HD-DVD Strikes Back! Episode 2

in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
45GB HD-DVD possible. Blu-Ray merger potentially in doubt

Toshiba Corp. has developed a prototype HD-DVD disc that increases the format?s storage capacity by 50 percent and brings it much closer to that of the rival Blu-ray Disc, the company said Tuesday.

The new disc has a capacity of 45GB, which is just under the 50GB offered by a dual-layer Blu-ray Disc, and will give content producers additional space to store longer high-definition movies or extras such as trailers, out-takes or interactive features.

Toshiba accomplished the capacity jump by adding an extra data storage layer to the disc. Each HD-DVD layer has a capacity of 15GB and the new disc packs three such layers.


Nice...didn't know they'd be able to add another layer. This will undoubtedly make disc production harder ie more expensive. But that's not all!

The company also announced a second prototype disc that uses the same basic technology. The hybrid disc combines a dual-layer HD-DVD with a dual-layer DVD to provide a double-sided disc that can be played in either HD-DVD or DVD players. The disc could be used as a transitional format enabling consumers to buy discs for use in DVD players while building up a library of high-definition content for the time when they purchase an HD-DVD player.

Now THIS could really hurt BD-ROM. I'd spend more money for a disc that player everywhere. Put it in a DVD and it plays SD put it in a HD-DVD and it plays in HD. Wow.

I honestly think that this "merger" isn't going to happen. Bring on the Format War!!!!


  • Reply 1 of 92
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,259member

    Memory-Tech Corporation, Japan?s largest independent disc replicator, has confirmed

    the new 45GB and hybrid discs can be produced on their existing manufacturing lines

    and equipment, which are tailored to produce HD DVD discs, with only minor

    additional investment and minimum additional production cost per disc.

    Hmmmmmmm interesting.

    Yup format war coming.


    Triple-layer 45GB disc

    The newly developed ROM disc has a single-sided, triple-layer structure (see

    attachment). Each layer stores 15 gigabytes of information. Triple-layer discs can be

    easily produced by back-to-back bonding of a 0.6mm-thick dual-layer disc and a

    single-layer 0.6mm disc.

    In the process, a single-layer disc is first produced, using the same process as for HD

    DVD-ROM. Next, the second layer is formed on first layer using a one-time

    polycarbonate stamper, the same process used for the DVD-18 disc, the double-sided

    DVD disc that has dual-layers on both sides. Finally, the single-layer 0.6mm disc is

    bonded to the dual-layer disc, using standard technology.

  • Reply 2 of 92
    oldcodger73oldcodger73 Posts: 707member
    My continued take is that the average consumer is going to sit this one out and wait until the dust settles and we have a winner. Late 2007, early 2008 maybe?
  • Reply 3 of 92
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    It's a 3 layer disk that will be a lot more expensive. Look at the cost of dual layer disks vs. single layer recordable media. For the price I spend on 100 DVD's I can only get like 10 DL DVD's. Even at that they are still 5 GB short of a Blue Ray disk, and what if blue ray decided to add a 3rd layer?
  • Reply 4 of 92
    gene cleangene clean Posts: 3,481member
    And what if they're not very reliable? 3 Layers seems a bit too much methinks? \
  • Reply 5 of 92
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,259member
    Even if the disc is more expensive to produce you still have the capability of using a cheaper product line as far as equipment is concerned.

    With BD-ROM you have the higher disc production costs AND higher production line equipment.

    Onlooker- The Spec for BD-ROM goes to 4 layer 200GB discs so BD-ROM is fine here.

    This announcement from NEC just lessens the chance that we'll see a merger of tech. NEC/Toshiba closed the gap which means they are ready for battle shoring up their weaknesses.
  • Reply 6 of 92
    xoolxool Posts: 2,460member
    I'm interested in the battle for different reasons, depending on use.

    For data I want the largest disc available that is as cheap and simple as possible. Backing up my 360 GB drive to DVD is not gonna happen. Even with bluray its still a bunch of discs. You know consumer burners aren't gonna be triple layer coming out of the gate and when they are they'll be expensive for a time. And by the time the price is somewhat approachable, we'll be dealing with terrabytes of data and will need tons of the "cheap" discs. Doh!

    For my TV I want compatibility. I don't see upgrading my video gear until its all HD. When HD content stuff starts trickling out I'm gonna be wary of buying stuff that's SD. And I won't by HD content if I'm not certain the format will stick around. I don't care about the disc production facility. I know some dual format disc will be more expensive than a single format disc, it will still be less expensive than two discs of the same type. However, as separate discs at least I can sell the old one and keep the new one as I upgrade my library from SD to HD.

    How about blueray on one side and SD DVD on the other, akin to current dual discs with CD and DVD layers.
  • Reply 7 of 92
    19841984 Posts: 955member
    The Blu-Ray camp announced a triple layer hybrid disc several months ago with two-layers (8.5GB) for the DVD content and one layer (25GB) for the BD content. I'm sure they could add a fourth BD layer for 50GB of BD storage as they are already working on 75GB triple layer BD and 100GB quad layer BD versions. I believe the Blu-Ray hybrid disc is single sided while the HD-DVD hybrid disc is double sided. As time goes by I think you will see that HD-DVD offers no price advantage over Blu-Ray, at least not when they are forced to compete and play catch-up. I guess we'll have a format war on our hands regardless though. At least the existence of Blu-Ray and the need to compete has improved the HD-DVD format. It's almost respectable now.
  • Reply 8 of 92
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,259member
    You are correct 1984 and I find it rather ironic that this competition betweek both groups has actually "improved" both product.

    Initially sony was ambivalent about supporting any other codecs beyond MPEG2 and now they have AVC and VC-1.

    The DVD Forum gave us an initial spec that was a bit too tight for some areas and they have rectified that weakness.

    The more I think about it the more I actually "want" this format war. If history is any indication we will actually see lower prices and faster because of this.

    Look at what SACD and DVD-Audio have done. Nothing. But the players are now cheap($129). Hirez audio is a harder sell than hirez video. Bring on this format war. I venture that it won't be long before universal players ease all pain.

    I think in the 21st century wars like these actually benefit the consumer rather than the CE companies. They know this and are desperately trying to merge both formats into one that can sustain profitability longer.
  • Reply 9 of 92
    ionyzionyz Posts: 491member
    Curious, how much more fragile does additional layers make a optical disk? Its super-niche but I really love my MO disks

    Seriously though, in day to day use I don't want media that is more fragile then it already is. A month ago I wouldn't have cared but with a recent HDTV purchase I am eagerly waiting for an HD DVD standard to surface and the content to flow.

    Also doubt players will surface and a format decided on any time soon. Time to buy an up-converting DVD player yeah? How much to spend has to do with when all this is decided, since I assume an HD DVD player would be capable of up-converting DVDs too.
  • Reply 10 of 92
    screedscreed Posts: 1,077member
    *cough*Bargaining chip*cough*

    This could be a bite back at reports that a settlement is close and Sony "won" (by some accounts).
  • Reply 11 of 92
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,259member

    Originally posted by sCreeD

    *cough*Bargaining chip*cough*

    This could be a bite back at reports that a settlement is close and Sony "won" (by some accounts).

    Everyone is reporting based on false info. It's well known that HD-DVD is on path to shipping product faster with a Q4 launch this year and 89 announced titles. BD-ROMs advantage was superior storage which has now been erased.

    We'll know more today as Toshiba/NEC will demonstrate 45GB discs at Media Tech.

    I think Sony just lost any advantage that they had. Ask the Blu-Ray fan why he or she liked BR and they'll almost unanimously state "more storage"

    5GB difference here is inconsequential compared to the advantage of HD-DVD at the fabrication level. Even the 45GB 3 layer discs don't seem to warrant too much of an additional expense.

    Format War imminent. Moving to Defcon 3
  • Reply 12 of 92
    screedscreed Posts: 1,077member
    Ooh, isn't that a little one-sided. They both potentially can have the same capacity therefore no advantage? There are production costs (advantage HD-DVD) and data rates (arguably advantage BR). I also saw mention of software for the discs, but I can't find a source of discussion about that.

    I agree there is a fork ahead: either Toshiba is positioning itself to declare victorious defeat or this is the opening salvo.
  • Reply 13 of 92
    marzetta7marzetta7 Posts: 1,320member
    I think Sony just lost any advantage that they had. Ask the Blu-Ray fan why he or she liked BR and they'll almost unanimously state "more storage"

    And they still have "more storage." In fact, if you look at it, Blu-Ray has a 10GB storage advantage per layer, and has the capability for more layers on the disk which is 8 (200GB) to HD's proposed 3 (45GB). HD-DVD's capacity is still weak especially when you consider it within the coporate enterprise regarding backup media. Granted, I know Blu-Ray will not have the 200 GB discs for a while, but at least they have a roadmap that moves upward, while for all intents and purposes, I see HD-DVD stagnating at 45 GB for quite some time. I haven't seen or heard anything to the contrary and quite simply, that is something that I wouldn't want to see in a future technology. Furthermore, it's not just Sony who STILL holds an advantage, but it is Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Dell, HP, Apple, and the over 100 other companies that support the Blu-Ray format.

    It is beyond me that 3 companies, Toshiba, NEC, and Sanyo, are stagnating the process of releasing high definition DVD content when 100+ companies, see the Blu-Ray standard as the superior one. I'd like to see a unified format, but if Toshiba and Company don't want to see it that way, I say I hope they die a very fast death. The future is Blu.
  • Reply 14 of 92
    screedscreed Posts: 1,077member
    It is not 3 companies. The split is computer (part) manufacturers (for Blu-Ray) vs. content owners (for HD-DVD) -- and even that is not a clear separation since Sony owns Sony Picturers et al. The split is storage advantage vs. cost of manufacturing.

    The technical debate(s) are legitimate, but how each camp initially handled themselves was really scurrilous.
  • Reply 15 of 92
    19841984 Posts: 955member

    Originally posted by sCreeD

    Ooh, isn't that a little one-sided. They both potentially can have the same capacity therefore no advantage?

    They don't both have the same potential for capacity though. Blu-Ray has had 50GB discs for ages while HD-DVD was stuck at 30GB. HD-DVD is limited by their format structure and promise of low production cost.

    HD-DVD originally announced a hybrid disc with a 15GB for HD-DVD and 8.5GB for DVD. Then Blu-Ray announced a hybrid disc with 25GB for BD and 8.5GB for DVD. Now HD-DVD has announced a hybrid disc with 30GB for HD-DVD 8.5GB for DVD. Expect Blu-Ray to fire back with a hybrid disc with 50GB for BD and 8.5GB for DVD.

    Blu-Ray was designed from the ground up to have 4 to 8 layers at 25GB each which is why they chose to have the top layer so close to the surface of the disc. This allows them to fit more layers in. It is also why they are more expensive to produce and why a protective coating is necessary though personally I think a protective coating is needed on all discs. I have no doubt we will see 4 layer 100GB Blu-Ray discs before players hit the shelves. I think 8 layer 200GB Blu-Ray discs will come later and probably be designed specifically for computer use and require second generation drives.

    HD-DVD on the other hand cannot have as many layers unless they totally change their disc structure to match that of Blu-Ray discs and at that point there is no more cost advantage for them. They are already pushing the format to the max with their newest hybrid disc. It should be noted the Blu-Ray hybrid disc is one-sided allowing artwork on the disc and eliminating the need to flip it. The HD-DVD hybrid disc borrows from DualDisc in that it is actually two discs bonded together. This shows the disc structure (and capacity) limits of HD-DVD quite well.

    It is good that competition between the formats is forcing them to continually improve upon them. Now whatever format we choose (or they choose for us) will be far better than what they would have been otherwise. Remember when HD-DVD was really nothing more than a WMV-HD disc? Look at it now.
  • Reply 16 of 92
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,259member

    HD-DVD's capacity is still weak especially when you consider it within the coporate enterprise regarding backup media.

    I believe that BR is still superior to HD-DVD regarding hardware. I guess I should narrow my discussion. HD-DVD's 45GB of space now allays any fears from the studios of not having enough space. However neither format stands much of a chance as a backup medium for SMB or Corporate Enterprise. They are too slow and don't back up enough data. I see BD-RAM or whatever it's called as being the perfect backup for home users and very small companies.


    The split is storage advantage vs. cost of manufacturing.

    Exactly Screed and with the announcement of the 3L 45GB HD-DVD disc storage from a content providers POV isn't the issue anymore likely. Onward towards production costs...that is where the battle is to be fought.

    This is getting really really interesting. I can't lose because I have alread committed to buying both. Hey..it's just money and a man has to have his hobbies.
  • Reply 17 of 92
    snoopysnoopy Posts: 1,901member

    Originally posted by sCreeD

    . . . The split is storage advantage vs. cost of manufacturing. . .

    Blu-Ray is new technology; DVD manufacturing has been around, and cost has been worked down. I suspect the same will happen to Blu-Ray as Sony gets manufacturing experience -- cost goes down. If Sony and others are gutsy enough in a format war, they will price movie disks at what they expect to be able to sell them for in six months or a year down the road.
  • Reply 18 of 92
    ionyzionyz Posts: 491member
    I'm part of a small company, but work with larger ones. I've never once heard "optical disc" and "backup" mentioned in the same conversation. They either use elaborate tape setups or hard drives in an elaborate array of setups. The larger they are, the more elaborate they become. But never heard of DVD or any optical disk.

    Not to say they don't exist but magnetic media has been outpacing optical for years now. I love my MO, its rugged and robust yet I can't do much except backup critical masters on it. Not enough space.
  • Reply 19 of 92
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,259member

    That's right. The only people I can see backing up to optical is the home user or very small company. BD-RAM isn't a good BU medium because it has a very thin protective layer and frankly 50GB for a DL disc isn't good enough.

    I'll enjoy backing up my computer files to BD-RAM but companies of even small size BU anywhere from 60-100GB per day and quite slowly. The next big thing is D2D2T (Disk to disk to tape) or D2D. As hard drives come down in price and up in capacity they are supplanting tape or at least augmenting it.

    We really need to be looking at these technologies of HD-DVD and Blu-Ray as delivery formats but not necessrily world beating computer products IMO.
  • Reply 20 of 92
    19841984 Posts: 955member
    It's funny, a double layer Blu-Ray disc (50GB) is still more than a triple layer HD-DVD disc (45GB) which shows just how outdated the HD-DVD format is. I wish companies like Toshiba wouldn't keep us in the dark ages. If everyone followed their line of thinking Apple would be introducing 300 MHz G3s right about now. Lets have a format that is ready for the future. I think 25, 50 and soon 75, 100 and maybe 200 GB Blu-Ray discs would be great storage mediums for home users. People want and need as much storage as they can get. A recordable DVD isn't even enough for a proper backup for home users these days.
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