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In a bid to win the war against the Blu-ray disc (BD) format, Toshiba has started to license its HD DVD technology to manufacturers of very affordable players in China. The first of such products were demonstrated at CeBIT, but there are more coming, as Wal-Mart has reportedly ordered two million of players at $150 each.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the company that runs thousands of stores across the world, has ordered, according to a news-story at UDN.com web-site, two million HD DVD players from Chinese company Yan Lucky Electronics with the total worth of $300 million. The players should be delivered to Wal-Mart before the end of next year, according to the report.

It is unclear whether Wal-Mart plans to sell those players in China or in the U.S., but considering that, according to Display Search market tracking agency, there are going to be sold about 34 million high definition televisions in the North America, while in Europe and Japan about 8 and 6.7 million are going to be shipped, respectively, the main market for affordable HD DVD players seems to be the USA.

Wal-Mart usually attracts people to stores with low prices, but currently there are hardly any really affordable Blu-ray or HD DVD players. Given that one unit will cost Wal-Mart about $150 and given that its profit margins are not really high, very nably priced HD DVD players may emerge. The actual price, however, was not reported.

Blu-ray disc fiercely competes with HD DVD format to replace conventional DVD in future. While Blu-ray offers larger storage space for content, HD DVD drives and discs are easier and cheaper to produce. Due to widespread confusion among customers which format to choose, different manufacturers offer different kinds of solutions: LG and Samsung offer hybrid BD/HD DVD players and optical drives, whereas companies like Sony and Toshiba offer more affordable Blu-ray-only and HD DVD-only players.

Discussion

Comments currently: 12
Discussion started: 04/25/07 05:23:09 PM
Latest comment: 05/01/07 08:19:37 AM
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1. 
Let's get off this "More storage space" crap.

First of all, it doesn't matter that much because the mpeg-4 used is so much more efficient in both formats than the mpeg-2 in regular DVD. So there's tons of room left over anyway.

Second, last I checked, HD-DVD can go up to 3 layers, which total more gigs than Blu-Ray's two layers. And Blu-Ray hasn't announced any possibility for more than two layers.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 04/26/07 06:34:34 AM]
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2. 
lets remember than the source video on a HiDef disc "if" released on both formats is EXACTLY the same encode. VC1 is now the main AVC used on 99% of the discs out there. BR has now pretty much using it aswell now, as even sony can see their mpeg2 encodes were utter crap compared to a hd-dvd vc1 encode.

now we come to the size differences, now take king kong for example, it weighted in at 3h 7mins and took up 27gig on a hd-dvd disc. i agree there wasnt much left over for many extras but once a triple layer disc is out, that will leave 17gig for all the interactivity goodies. which by the way BR doesnt even have working at all yet. many people even question if the BR standalones being sold right now will ever be able to play there java.

hd-dvd has been able to use its iME "In Movie Experience" since day one.

as that old saying go's... they f*ck you at the drive through...

0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 04/26/07 11:54:51 PM]
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Being able to add layers to the disc doesn't help with regards to Movies. The specs of HD-DVD and BD ROMs for movies don't cover more than two layers (last I checked) - and so adding extra layers will make the disc incompatible with current players.

Adding extra layers doesn't up the bandwidth. When that's used up, more space won't be available to a movie. AFAIK HD-DVD has 30Mbit/s (for video+audio) which might be less than you want, when a single audio-track can use as much as 24.5Mbit/s. If it is, BD might be your friend with its 48Mbit/s (for video+audio).

Other fancy features (HDi/BD-J) are welcome, but in my eyes of no particular importance - The quality of the movie (video and audio) is paramount. :)
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 04/29/07 09:00:03 AM]
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Update urself and stop bullshiting around pls

The new 007 Casino Royale BR is coded at 40+Mbps bitrate

Also, due the maturity of current H.264/VC-1 encoder/decoder. Currently at bitrate larger than 30Mbps there is no way for 264 or VC-1 to obtain a quality equal or better than MPEG2. It may need a few more yrs for codec developer to unlock the full potenital of H.264 and VC-1 format.

It happens in AAC too, where most ppl find that at low bitrate, AAC has better quality while AAC had no way to beat 320k mp3 encoded from LAME! Obviosuly the current AAC, H.264 and VC-1 codec is not mature enough for the prime time!
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/01/07 08:14:01 AM]
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