Dual Format Discs!

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Rasczak, Jan 4, 2007.

  1. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    22,636
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Warwick
    Ratings:
    +3,343
    Well after the surprise annoucment by LG on dual format players (as has been widely predicted by the more astute on the forum :D ) it seems Warner is looking to release 'dual' discs - namely with HD DVD and BluRay content on both - see the news report hee.

    ...whilst I think dual players are the future I'm not so sure about 'dual' discs (Warner proposed these dual discs sometime ago). Presumably they will consist of a HD DVD30 back to back with a BD25 - so maybe the net effect is they'll be identical in features/performance as what we have now - but of course 'flippers' have a bad rep - alot of people don't like the HD DVD/DVD combi discs.

    And of course - the most important question of all - what colour will the cases be!?!
     
  2. Angry the Clown

    Angry the Clown
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    Messages:
    314
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +37
    God knows what production yields and replication costs might be for such an invention. Frankly I'd be surprised if it becomes a valuable tool in trying to woo other studios to become neutral and produce such discs.

    The patent proposal if memory serves was not for a flipper, but for a dual layered disc, with one layer being Blu Ray, the other HD DVD. The initial spec appeared to be suggest it would actually be a BD25/HD15 hybrid. What the final spec they're proposing is, if it has even changed, I'd be curious to know. BD25 layer sandwiched with an HD15 as planned, or a BD25 with an HD30? Either way, they'd be having to make compromises in making the content either conform to a max of 15gb or 25gb if they are to fairly offer the same features…etc regardless of whether you're watching the HD DVD or Blu Ray layer. Something's got to give as they say, which is unlikely to please enthusiasts, and is a thought that does not excite me in the slightest.
     
  3. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    22,636
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Warwick
    Ratings:
    +3,343
    Indeed - it was a 'tri-spec' disc consisting of DVD, HD DVD and BluRay layers - however I can't believe they have managed to make that a viable proposition yet. Flippers though - whilst likely to be unpopular with some - would probably be viable commercially. However I'm not sure a HD DVD/BluRay flipper is format legal - i.e. the disc would be too thick for the DVD spec. So maybe you're right? Guess we'll have to wait until CES to see...but I entirely agree that content must not be compromised.
     
  4. BadAss

    BadAss
    Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2001
    Messages:
    2,967
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    England
    Ratings:
    +182
    I can't see this taking off at all. Look how long it took Sony to BD50' up and running. How will Warner develope a double sided disc? Look how unpopular combos discs are with HD-DVD supporters. This is where best intention go astray.

    Out of interest is this disc going to be double sided or multi layered? If it's double layered then surely you can put a BD50 and HD30 together. Does this mean we'll be back to the days of BD25/HD15's. Its going to get messy and never take off IMO.
     
  5. Angry the Clown

    Angry the Clown
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    Messages:
    314
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +37
    Well that's the thing though. They'd pretty much have to conform to the lowest common denominator. If it was an HD15/BD25 hybrid, it would mean leaving 10gbs to waste on the Blu Ray layer if a studio was looking to provide identical content/features for both formats on the one disc (and if they're not, what's the point of the hybrid in the first place?). If it was somehow a BD25/HD30 hybrid, again, it would force the HD30 side to have to leave 5gb unused.

    Discussed above.
     
  6. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    22,636
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Warwick
    Ratings:
    +3,343
    Why? The content on the discs at present isn't equal. As is currently happening (almost) identical video encodes can be used - but the HD DVD can just sport a lossless Dolby TrueHD track to use up that extra space.
     
  7. Angry the Clown

    Angry the Clown
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    Messages:
    314
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +37
    I just gave good reason as to why. Why even bother with a neutral hybrid disc if the content on that disc was not identical? People would be absolutely livid. Superman Returns' TrueHD wasn't the only thing that pushed it over 25gb on HD DVD. Without the TrueHD track it still needed a BD50 after all. Then there's titles like The Searchers, Unforgiven and so on. No TrueHD on either, but they too needed a BD50 as they needed more then 25gb of space.

    I’m not even convinced they’ve conjured up a BD25/HD30 here as such a thing would be even more a daunting prospect for cost and yields than I’d think a BD25/HD15 hybrid might be, and if the HD-DVD layer was compromised for space like that - more than the BD layer – the tables would surely turn and ardent HD DVD fans who might argue why their version should not be compromised if the other format doesn’t have the sufficient specs to deliver the same content would surely call for the BD layer not to exceed 15gb so as to play fair.

    Something’s got to give as I say, and it would be space on a disc like this. When you’re facing certain studios bullish about greater capacity on Blu Ray this really isn’t the kind of invention that’s going to send any others neutral because it’s actually going to be more restrictive for them than it would if they just agreed to publish separate SKUs on both formats. Compromised shortcuts to neutrality won’t pan out as if any studio suddenly wants to go neutral they’re really going to be doing so on their own terms.
     
  8. MikeK

    MikeK
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2004
    Messages:
    2,231
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings:
    +316
    In theory it's a good idea, but personally I can't see it flying due to production costs.

    As for HD-DVD combos not being too popular, I though that was because of the price rather than any great hatred of dual sided discs - then again I still sometimes trouble with some multi-discs DVDs - "which one is the blinkin film on" :)
     
  9. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    22,636
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Warwick
    Ratings:
    +3,343
    Well people are living with this the difference now - most BluRay supporters don't seem too upset that they are missing out on next gen soundtracks - so I don't see why they would mind if one side was better than the other.

    I don' think costs and yields will be too much of a concern - it is after all just two discs stuck together - and we are constantly told a HD DVD30 costs the same as a DVD to make, and that BD25s are "equally" easy. The biggest snag is whether such a disc would be 'DVD compatible'.
     
  10. MikeK

    MikeK
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2004
    Messages:
    2,231
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings:
    +316
    Well cost would be an issue - production facilities would have to buy yet more new machinery.

    For BD facilities, it would come right after shelling out for BD eqpt, and for HD-DVD facilities it would mean having to shell out on BD eqpt after all.


    Plus, I'm not sure the physical specs of the two formats would allow it, not unless the specs were altered (and doing this can be fraught with unforseen complications if you aren't exteremely careful)
     
  11. BadAss

    BadAss
    Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2001
    Messages:
    2,967
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    England
    Ratings:
    +182
    What happens when we get to films like LOTR? The film aint never going to fit on a BD25 or HD15. So what will we see, a film split over multiple discs? Warner is creating more problems than solutions. This format war is going down hill fast, imo. Its like going backwards instead of forwards. If Warner were so bothered about the format war then they should cut HD-DVD loose and convince Universal to release on Blu-ray, end of story, end of format war.
     
  12. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    22,636
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Warwick
    Ratings:
    +3,343
    Do both sides have to be made at the same facilities? Could the BD layers not be shipped to the DVD production lines for final assembly (or vice versa)?

    Yes, that's the problem here. BDs are a tad thicker and therefore it may not conform to the DVD spec.
     
  13. MikeK

    MikeK
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2004
    Messages:
    2,231
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings:
    +316
    Do both sides have to be made at the same facilities? Could the BD layers not be shipped to the DVD production lines for final assembly (or vice versa)?

    Possibly, but that assumes that the DVD production eqpt can handle them - it's unlikely TBH, as if they could, they'd have been doing it already and not shelling out for new eqpt.

    If you just mean a half thickness BD disc and a half thickness HD-DVD disc, which would then be "glued" together, that would mean new eqpt at both sites to create half thickness discs, plus a machine to do the gluing together.....it's getting messy already, and if dual format players are just around the corner, it's all a bit pointless....all IMO of course! :)
     
  14. zeroprobe

    zeroprobe
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    151
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +8
    oh how great dvd flipper discs were unavoidable to scratch and butt ugly with no label.
     
  15. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    22,636
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Warwick
    Ratings:
    +3,343
    I don't disagree - I'll guess we'll have to see what it said during CES next week.

    Now that is a good point - however will the BDA open up it's licencing? If not then the 'dual' format players we will see will only come from the big, respected brands. The Tesco cheapies will remain HD DVD only. Likewise the PS3 will remain BluRay only - and I should imagine the Xbox 360 will as well. So there will still be single format people out there...
     
  16. ani4ani

    ani4ani
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2001
    Messages:
    2,111
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Belper, Derbyshire
    Ratings:
    +195
    The problem with this method is the likelyhood that one perfect pressing gets destroyed because of bad supplementary pressing of the other format. Yield issues would compound each other. You would assume HD DVD would be first, perhaps at a 99% yield [no idea what it is] but since its the "traditional way" you can assume it was v-high. If the BD disc yields are realy 50-60%, then that would mean 40% or so of the good HD DVD presses would be destroyed. I can't imagine you could send a BD to a HD DVD facility, unless they upgraded to handle them If they can be bothered to do that - they would have done it in the first place.
     
  17. RunDMC

    RunDMC
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    624
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Ratings:
    +36
    Hmmmm....





    ....Purple?
     
  18. andythescientis

    andythescientis
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2005
    Messages:
    1,321
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Ratings:
    +110
    If that's the case then is there any point of BD at all......

    HD-DVD would have the mass market (cheap players).

    BD would have the PS3 ... did someone once suggest BD might be the PS3 UMD?

    If BD wants to survive in a dual format world, it's going to have to licence to everyone, or else i can see trouble ahead :) The BDA CE's are going to be really really unhappy with LG!
     
  19. vlada

    vlada
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    254
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +12
    maybe warner should cut loose bluray and convince sony to go to the hd dvd way, what do you peeps think about that? :rotfl:
     
  20. zeroprobe

    zeroprobe
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    151
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +8
    How about bluray wins it all. Seriously this dual format nonsense won't work at all. There needs to be a winner and soon. It's just a big mess.
     
  21. Bald Monkey

    Bald Monkey
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Messages:
    7,123
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +1,084

    If that was to happen, I think it's pretty obvious that BR would vanish, or become the next UMD. Cheap supermarket HD-DVD's would sway so much in the form of spftware sales over to them, that BR and Multi format players would become a niche within a niche for those who already had a lot of BR discs... IMO. Either BR is open to all, or sticks as it was.
     
  22. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    22,636
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Warwick
    Ratings:
    +3,343
    I should imagine a few are very unhappy. We'll have to wait for the unit's MSRP to be announced - but LG has slashed the value of BD players - very wise of Toshiba to announce price reduction plans when they did...
     
  23. Welwynnick

    Welwynnick
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Messages:
    7,274
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Welwyn, Herts
    Ratings:
    +942
    Do we have a new solution war to the format war?

    Dual format discs vs dual format players - surely there is only room for one solution?

    I think dual format players make much more sense.

    Nick
     
  24. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    22,636
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Warwick
    Ratings:
    +3,343
    I totally agree dual format players make much more sense and are, in the long run, the only viable solution.

    But I don't think Warner are proposing a 'solution' to the war with these discs...they are just proposing a way whereby they can distribute their titles (that would be dual format anyway) in only one package. It's a short term tidy up whilst we await dual format players.
     
  25. av-phile

    av-phile
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Seems to be that a dual format disc is more a production and warehousing advantage for studios releasing discs in both formats, than it is a benefit to consumers. Just one stamping and moulding process, one printing and packaging job and lesser shelf space. Though I would think if such discs can be cheaper to produce than any single format disc, it would be a consumer benefit as well, in terms of cost.
     
  26. JP73

    JP73
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    225
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +4
    Yes, another vote for dual format players here. If they do become reality and take off in a big way I think both formats may merge under one high definition banner sometime in the future.

    There is a brief Q+A with a couple of the Warner executives in this month's DVD review in which they sseem to say that all of their catalogue will eventually make it to hi def on both formats until such times as there is a clear dominant one. Interestingly, they also mention that their longer titles, such as Gone with the Wind, will appear later rather than sooner to allow them time to perfect the transfer process!!
     
  27. Angry the Clown

    Angry the Clown
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    Messages:
    314
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +37
    You're homing in on the audio differences again though. Like I was writing before, if the space allocation of each layer on a hybrid disc is different enough to create more significant differences in content, then people won't like it and what's more it simply defeats the purpose of a disc like this which is meant to breed neutrality.

    Many Blu Ray users are disappointed by the lack of TrueHD support from Warner. You can see reviewers question it, and I have noticed it to be a frequent topic of frustration over at AVS and elsewhere online – and that's now where the climate of enthusiastic early adopters represent a mere blip in the market in the grand scheme of things.

    You seem set on the idea the HD DVD layer will be 30gb though. If that's the case we'd be looking at three layers stuck together, one layer having to be an entirely different spec to the other two. It can only be expensive, even if it's BD25/HD15, as the replication lines would have to be tailored to glue the two specs together and that's going to be a new process which might result in fairly low yields. As Mike said, it is a potentially messy process.


    I doubt it's to be proposed as a solution for all films, but that then just poses another question asking what the whole point is if you're creating a neutral disc standard that is unlikely to be used for everything. Certainly I'd agree Warner are creating more problems than solutions, but I think that only in the sense that cost and production might be problematic. For the consumer too, because not every title or every studio might give the hybrid discs ago, people who could have a few of the hybrid discs might then take home an HD DVD only disc, try playing it in their Blu Ray player (or vice versa) and it won't work.


    Well really Warner would probably like nothing more than for everyone to be neutral as it would likely mean success for HD DVD in the long term, which I suspect is partly the reason why their hybrid disc proposal even exists in the first place.


    I don't believe hybrid discs and dual format players can actually solve anything. Dual format players especially might well be of convenience to the enthusiast, but to the general consumer they just add to the confusion. You'll still never get all companies agreeing to produce dual format hardware and/or hybrid software because there will always be one or two stubborn sods who wont ever play ball, but above all there's just no way to sell this sort of thing when none of it can be marketed under a unified name. That creates problems for content providers and retailers alike.
     
  28. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    22,636
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Warwick
    Ratings:
    +3,343
    Hasn't really happened on the DVDR side has it? Even companies that stated they would never, ever support DVD-RAM did - Sony for example...
     
  29. JP73

    JP73
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    225
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +4
    I don't know, i think its early enough in the game that neither format has really acheived any signifigant consumer awareness among the general public. If they could bring out a player simply labelled "high definition" then I think the public would be a lot clearer on the subject. My cheapie R2 player has those little logos on it, dts,hdmi etc...whats to stop a dual player just being labelled as high definition with the little bluray and hddvd logos attached? If decent dual players took off then surely it would be financial suicide for stubborn companies to hold out and produce one format only machines? I know its a simplistic view but I like an easy life:D
     
  30. Angry the Clown

    Angry the Clown
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    Messages:
    314
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +37
    Such a comparison can only stretch so far though. There wasn’t nearly as much to lose with the feuding DVD-R specs for the companies involved.



    Before both formats launched, to help everyone they probably could have come to such a conclusion in agreeing to keep both standards in effectively making all hardware dual format players by default, but marketing it under one name, that way leaving it up to the studios which disc manufacturing process they wanted to side with and leaving all parties involved who are so greedy in wanting to retain patents…etc happy. Yes it would have meant expensive hardware to begin with, but at least would have left a clear roadmap for one single format brand to evolve over however many years it took to appeal to and become affordable for the larger markets.

    Now though, the problem is time. They’re beyond the point they can ever effectively come together. Although many here might like to argue until they’re blue in the face that no HD format would find a place in the mass market, it’s not stopping both format groups looking to seriously target the general consumer in 2007 (particularly by the end of the year at Christmas), so the thought of brining everything together at this point in time with an eye to re-brand it all for the larger market I think can only remain routed in fantasy.

    Simple fact is the studios all do at least agree one format is best, their problem is they’ve all got different ideas over which format that one format should be. Allegiances will drop however if one format consistently continues to sell more than the other, and such allegiances will be forced to drop, not just by consumer buying habits, but also by the retailers who just don’t want to stock multiple SKUs. This will also drive a point where neutral studios just pick one side and be done with it as financially they’ll only want to keep manufacturing multiple SKUs (DVD, HD DVD, Blu Ray) for so long.
     

Share This Page

Loading...