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More News From the Battle Front!

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Old 07-11-2007, 01:28 AM   #1
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Talking More News From the Battle Front!

This was lifted from www.allthingshidef.com:

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HD DVD and Blu-ray: If this is (name the day of the week) you better believe there’s lots happening on the raging high def video disc war front.

On the Blu-ray side, the low cost hardware maker Funai is gearing up Chinese production of a Blu-ray deck that will land in the U.S. in quantities of “20,000-30,000” pieces before year- end, reports Consumer Electronics Daily. While best known for its own, bargain-basement Symphonic brand, Funai actually makes products under an “OEM” (original equipment manufacturer) agreement for a bunch of major brands, and will be supplying these Blu-ray players on an OEM basis. How cheap will they be? I’m guessing $299 – the current lowest price for a rival HD DVD player from Toshiba.

Also out of the Blu-ray group, a new summer long promotion (through September 30) offers five free high def discs to a purchaser of any BR disc player from Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Samsung and Sony - the latter ‘s Blu-ray equipped PlayStation 3 also qualifies. Coming from Blu-ray supporting studios Disney, Fox, Lionsgate, MGM, Paramount, Sony and Warner Bros, the titles include: “Babel,” “Black Rain,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Chicken Little,” “The Corpse Bride,” “The Devil’s Rejects,” “The Guardian,” “Hart’s War,” “Invincible,” “The Italian Job,” “Kiss of the Dragon,” “The Last Waltz,” “The Omen,” “Pearl Harbor,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Resident Evil: Apocalypse,” “Species,” “Stealth,” “Stir of Echoes,” “The Transporter 2,” and “Underworld: Evolution.”

The Blu-ray camp has finally resolved the specifications for the extra layer of security called BD+ that will ostensibly keep the high def discs and system un-hackable. Fox, the first studio to announce BD+ support, has reputedly withheld release of new, extra-features-rich titles on Blu-ray in the last couple of months because the studio wanted the content protected by BD+ . The software sniffs out if a player has been tampered with to play bootlegged discs. If it smells something stinky, BD+ will disable the player from thereafter spinning any new disc put in it, though previously played discs will still be viewable on the machine. The technology has been adopted by almost all suppliers of Blu-ray players, as well as chip set makers, and PC applications software developers. Disney, MGM and Sony have also signed off on it, though use on titles remains optional. Warner Bros. previously rejected the revocable technology (as had the HD DVD group) as security “overkill. “ Most Blu-ray players will need a firmware upgrade to handle the new security. If the studios want to keep things easy, and the firmware’s not that heavy, they should just pack it onto any Blu-ray disc that features BD+, at least for a while.

Over on the HD DVD side – Toshiba held a press event last Thursday to tout its recent sales lift (70 percent of all next generation player sales in April and May), to introduce new spokesman Michael Imperioli (“The Sopranos”) and to announce some cool stuff. For instance, those specially promoted (limited time frame) prices for its three current HD DVD players that raised Toshiba’s profile are now the “everyday” prices for the models, starting with $299 for the HD-A2, which puts out 720p and 1080i high def signals. And owners of the current upscale models that also do 1080p - the HD-A20 ($399) and HD-XA2 ($799) – will be offered a firmware upgrade in September allowing playback movies at a 1080p/24 frames per second frame rate, just as the movies were shot and shown in theaters. To appreciate this difference, you’ll also need a video display that can handle 1080p/24fps “native.”

HD DVD content partner Universal Studios announced an increased commitment to interactive content on its titles. Universal’s executive vp Ken Graffeo (also newly appointed chairman of the North American HD DVD Promotional Group) said that every title coming out from his studio in the fourth quarter of 2007 will have “full interactivity” – ostensibly that means with some on-line accessed, downloadable content, too.

And the night before Toshiba’s press conference, we spotted the first of Toshiba’s new Summer line of notebook computers featuring HD DVD ROM drives at the Digital Experience event. The glossy white cabineted Qosmio F45-AV412 offers high def movie playing capability on a crisp 15.4 inch display (1280 by 800 pixel native WXGA resolution) , with the audio tootin’ through Harmon Kardon Bass Reflex stereo speakers with a separate, down-firing subwoofer and Dolby Home Theater technology, at a decent price point of $1,645. Oh, and with its front slot disc drive and rear connections – including HDMI - you can slide this player into a rack of home theater components and use it as your big screen high def player. Also introduced were two larger, 17-inch gamer- oriented models, the Satellite X205-S9349 ($1,999.99) and X205-S9395 ($2,499.99) with five speaker Harmon Kardon systems, fancier NVIDIA GeForce Go 8700 GT graphics processing and other upgrades. Reportedly, all new Toshiba laptops coming in the next few months will boast HD DVD playback.
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Old 07-11-2007, 06:06 AM   #2
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Wake me up when there are more juicy back-catalog movie announcements.
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Old 07-11-2007, 06:45 AM   #3
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Wake me up when there are more juicy back-catalog movie announcements.
Careful saying that stuff, I got flamed by Glow for that
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Old 07-11-2007, 07:14 AM   #4
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This is just more proof that two formats are going to be here for quite some time, if not forever, IMO. I do hope they are because I do not believe in all of this ''Two formats are bad for the consumer BS'' both can and do coexist and I believe they both will survive.
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Old 07-11-2007, 10:08 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by tcarcio View Post
This is just more proof that two formats are going to be here for quite some time, if not forever, IMO. I do hope they are because I do not believe in all of this ''Two formats are bad for the consumer BS'' both can and do coexist and I believe they both will survive.
You and me both. While it is not a common path, VHS and Beta were both around for quite a while. Granted, Beta fell off the map after several years, but I think the two HD formats for DVD will be getting much closer in sales than the tape formats ever were.
But there is still a chance neither HD format will survive in the long run if public acceptance is too slow, or too small.
Maybe the 'winner' will be defined by the last one to die over the short haul.
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Old 07-11-2007, 12:14 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by tcarcio View Post
This is just more proof that two formats are going to be here for quite some time, if not forever, IMO. I do hope they are because I do not believe in all of this ''Two formats are bad for the consumer BS'' both can and do coexist and I believe they both will survive.
Well, assuming we reach a day where all players are under $100 and they are all dual format, its not bad.

Until then, the only consumer benefit is the speed at which prices have dropped.

But there are still some downsides to multiple formats (namely blu-ray sticking around) Consider all the places DVD players are today? This again is why I think HD-DVD is the only choice - the twin format would allow us to use our movies everyplace we currently do today. Without it, consumers will need to upgrade everything everywhere or buy both high def version and dvd version.
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Old 07-11-2007, 12:19 PM   #7
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Well, assuming we reach a day where all players are under $100 and they are all dual format, its not bad.

Until then, the only consumer benefit is the speed at which prices have dropped.

But there are still some downsides to multiple formats (namely blu-ray sticking around) Consider all the places DVD players are today? This again is why I think HD-DVD is the only choice - the twin format would allow us to use our movies everyplace we currently do today. Without it, consumers will need to upgrade everything everywhere or buy both high def version and dvd version.
Don't rely on logical thinking, in this case anyway....
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Old 07-11-2007, 02:04 PM   #8
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Beta *could* have stuck around if it had a 4 hr. recording time. Sony engineers and execs didn't understand the importance of that, especially in America (football games).
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Old 07-11-2007, 04:27 PM   #9
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Hack proof, my ass. There are guys who hack into the Pentagon's computers for laughs. Do you really think they're going to let this challenge go by? I fully expect to see "Blue Ray FiRmwAre hAck" on Bit Torrent soon after the new models are released.
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Old 07-11-2007, 05:31 PM   #10
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Omegaman:

I could not find the actual article you pasted from in that link. Do you have a link to the actual story so I can bookmark the part about the BD+ disabling players? I want to have it for ammunition when Chris says it is BS again like he did before. I had already posted links but the more PROOF the better.

Thanks!
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Old 07-11-2007, 05:42 PM   #11
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"If man can make it, man can break it." --somebody

Anyway, that allthingshighdef site is an eyesore!
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Old 07-12-2007, 04:11 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by mystic7 View Post
Hack proof, my ass. There are guys who hack into the Pentagon's computers for laughs. Do you really think they're going to let this challenge go by? I fully expect to see "Blue Ray FiRmwAre hAck" on Bit Torrent soon after the new models are released.

Most hackers see comments such as "hack proof" as just asking for it to be hacked. If it lasts until the end of the year without being hacked or modified I'll be amazed.
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Old 07-12-2007, 05:43 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by PFC5 View Post
Omegaman:

I could not find the actual article you pasted from in that link. Do you have a link to the actual story so I can bookmark the part about the BD+ disabling players? I want to have it for ammunition when Chris says it is BS again like he did before. I had already posted links but the more PROOF the better.

Thanks!

They aren't going the route of disabling players even though that can be done!!!

just more fud being spread.

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Old 07-12-2007, 06:46 AM   #14
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Call it FUD all you want, the fact is it CAN be done, and that is scaring the hell out of quite a few enthusiasts. It can't EVER be done on HD DVD, just because they currently have no intentions to do it atm on Blu Ray doesn't mean those intentions won't change later down the line, especially if they completely own the HD format.

It opens a whole can of worms as to what could happen later down the line.
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Old 07-12-2007, 08:00 AM   #15
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samcan07,

"They aren't going the route of disabling players even though that can be done!!!"

I do not own any pirated DVDs, HD-DVDs, software or music and don't plan on buying any in the future. When the prices come down and I buy a BD player, I will not buy pirated BD-DVDs. Wouldn't know where to find them if I wanted to buy them!

But I am not excited about software / hardware in a machine possibly disabling my equipment. In fact this feature alone may keep me from buying a BD player when the price does drop.
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