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

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 153
    sennensennen Posts: 1,472member
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 153
    I'm feeling Bluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu
  • Reply 3 of 153
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,585member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 153
    zanshinzanshin Posts: 350member
    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?
  • Reply 5 of 153
    bommaibommai Posts: 24member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 153
    boogabooga Posts: 1,082member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 153
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    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...
  • Reply 8 of 153
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,585member
    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.
  • Reply 9 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
  • Reply 10 of 153
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,585member
    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.
  • Reply 11 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.
  • Reply 12 of 153
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,585member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 153
    cory bauercory bauer Posts: 1,286member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 153
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,787member
    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?
  • Reply 15 of 153
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,787member
    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
  • Reply 16 of 153
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,787member
    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?
  • Reply 17 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.
  • Reply 18 of 153
    He DOES care! o.O
  • Reply 19 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.
  • Reply 20 of 153
    pmjoepmjoe Posts: 565member
    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.
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