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Apple set to ship Macs with Blu-ray support - report

post #1 of 153
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Apple Inc. at this month's Macworld Expo will will outline a high-definition video strategy that will see its weight thrown further behind Sony Corp's Blu-ray DVD format as opposed to Toshiba's HD-DVD, according to one Wall Street analyst.

In a report issued to clients early Thursday morning, American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu cited sources who say the Cupertino-based Mac maker, which already occupies a seat on the Blu-ray consortium, is set to begin shipping some of its computers with support for the next-generation DVD format.

"We believe this is a key announcement as current Macs ship with the DVD format and Sony gains a strong ally in Blu-ray," the analyst told clients. He added that Disney, for which Apple chief executive Steve Jobs is a Director, is a firm supporter of Blu-ray, while rival Microsoft Corp. has placed most of its eggs in the HD-DVD basket.

However, Wu hedged his bets somewhat, saying there is "a smaller chance Apple may use a combo Blu-ray/HD-DVD drive to ensure full compatibility and not get involved in the format wars."

Apple, which markets a complete line of HD content creation tools for consumers and professionals, announced in March of 2005 that it had joined Blu-ray Disc Association. Since then, however, the company has observed much of the ongoing battle between Blu-ray and HD-DVD from the sidelines, choosing to remain indifferent in the fight for control of the next-generation high def format.

The Mac maker during the first quarter of 2008 is expected to introduce a significant overhaul to its Mac Pro professional workstations, which are expected to be among the first systems from the company to include drives capable of supporting the Blu-ray format, sources close to AppleInsider and other Apple news publications have said.

Meanwhile, in his report to clients Thursday, Wu also cited sources who indicate that an Apple sub-notebook and iTunes rentals will also take center stage at the upcoming Macworld Expo in San Francisco, set to kick-off with a keynote by Jobs on January 15th.

"We believe Apple will re-enter the sub-notebook market, but this time use NAND flash as primary storage to improve battery life, reliability, and reduce weight," he wrote. "Our sources indicate that the possible names of this new product include 'MacBook mini' or 'MacBook slim'."

On the iTunes front, the analyst said his sources also indicate that Apple will look to aggressively grow this business with digital movie rentals.

"Whether these movies expire based on time and/or usage is unclear to us, but we do believe that rentals are a significant change in its philosophy with its current iTunes download business model," he wrote. "The positive implication from this is that Apple enhances its video experience and makes it more compelling to move and/or stick with the iTunes + iPod + Mac + iPhone + Apple TV ecosystem."

Additionally, Wu said he's also picking up hints of potential smaller announcements related to speed bumps to current Macs and the iPhone, including "an external HDD storage/dock/streaming device that can work with MacBook mini as well as Airport Extreme."

Further down the line, the Wall Street analyst expects that Apple will address two major shortcomings of its Apple TV set-top-box product, mainly that it does not allow for a direct internet connection to access movie and web content, and that it also lacks a "TV tuner."

"Our sources indicate that Apple is working on fixing these weaknesses to make Apple TV a much stronger product," he advised clients. "We are unsure of the timing of these enhancements but believe we will likely see these later in 2008 or perhaps 2009."

The analyst maintained his Buy rating on Apple stock with a price target of $210 per share.
post #2 of 153
hmmm, i'll believe it when i see it.

Quote:
Apple, which markets a complete line of HD content creation tools for consumers and professionals

um, not quite. very limited HD-DVD creation, and no Blu-Ray, and i'm not hopeful of much change to that in the near future.
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post #3 of 153
I'm feeling Bluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu
post #4 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by sennen View Post

hmmm, i'll believe it when i see it.



um, not quite. very limited HD-DVD creation, and no Blu-Ray, and i'm not hopeful of much change to that in the near future.

Don't be tooBlu about it yet.

There will be a meeting withe Final Cut user groups at the end of MacWorld. Possibly Blu-Ray is on the agenda, particularly if Apple does support Blu-Ray in some machines now.

But, in order for Blu-Ray machine support to have an impact in the "war", Apple must release them in more widely sold machines such as the MacBooks and iMacs. They must also include movie playback, and not just data disk reading, and hopefully, writing.
post #5 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by sennen View Post

um, not quite. very limited HD-DVD creation, and no Blu-Ray, and i'm not hopeful of much change to that in the near future.

"Apple, which markets a complete line of HD content creation tools..." means they make tools for content creation, including content formatted for Hi Def DVDs, not tools for content delivery in optical disc-based medium. Besides, even if Apple includes Blu-ray or HD-DVD burners in new Macs, they still don't "make" the tools, they just include them in their hardware products.

Besides, can't you can buy HD burners already as 3rd party peripheral options?
post #6 of 153
Calling Bluray Sony's format is analogous to calling AAC Apple's format. A whole bunch of companies are involved in Bluray. In fact, Matsushita (Panasonic) has the most patents to Bluray. Sony, Samsung, LG, Sharp, Philips, Denon, Panasonic make players right now. Dell, HP, Apple, Sun, and a whole bunch more companies are in the board.

HD-DVD has a much more limited support with just Toshiba making players. Onkyo is also releasing one based on Toshiba design. There is a cheapo Venturer model available.

Also here are the tidbits comparing the two technologies of the top of my head

1) Bluray has 25GB per layer with dual layer support available right now with 4 to 8 layers demoed. HD-DVD has 15GB per layer with dual layer support available right now with triple layer 51GB demoed. Bluray has much better headroom which is critical to technology progression.

2) Bluray movies can have peak bitrate of 48Gbps while HD-DVD movies can have only upto 30Gbps

3) Both Bluray and HD-DVD movies can have video in MPEG2, MPEG4 - AVC (H.264) and Microsoft's VC-1 format. However, most Bluray movies are in MPEG4, while most HD-DVDs are in VC-1 (due to heavy microsoft influence).

4) Bluray has a very rugged coating available on the disk that makes it scratch proof. HD-DVD does not.

5) Bluray movies uses BD-Java for UI. HD-DVD uses Microsofts HDi.

6) More Bluray movies have lossless surround sound compared to HD-DVDs.

7) The only reason people keep calling it Sony's format is because they own a studio that supports Bluray (Sony Pictures), they sell a video game console which supports Bluray (PS3 - which is awesome btw), and they sell standalone players too.

I will be happy if Bluray wins the war. I don't want Microsoft's heavy handed ness win. In fact, the only reason Microsoft is betting on HD-DVD is to prevent any win for Sony supported format and also to get their downloads business going.
post #7 of 153
Apple is never one to shy away from picking a standard, so I doubt we'll see a combo player. We could very well see HD DVD third-party external players along with built-in software support for them in MacOS, though.

Since Blu-Ray media is outselling HD-DVD media by over 2:1 (3:1 in Europe, and 4:1 in rentals), the "war" is almost over anyway. HD-DVD lost, and now they're fighting for better terms of surrender.
post #8 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Further down the line, the Wall Street analyst expects that Apple will address two major shortcomings of its Apple TV set-top-box product, mainly that it does not allow for a direct internet connection to access movie and web content, and that it also lacks a "TV tuner."

"Our sources indicate that Apple is working on fixing these weaknesses to make Apple TV a much stronger product," he advised clients. "We are unsure of the timing of these enhancements but believe we will likely see these later in 2008 or perhaps 2009."

Their kidding right? If there is no update in January, consider the product dead...
post #9 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by zanshin View Post


Besides, can't you can buy HD burners already as 3rd party peripheral options?

Yes, but they can't play Blu-Ray movies.
post #10 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by bommai View Post

Calling Bluray Sony's format is analogous to calling AAC Apple's format. A whole bunch of companies are involved in Bluray. In fact, Matsushita (Panasonic) has the most patents to Bluray. Sony, Samsung, LG, Sharp, Philips, Denon, Panasonic make players right now. Dell, HP, Apple, Sun, and a whole bunch more companies are in the board.

HD-DVD has a much more limited support with just Toshiba making players. Onkyo is also releasing one based on Toshiba design. There is a cheapo Venturer model available.

Also here are the tidbits comparing the two technologies of the top of my head

1) Bluray has 25GB per layer with dual layer support available right now with 4 to 8 layers demoed. HD-DVD has 15GB per layer with dual layer support available right now with triple layer 51GB demoed. Bluray has much better headroom which is critical to technology progression.

2) Bluray movies can have peak bitrate of 48Gbps while HD-DVD movies can have only upto 30Gbps

3) Both Bluray and HD-DVD movies can have video in MPEG2, MPEG4 - AVC (H.264) and Microsoft's VC-1 format. However, most Bluray movies are in MPEG4, while most HD-DVDs are in VC-1 (due to heavy microsoft influence).

4) Bluray has a very rugged coating available on the disk that makes it scratch proof. HD-DVD does not.

5) Bluray movies uses BD-Java for UI. HD-DVD uses Microsofts HDi.

6) More Bluray movies have lossless surround sound compared to HD-DVDs.

7) The only reason people keep calling it Sony's format is because they own a studio that supports Bluray (Sony Pictures), they sell a video game console which supports Bluray (PS3 - which is awesome btw), and they sell standalone players too.

I will be happy if Bluray wins the war. I don't want Microsoft's heavy handed ness win. In fact, the only reason Microsoft is betting on HD-DVD is to prevent any win for Sony supported format and also to get their downloads business going.

Alert the media... A Blu-ray fanboy has entered the building.

I could care less about either of these formats. The fact that neither side could come to an agreement to create one format and in the end screw over consumers ended my fascination on either formats. I honestly hope both of them die a miserable death.

And honestly, does it *really* matter which format wins? Seriously. Is it seriously going to affect your day to day life? I really doubt it. Get over it, both Blu-ray and HD DVD each have there advantages and disadvantages, but honestly does the consumer REALLY care about any of this? Nope.

w00master
post #11 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by bommai View Post

Calling Bluray Sony's format is analogous to calling AAC Apple's format. A whole bunch of companies are involved in Bluray. In fact, Matsushita (Panasonic) has the most patents to Bluray. Sony, Samsung, LG, Sharp, Philips, Denon, Panasonic make players right now. Dell, HP, Apple, Sun, and a whole bunch more companies are in the board.

Blu-Ray is primarily a Sony/phillips devised product. Others were persuaded to come on board, and have, in some cases, contributed.

Apple didn't develop AAC at all.
post #12 of 153
I'm crossing my fingers for Managed Copy support in iTunes so Blu-ray movies can be transcoded to iPod or played on FrontRow / AppleTV. The very fact that they're talking about Blu-ray, though, indicates that there's not much hope of seeing high-def downloads on the iTunes Store in the near future.

There darn well better be not just support for the format, but also support for lossless surround, which is going to need either 5.1 channel analog output or multichannel PCM over HDMI on the Blu-ray equipped Macs or AppleTV. If this happens, I'll be in line to buy; if not, I'll be buying a standalone Blu-ray player soon instead.
post #13 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by w00master View Post

Alert the media... A Blu-ray fanboy has entered the building.

I could care less about either of these formats, the fact that neither side could come to an agreement and screw over consumers, ended my fascination on either formats. I honestly hope both of them fail a miserable death.

An honestly, does it *really* matter which format wins? Seriously.

w00master

Yeah, Blu-Ray is more advanced than HD-DVD. The main advantage is significantly greater storage capacity. The second is freedom from MS's influence on the product.
post #14 of 153
Including a drive that plays both HD DVD and Blu-Ray, like this newly announced HP, would be the smartest move. The additional cost seems insignificant, considering that system sells for $949. It's like the DVD+R/DVD-R thing all over again; use drives that read both and be done with it.
post #15 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by sennen View Post

hmmm, i'll believe it when i see it.



um, not quite. very limited HD-DVD creation.

Why would you say that? Have you not used FCPro, Motion and DVD Pro?
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post #16 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Yeah, Blu-Ray is more advanced than HD-DVD. The main advantage is significantly greater storage capacity. The second is freedom from MS's influence on the product.

True and truer lol
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post #17 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by w00master View Post

Alert the media... A Blu-ray fanboy has entered the building.

I could care less about either of these formats.

So you are saying you DO CARE? Or did you mean you couldn't care less?
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post #18 of 153
Maybe this will take over?

Quote:
"It may sound like something that would be found on the Starship Enterprise, but the Holographic Versatile Disc is apparently the next (next) generation of optical storage.

A HVD disc could hold as much data as 200 standard DVDs (that's 1 Terrebyte) and transfer data 40 times faster."

This would take care of the format wars if they could make it cheap enough and sign up a bunch of studios.
post #19 of 153
He DOES care! o.O
post #20 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by w00master View Post

And honestly, does it *really* matter which format wins? Seriously. Is it seriously going to affect your day to day life? I really doubt it. Get over it, both Blu-ray and HD DVD each have there advantages and disadvantages, but honestly does the consumer REALLY care about any of this? Nope.

w00master

It does matter. Sony must win. SONY MUST WIN!!

Well, as long as Microsoft loses.
post #21 of 153
Personally, I'm hoping for a Mac mini with a built-in Blu-ray drive.

Maybe this external drive for the sub-notebook is actually a Blu-ray drive that will work with any Mac.
post #22 of 153
"American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu"

Whether you meant Shawn Wu or Shaw Wu, I suspect he is guessing based on previous AI articles and his own speculation to increase hype, if he's right hes a genius, if not... he covered himself. I'm sick of these analysts.
post #23 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishyesque View Post


Well, as long as Microsoft loses.

Isn't that a given?
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post #24 of 153
hopefully this is the final year of this bullshit format war.

but i heard at Ces buzz that Xbox 360 will have a another sku , a unit with a built in hd-dvd drive.
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post #25 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Blu-Ray is primarily a Sony/phillips devised product. Others were persuaded to come on board, and have, in some cases, contributed.

I think it's Panasonic, not Philips, but the rest sounds about right. But at least they were smart enough to develop a coalition, but the initial coalition probably should have included several movie studios too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by w00master View Post

I could care less about either of these formats. The fact that neither side could come to an agreement to create one format and in the end screw over consumers ended my fascination on either formats. I honestly hope both of them die a miserable death.

It's not that easy. The design intents were polar opposites when it comes to the optics. Tosh/NEC (IIRC) took the route for lowest cost in the short term, the Blu-Ray group pushed the optical technology as far as they reasonably could to get the best storage capacity. As I understand it, much more would require a pretty radical shift.

Quote:
And honestly, does it *really* matter which format wins? Seriously. Is it seriously going to affect your day to day life? I really doubt it. Get over it, both Blu-ray and HD DVD each have there advantages and disadvantages, but honestly does the consumer REALLY care about any of this? Nope.

I'm hoping for an archive & transport format with good storage capacity. HD-DVD is limited from that respect. For most other things, the difference are minor.
post #26 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by w00master View Post

Alert the media... A Blu-ray fanboy has entered the building.

I could care less about either of these formats. The fact that neither side could come to an agreement to create one format and in the end screw over consumers ended my fascination on either formats. I honestly hope both of them die a miserable death.

And honestly, does it *really* matter which format wins? Seriously. Is it seriously going to affect your day to day life? I really doubt it. Get over it, both Blu-ray and HD DVD each have there advantages and disadvantages, but honestly does the consumer REALLY care about any of this? Nope.

w00master

As a movie buff, I do care. Sorry if it offends you that I might want to watch movies at home with the best picture and sound quality available. I don't want to have sit around waiting for that seemingly mythical day when digital downloads finally arrive in all their much talked about (but never actually delivered) promise. I don't want my movie watching controlled by Apple's iTunes Store and whatever hardware they deem to provide for viewing or be saddled with whatever Microsoft's current scheme might be.
post #27 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Yeah, Blu-Ray is more advanced than HD-DVD. The main advantage is significantly greater storage capacity. The second is freedom from MS's influence on the product.

Thank you..

He does care as do I!
post #28 of 153
Apple just needs to make an amazing apple tv like device to fight both standards. Then combine that with true hd content, itunes rentals, more substance, and a low price, than apple may start making a slight impact on the market.


but a Blue ray for osx would be a nice in the short-term.
post #29 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpiddly View Post

Apple just needs to make an amazing apple tv like device to fight both standards.

I agree - with most people sporting a broadband connection and flat panels on the rise, downloadable HD content/rentals seems like a no brainer. Just leave the expansion option of connecting an external hard drive or a Blu Ray or HD player.
post #30 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by macbookschmo View Post

I agree - with most people sporting a broadband connection and flat panels on the rise, downloadable HD content/rentals seems like a no brainer. Just leave the expansion option of connecting an external hard drive or a Blu Ray or HD player.

I disagree. Apple needs some form of HD drive for burning HD content to disk without making people deal with space limitations inherent in DVD's. I live outside Seattle and I know *my* current broadband solution is incapable of handling downloadable content in a way that would satisfy me. In the future perhaps, downloadable video content will be a lot more mainstream but for now, physical media is still pretty important.
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post #31 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by macbookschmo View Post

I agree - with most people sporting a broadband connection and flat panels on the rise, downloadable HD content/rentals seems like a no brainer. Just leave the expansion option of connecting an external hard drive or a Blu Ray or HD player.

I have broadband and it's still faster to drive down the street to Target, buy the DVD and come home than it is to try downloading it at home and hope the file doesn't flake out on me (even from legitimate sources... I've had both Xbox Live and iTunes screw up mid-download and necessitate a refresh, and take a look at all the post-holiday downtime and inexplicable errors XBL has had this month). It's still a while yet before any delivery system can genuinely keep up.

I'd much, much, much rather have it on disc. And yes, I'm in the Blu-ray camp -- there's also a PS3 sitting on the other side of my drastically over-equipped TV -- so I'm crossing my fingers. I was glad when I first heard Apple was on that side of the fence, so I'd love to see them really do something with it.
post #32 of 153
Which format is technically better is irrelevant. In case you haven't noticed, the market, not science and technology, is what drives the world that we live in. With that in mind, blu-ray has two big problems...

1) HD DVD is drastically cheaper to produce... the authoring tools are out there... and the players was WAY cheaper for the consumer to buy. Toshiba has also had a few "door crasher" sales selling players for $99 with 5 free movies. They sold something close to 100,000 of them on black friday.

2) Sony, apparently, refuses to allow adult content on blu-ray... or at least... they will have no part in manufacturing of such content. Which is understandable, but like it or not, the adult market brings in significantly more money than the mainstream market. Something like 15 billion a year? Like it or not, you can't ignore the adult market.

For the record... I would prefer blu-ray to win... but market forces are what will decide this... not merits... or Apple. Actually... what I would prefer is that we skip straight to HD downloads and forget this who stupid war being waged over little round pieces of plastic.
post #33 of 153
If it's true the only computer they would introduce it in is obviously the Mac Pro. There is no other computer they make that could fit an affordable Blu Ray player in it. Just like when they introduced DVD-R (actually DVD-RAM) drives. The new Superdrive.
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post #34 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by w00master View Post

Alert the media... A Blu-ray fanboy has entered the building.

Oooh, boy! That "fanboy" crap never gets old, does it?

Quote:
I could care less about either of these formats.

It's pretty obvious that you could care less. Learn English.

Quote:
And honestly, does it *really* matter which format wins? Seriously. Is it seriously going to affect your day to day life?

Of course it's not going to affect you - you don't have a Bluray player yet unlike some of us. Too bad - that 1080p looks awesome!
post #35 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

2) Sony, apparently, refuses to allow adult content on blu-ray... or at least... they will have no part in manufacturing of such content. Which is understandable, but like it or not, the adult market brings in significantly more money than the mainstream market. Something like 15 billion a year? Like it or not, you can't ignore the adult market.

It is not about if we like it or not, but about if it is true or not. Where this data comes from?
post #36 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by PB View Post

It is not about if we like it or not, but about if it is true or not. Where this data comes from?

Google "blu-ray adult sony". Sony's stance is a little confusing... which was why I used the word "apparently". Do some googling to find out more. In any case, FWIW... sounds like the adult industry has settled on HD-DVD.
post #37 of 153
Advanced or not, frankly I'm unimpressed with Blu-Ray. I saw a demo on an HDTV at a Best Buy that looked pretty bad. It appears either the screen or the disc compression leave a lot of visual strobing in scenes with fast movement. I couldn't stand it.

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post #38 of 153
Well it looks like HP has already announced a dual format player for one of their upcoming desktops.
post #39 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

Actually... what I would prefer is that we skip straight to HD downloads and forget this who stupid war being waged over little round pieces of plastic.

I'd really prefer the $1 pieces of plastic over the download time and storage space needed for 20-50GB of HD data.
post #40 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

2) Sony, apparently, refuses to allow adult content on blu-ray... or at least... they will have no part in manufacturing of such content. Which is understandable, but like it or not, the adult market brings in significantly more money than the mainstream market. Something like 15 billion a year? Like it or not, you can't ignore the adult market.

That's not true anymore.

http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/35363/98/

I don't watch porn, but whatever helps blu-ray win..
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