Hybrid Blu-ray/HD DVD players, discs coming to CES

Hardware manufacturers and press alike talked of Blu-ray and HD DVD hybridization efforts extensively last year, and we may now finally see those efforts bear fruit. According to Forbes, LG plans to unveil a hybrid player next week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Forbes says the device will play both Blu-ray and HD DVD formats, but other details like pricing and availability won’t become available until the show.

As if hybrid players weren’t enough, the New York Times says Warner will also announce hybrid discs next week. Warner patented the concept in September last year. The company’s patent covers discs that can combine not only Blu-ray and HD DVD layers, but also standard DVD layers in order to support virtually any digital video player out there. Warner will start off with just Blu-ray/HD DVD hybrids, though, which it will dub Total HD discs. Thanks to Engadget for the links.

Comments closed
    • snowdog
    • 13 years ago

    This just drags out the format war longer and make both players and disks more expensive. I call this one lose-lose-lose.

    • moose17145
    • 13 years ago

    hmmm, so we have dual format discs,… and dual format players…

    wonder what happens when you put a dual format disc in a dual format player…???

    • Chrispy_
    • 13 years ago

    The DVD +/- war was fixed by hybrid players but both fortmats are relatively common because media cost, speed and capactity are almost identical.

    The BR/HD war will be short and bloody, in my estimation. The market has shown time and time again that the winner is the one offering the best value.

    Sure, Blu-ray might be better when money is no object, but I’m afraid /[

    • PRIME1
    • 13 years ago

    Just let HD-DVD with its tiny discs and lack of writable media….DIE

    • firestorm02
    • 13 years ago

    Great! Now consumers get to pay royalties to both groups.

    As for me I’m leaning towards HD cable in the mean time. Sure the quality is not as good as HD disks, but for $8-10 more per month it’s cheaper than committing to one format.

      • ripfire
      • 13 years ago

      Yeah! Just download HD movies online. I wish there was a STB that does that now.

    • Proesterchen
    • 13 years ago

    Hybrid discs are hilariously wasteful, hybrid drives, on the other hand, I’d welcome with open arms.

      • BiffStroganoffsky
      • 13 years ago

      It wouldn’t be as wasteful from a manufacturing standpoint if it costs less to have the two or three layers in one disc versus three different discs. From that POV, it makes good business sense if you are trying to cover yourself and not become irrelevant should one ‘standard’ fail in the consumer space.

      • Inkedsphynx
      • 13 years ago

      Yea, instead of costing 33 cents, they’ll cost 39 cents.

      Oh noes!

      *rolls eyes*

        • Proesterchen
        • 13 years ago

        , and #6, too: I didn’t mean the wasteful in terms of production costs, though they’ll probably be more than a couple cents in the beginning, but rather in terms of total capacity of the disc vs. the used capacity for any one playback standard.

          • Inkedsphynx
          • 13 years ago

          So what? Why do I care how much space is on a disc if I’m buying a movie?

          Stop thinking like an elitist bastard and start thinking like an average consumer.

            • Proesterchen
            • 13 years ago

            q[

            • Inkedsphynx
            • 13 years ago

            Loss of image quality….

            Find me something with BETTER image quality (that’s available to the average consumer) than HD discs. If you’re Joe Schmoe and you go from a DVD to a High-def disc of any type, do you really think they’re gonna sit down on the couch to watch whatever movie they’ve selected and go “I can’t believe these idiots are wasting half the space on this disc by making it a hybrid format! Gee, I wish the image quality was better, because this only looks 15x better than my old DVD. I demand 20x the performance!”?

            Get real and open your eyes. Joe Consumer doesn’t care. He just wants to watch High-def movies without having to pay 1000$ for a disc player and then have to choose between one format, which means half his favorite movies are unavailable to him unless he spends another 1000$.

            • crichards
            • 13 years ago

            Please tone down your aggressiveness. This isn’t Toms.

            • jroyv
            • 13 years ago

            I second that crichards just beat me to it… And it could be wasteful if we have to pay Sony royalties on every disk….

            • Inkedsphynx
            • 13 years ago

            Tone what down? Proesterchen’s idiocy? Wish I could. Doesn’t work, it’s been tried many times.

            Don’t like it, don’t read it. What he is staying is ridiculous.

            • jroyv
            • 13 years ago

            I think the ‘point’ is you should be able to make your ‘points’ with out the aggressive name calling.

            • Inkedsphynx
            • 13 years ago

            I think rabid fanboys should die. They don’t, as evidenced by Proesterchen still posting.

            Guess we don’t all get what we want.

            • ripfire
            • 13 years ago

            You think that he should “die”? Yeah. Sure. That was a mature response.

            • Inkedsphynx
            • 13 years ago

            Yes, because I obviously meant it literally. *rolls eyes*

            • ripfire
            • 13 years ago

            Oh I’m sorry. I was aiming for the “Poor Choice of Words” category.

            • Inkedsphynx
            • 13 years ago

            You missed. Wasn’t a poor choice of words. Was a quite common expression that isn’t always mean literally. That is, unless you’re going to go reply to post #22 and troll him as well.

            • Proesterchen
            • 13 years ago

            q[

            • Shintai
            • 13 years ago

            Bad mood today Inkedsphynx?

            Got something for you:
            §[< http://www.apa.org/pubinfo/anger.html<]§

            • Inkedsphynx
            • 13 years ago

            What makes you think I’m angry in any way?

            *laugh*

            So you’re saying I have an anger problem because I like to tell people who are saying stupid things that they ARE saying stupid things, and because I like to do this even moreso when it’s a Fanboi + Troll such as Proesterchen.

            Right. Keep on trucking Shintai. If this is anger, than I’d hate to see me angry for real. I might turn a little green.

            • Proesterchen
            • 13 years ago

            q[

            • moose17145
            • 13 years ago

            so is faboism… OOOoooOOOOooooo!!!!!!! Now answer my question about putting a dual format disc in a dual format player darnit! ZOD MUST KNOW!!!!!

            Edit: Here, watch this while you are busy answering my question for the all mighty ZOD! §[< http://collegehumor.com/video:1734223<]§

            • Proesterchen
            • 13 years ago

            So what am I according to you, an anti-hybrid-disc fanboy?

            • moose17145
            • 13 years ago

            sure why not, but this still does not answer my question…

            §[< http://collegehumor.com/video:1733377<]§

            • Inkedsphynx
            • 13 years ago

            I attack you personally because you are an idiot. Every thread I see you post in you spout of fanboy-bullcrap.

            I find it hilarious that in this day and age you can’t call someone an idiot without apparently being all full of rage and anger.

            Right now I am laughing, you’re an idiot, still laughing. See that? No anger here. So, whatever.

            • Proesterchen
            • 13 years ago

            q[

            • Inkedsphynx
            • 13 years ago

            Do you read? I’ve stated multiple times in all these replies exactly what exactly I found idiotic.

            Whatever, I’m done with it.

            • Proesterchen
            • 13 years ago

            q[

            • Proesterchen
            • 13 years ago

            q[

            • Inkedsphynx
            • 13 years ago

            Who says that there won’t be room for extras and additional footage? And how exactly are they going to improve the image quality? I was under the impression that these formats would be bottlenecked quality wise by your TV, not by the size of the disk. Again, as I said, you’ve got to talk about what’s available to the general public.

            Hell, most people don’t even have HD-capable tv’s yet. It’s just been recently that they’ve become “affordable” (and I say that knowing most average people won’t spend 500+ on a tv).

            I would personally rather see one format win out over the other, but I’d take hybrid discs OR players. I think it’s more feasable that the discs become hybrid than the players though, at least in the short term, since BRD and HD-DVD players are still way too expensive.

            Your original point is that Hybrid discs are wasteful. How would a hybrid drive not be wasteful? I’d have to pay a price premium for both lasers to be included in the drive, and I’d be getting no additional content out of it.

            Hybrid discs would be the cheaper of the two, solution wise.

            • Proesterchen
            • 13 years ago

            q[

    • Inkedsphynx
    • 13 years ago

    So now we have to wonder which is more likely:

    One format wins out ala Beta vs VHS

    or

    Both formats are here to stay, but become mass-marketed to consumers via hybrid discs that will contain movies in both formats, essentially giving consumers one format.

    One of the two has to happen, because we all know these technologies will not take off so long as they’re competing with eachother. There’s simply too many of us who will not invest in a format war.

      • Wajo
      • 13 years ago

      I think we’ll just have hybrid drives and studios will release their movies in whichever format they prefer..

        • Lord.Blue
        • 13 years ago

        That would be fine with me as long as whenever any updates (for improvement in playback) to firmware for one style of player is made available for all makers to put in.

        • Fighthouse
        • 13 years ago

        or vice versa. Have hybrid discs and a player that plays one format on it. Or both!

          • ripfire
          • 13 years ago

          I doubt Sony Pictures will ever put their movies playable on HD-DVD anytime soon.

      • mistersquiddy
      • 13 years ago

      Beta/VHS were totally incompatible due to the size differences and the (presumed) inability at the time to make a player which could accommodate both. My belief is that hybrid players will become the norm and BR and HD-DVD will co-exist, much as DVD-A and SACD do, albeit at much lower retail volumes. Another example where different but similar formats exist is DVD-R and DVD+R. In the real world co-existence works.

        • Inkedsphynx
        • 13 years ago

        Yes, DVD+R and DVD-R both exist, but the difference in playing them is just software is it not?

        I have no idea what SACD is, so I can’t comment on that.

        I think Beta and VHS is a comparable format competition because HD-DVD and BRD require different hardware. Granted it’d be much easier to make a hybrid player for them, as opposed to VHS/Beta, but what kind of price premium would we as consumers be forced to pay for that?

        Wasn’t Sony saying that the laser diode for the BRD costs several hundred dollars, or something similar? These players are already expensive as hell, let alone having to pay to add in another laser, since they can’t read both formats, plus additional hardware in the player itself to allow the use of differing lasers.

        I think, given that hybrid discs are already developed and patented, that they are a better solution, at least for the time being.

        I personally predict that eventually we’ll have hybrid players AND hybrid discs. The hybrid discs will bring all these movies to the masses, and it’ll basically render the format war obsolete, and the owners of the format copyrights will eventually cave and allow hybrid players to be made, which will then allow movie makers to use the hybrid discs for some other purpose, or not at all.

        How about writing the movie in HD-DVD, and then all the extras on the BRD layer? Things like that I could see taking place.

        (Also, consider the cost of repairing hybrid drives, with 2 expensive lasers in them).

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