgetting! Alas the argument goes on. Dont forget also that Sony Pictures is going to clearly have the largest rush (already is) of these movies to the market being the ones bringing the technology to the market, might be safe to invest in them!


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