Blu-Ray Technology on the PowerMac?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
So, I've been looking into the looming format war that seems to be upon us with the introduction of high-definition dvd formats. We have two main formats, one proposed by Toshiba and NEC (HD-DVD)--which has been ratified as the read-only format successor to DVD by the DVD Forum--and the other format (Blu-Ray) which has been proposed by Hitachi, Ltd., LG Electronics Inc., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Pioneer Corporation, Royal Philips Electronics, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Sharp Corporation, Sony Corporation, TDK Corporation, and Thomson Multimedia. So my questions are, with whom will Apple be siding with? Can we expect the Blu-Ray technology on PowerMac's in 2005?



These events pose numerous and other interesting questions. So far, I'm liking the Blu-Ray Technology. You can find all the info you need on it here:



http://www.blu-ray.com/faq/



It looks like the technology will be backward compatible with people's existing DVD library, incorporate the latest H.264(MPEG4) codec, and hold up to 25 GB on a single-layered disk and 50 GB on a dual-layered disk. Compared to the HD-DVD format which will only hold 15 GB on a single-layered disk and 30GB on a dual-layered disk. And, given the fact that Philips has developed an all-in-one optical pickup unit for CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray Discs that will fit into a standard half-height drive:



http://www.physicsweb.org/press/7039



I'm wondering when Apple will incorporate such a technology into future PowerMacs? Also, it looks like Sony will also be using the BD format (Blu-Ray Disk) in their next generation PS2 (PSX) and PS3 game consoles.



http://www.blu-ray.com/



So the technology is right upon us, when and if do you guys think we can expect it in our handy PowerMacs?



-Maz
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 202
    mellomello Posts: 555member
    How much video can you record on a Blu-ray Disc?



    Over 2 hours of high-definition television (HDTV) on a 27GB disc.

    About 13 hours of standard-definition television (SDTV) on a 27GB disc.




    I was wondering how many hours of Hi-def video can fit when compressed

    with the H.264/AVC FRExt codec?
  • Reply 2 of 202
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by mello

    How much video can you record on a Blu-ray Disc?



    Over 2 hours of high-definition television (HDTV) on a 27GB disc.

    About 13 hours of standard-definition television (SDTV) on a 27GB disc.




    I was wondering how many hours of Hi-def video can fit when compressed

    with the H.264/AVC FRExt codec?




    Let's base it off of their proposed bitrates



    8Mbps = 480 megabits per minute or 28,800 megabits per hour.



    480/28,880 /8= 60 megabyes per min/3600 megabytes per hour



    So 3.6 Gigabytes per hour allows us to neatly divide by our total space. If Blu Ray is 27GB then we get 7.5 hrs of AVC video at 8Mbps. 12Mpbs is 90 megabytes a minute or 5.4 gigabytes per hour for 5 hrs of AVC video at 12 megabits per second.



    As you can see it is in Sony's best interest to support a high efficiency codec. Honestly I'm quite shocked that Sony has focused on AVC. Many thought they would go to VC-9(the open version of WM9 from Microsloth). This is big because keep in mind these rates are for HD if we used equal DVD quality the numbers would likely double.



    Alas this means I'll probably have to buy two expensive players. HD-DVD and Blu Ray because there will not be a winner for years. I'm sure Apple will support both technologies in software.
  • Reply 3 of 202
    I'm willing to bet that Apple will go Blu-Ray since most of the Superdrives are Pioneer, so whatever Pioneer sides with (Blu-Ray) that is what Apple will go with in their PowerMac's. All I have to say is that the first Blu-Ray Superdrive out is going in my PowerMac G5
  • Reply 4 of 202
    I don't think Apple will take sides on this one for a while.



    Let me try to simplify this a little. (Sorry if I oversimplify.)



    Blu-ray is the superior technology specifications-wise. It has higher storage capacity and more support from the big tech companies.



    HD-DVD devices are cheaper to produce than Blu-ray and it is more backward compatible to DVDs due to the fact that it shares more technology with current DVDs than Blu-ray does. It also uses the Microsoft VC-9 codec for audio which probably means that money goes to Microsoft for every disk sold. HD-DVD also has a familiar brand name that works well with those uninformed consumers.



    But the most important issue is: Which format will the studios support? The format that gets more movies will be the winner. We already know that the Sony-owned studios will go Blu-ray. But that's only one studio of the many.
  • Reply 5 of 202
    vinney57vinney57 Posts: 1,162member
    You have over-simplified. HD-DVD players also have to support AVC by definition.
  • Reply 6 of 202
    Quote:

    Originally posted by vinney57

    You have over-simplified. HD-DVD players also have to support AVC by definition.



    They both support AVC. Perhaps you wanted me to list all the things that the two formats have in common?



    http://www.blu-ray.com/faq/



    And the main point is still that the studios will be the main deciding factor of which format survives. In other words, it's more politics than technology that decides the survivor. Perhaps I should've taken out the rest of the info. Sorry for not simplifying enough.
  • Reply 7 of 202
    marzetta7marzetta7 Posts: 1,323member
    I agree, the studios will ultimately decide which will be the victorious format. Even so, I still have to wonder why the DVD Forum went with the decision it did, ratifying the Toshiba / NEC format over Blu-Ray's. I've heard the cost factor agrgument, but common! Doesn't it make sense to go with a format [Blu-Ray] that looks to be superior? Especially since most of the big-named companies in the HD-DVD world support it? Was it voted in by the board members of the DVD Forum? Anyone know the tally?



    In any case, I sure hope Blu-Ray becomes the victor so that we can have some HD-DVD toys to play with! I know Apple is usually on the cutting edge as far as their hardware goes, so does anyone think they might adopt the format from one or the other and incorporate the necessary hardware into a PowerMac before there is a clear cut format winner? Fourth quarter of 2005 perhaps?
  • Reply 8 of 202
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    marzetta7



    Blu Ray was not chosen by the DVD Forum so it could never be officially called HD-DVD. Blu Ray superiority for most people = storage capacity. However until just recently Blu Ray was looking to only record in MPEG2 negating any advantage of the increased storage capacity.



    Hollywood doesn't care if HP and Dell support Blu Ray because Hollywood only cares about the profits that the format can create for movies. HP and Dell are interested in offering Blu Ray for computer applications hence their desire for more storage.



    If Blu Ray adds the AVC codec Apple will easily be able to support both but there are more unanswered questions than answered.



    To me it's looking like those that want a full HD selection will have to shell out for two players. With that in mind I sincerely hope the Plastation 3 plays back Blu Ray Movies very well because that may be my only hope getting Blu Ray cheaply.
  • Reply 9 of 202
    rara Posts: 623member
    Here's a great discussion regarding Blue-Ray & HD-DVD: http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/...m=323009713631
  • Reply 10 of 202
    mellomello Posts: 555member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    Let's base it off of their proposed bitrates



    8Mbps = 480 megabits per minute or 28,800 megabits per hour.



    480/28,880 /8= 60 megabyes per min/3600 megabytes per hour



    So 3.6 Gigabytes per hour allows us to neatly divide by our total space. If Blu Ray is 27GB then we get 7.5 hrs of AVC video at 8Mbps. 12Mpbs is 90 megabytes a minute or 5.4 gigabytes per hour for 5 hrs of AVC video at 12 megabits per second.



    As you can see it is in Sony's best interest to support a high efficiency codec. Honestly I'm quite shocked that Sony has focused on AVC. Many thought they would go to VC-9(the open version of WM9 from Microsloth). This is big because keep in mind these rates are for HD if we used equal DVD quality the numbers would likely double.



    Alas this means I'll probably have to buy two expensive players. HD-DVD and Blu Ray because there will not be a winner for years. I'm sure Apple will support both technologies in software.




    I remembered reading that movie studios wanted the cheapest format in

    order to make as much green as possible but with the mpeg4 codec

    you could stuff so much on a single dual-layer BluRay disc! You could

    have the entire Star Wars trilogy on a single disc with all the extras!
  • Reply 11 of 202
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    BD-ROM Specification 1 finalized



    Although we won't know if VC-9 or AVC has made it until someone spills the beans. I'm hoping for AVC. Give me that and I'll purchase Blu Ray.
  • Reply 12 of 202
    marzetta7marzetta7 Posts: 1,323member
    Forgive me hmurchison, I used the term HD-DVD at the end of my last post loosely, I meant HD-DVD in the broad term of high definition dvd's. I'll try to be more careful.



    As far as any advantages of Blu-Ray over HD-DVD, I think this article is helpful:



    http://dvd.ign.com/articles/524/524681p1.html



    Also, good read on the arstechnica forum about the politics of the formats post by Ra. Also, this kind of information kind of coincides with my questioning of the DVD Forum decision in my earlier post. The forum had to have known that the MPEG-2 format Blu-Ray was intending to use wasn't set in stone, nor was the fact that the Blu-Ray camp would strictly being using cartridges for their media. From some of the information from the arstechnica forum, it looks as though Intel had a lot to do with changing the vote structure of the forum which should also raise a red flag. That's all we need is Microsoft and Intel dictating behind the scenes as to what the next high definition dvd standard should be. But, so goes politics. There's always two sides to the same story.



    But here's to hoping for Blu-Ray on a PowerMac soon. A point also worth noting is that the Blu-Ray format looks to be supporting encryption with a AES 128-bit key that changes every six kilobytes, with technologies to prevent bit-by-bit copying and bus encryption for Blu-ray-based ROM drives while the HD-DVD format has yet to have any. Hopefully an added benefit the studios will see and be sold on.
  • Reply 13 of 202
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    Quote:

    Forgive me hmurchison, I used the term HD-DVD at the end of my last post loosely, I meant HD-DVD in the broad term of high definition dvd's. I'll try to be more careful.



    Oh no sweat man I wasn't trying to correct you moreso than just to point out the oddity that only the DVD Forum can officially call their approved product HD-DVD. Hell if people want to call Blu Ray HD-DVD it's fine with me





    Quote:

    But here's to hoping for Blu-Ray on a PowerMac soon. A point also worth noting is that the Blu-Ray format looks to be supporting encryption with a AES 128-bit key that changes every six kilobytes, with technologies to prevent bit-by-bit copying and bus encryption for Blu-ray-based ROM drives while the HD-DVD format has yet to have any. Hopefully an added benefit the studios will see and be sold on.



    Apple undoubtedly has their eye on multiple technologies. We'll know soon enough where they are headed.



    I think that day is coming soon



    No officially Blu Ray but it's the same Tech



    Yes Blu Ray should be nigh unbreakable. I started a thread about Apple adding more DRM support to OSX because in the future operating systems may need to be able to handle multiple types of DRM without error as they pump digital data throughout.



    HD-DVD is supposed to be thinking about using AACS DRM



    Quote:

    Advanced Access Content System License Administrator (AACS LA) has at its core a digital rights management (DRM) specification called "broadcast encryption" which member companies propose to protect high-definition (HD) content on next-generation DVD players and to enable new online business models. The AACS LA is a cross-industry effort initiated by IBM, Intel Corporation, Microsoft, Matsushita Electric (Panasonic), Sony, Toshiba, The Walt Disney Company, and Warner Bros.



  • Reply 14 of 202
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    If they have the encryption that tight there better be a second DVD in every DVD package for backup, because that is total BS, and backups are totally legal, and the movie industries have to accommodate us in some way shape or form. it's the law.
  • Reply 15 of 202
    kupan787kupan787 Posts: 586member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by onlooker

    If they have the encryption that tight there better be a second DVD in every DVD package for backup, because that is total BS, and backups are totally legal, and the movie industries have to accommodate us in some way shape or form. it's the law.



    Right.... Just like Sony and Microsoft must include a backup ready CD/DVD with every PS2 and Xbox game sold.



    And also why 321 Studios shut down after a number of law suits regarding their DVD backup software (link) :



    Quote:

    Despite 321 Studios? best efforts to remain in business, injunctions entered against 321 Studios by three US Federal courts earlier this year has resulted in 321 Studios no longer being able to continue operating the business.



  • Reply 16 of 202
    marzetta7marzetta7 Posts: 1,323member
    Oh no sweat man I wasn't trying to correct you moreso than just to point out the oddity that only the DVD Forum can officially call their approved product HD-DVD. Hell if people want to call Blu Ray HD-DVD it's fine with me



    Speaking of oddities, if you go to www.hd-dvd.com, guess what site comes up? You guessed it, www.blu-ray.com. Weird, but maybe a good omen.
  • Reply 17 of 202
    mellomello Posts: 555member
    Here's a new blu-ray story from yahoo.



    Link Here!
  • Reply 18 of 202
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    There is a blue ray drive of some sort available now according to

    This MacCentral article called: SIGGRAPH: AfterBurner offers 23GB blue laser burner
  • Reply 19 of 202
    northgatenorthgate Posts: 4,461member
    What I don't see anybody here discussing is PICTURE QUALITY. We seem to get lost in the details of the technology and which codec can cram the most information into the given space...but at what expense to quality.



    For me the equation is simple. PICTURE QUALITY. PICTURE QUALITY. PICTURE QUALITY. I don't really care how much content you can fit on any of these formats if compression artifacts intrude into the picture.
  • Reply 20 of 202
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Northgate

    What I don't see anybody here discussing is PICTURE QUALITY. We seem to get lost in the details of the technology and which codec can cram the most information into the given space...but at what expense to quality.



    For me the equation is simple. PICTURE QUALITY. PICTURE QUALITY. PICTURE QUALITY. I don't really care how much content you can fit on any of these formats if compression artifacts intrude into the picture.




    MPEG2 @ 24Mbps will likely have the best picture quality but I see AVC being close and improving greatly as encoder quality improves. When Apple showed AVC trailers at NAB I heard no complaints about the quality. I think right now the "Holy Grail" of HDTV will be 1080p 24 or 1080p 60 on a monitor that can display a 1:1 pixel map. Only a high high end Mitsubishi monitor can do that now.
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