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NEC Ships Hybrid Blu-ray/HD DVD Chipset

ah802
10-10-2006, 01:03 PM
In what sources are describing as the first serious attempt by a major electronics firm to bridge the arguably short technology gap between Blu-ray and HD DVD, NEC Electronics revealed to the Japanese trade publication AV Watch today that it is now shipping an LSI chipset that incorporates all the logic necessary for manufacturers to produce either HD DVD or Blu-ray players and recorders.

http://www.betanews.com/article/NEC_Ships_Hybrid_BlurayHD_DVD_Chipset/1160501022

two-chip set are now available at 10,000 yen (about $83.55 USD), with mass production expected to begin by the end of the fourth quarter of 2006. The company, according to the translation of the AV Watch article, expects to ship 300,000 units per month by next April.

Hum.. with that many order in the que, something is about to give.

BobY
10-10-2006, 07:46 PM
I don't think this chipset really speaks to hybrid players much at all. The big difference between HD DVD and Blu-Ray has nothing to do with the logic, they both read 1080p/24 data off the disc, decode it with the proper codec and transmit the signal for display.

The real difference between the players is the optical system which reads the disc layers and recovers the data. NEC could sell this chipset to HD DVD makers, BD makers or hybrid makers, but I'm not sure it would make it any easier to build a hybrid player. I suspect that with the proper optical front end and firmware, a HD DVD player could play Blu-Ray discs and vice-versa.

ah802
10-10-2006, 09:12 PM
"In today's market, if an LSI manufacturer produces a Blu-ray-only or HD DVD-only chip, it automatically limits its outreach to half the market. So many of next year's players and recorders from NEC's customers could end up being tuned to play one high-def format, even though they contain both the logic and the laser diode for the other format."
If there is not agreement between the formats, manufacturers could design a hybrid, but implement only one side.. but offer retro flash code when or if there is a settlement to allow a hybrid. Of course this flash code will leak.. and sales will zoom as both sides gasp a sigh of relief.

The scary part is the AACS scheme, every time you open the tray=$

µCOM-4
10-10-2006, 10:00 PM
Ricoh has the hybrid OPU covered. Now all we need is for somebody to make the players.

Revolv
10-11-2006, 12:01 AM
I don't think this chipset really speaks to hybrid players much at all.
You know, it's funny - all the Bluray guys are saying that.

Unfortunately for them, NEC was VERY specific in their press release. This chip has been designed specifically for Hybrid players. NEC also said that the format war is causing people to hold back and they want them to be able to buy in confidence knowing that they can play both.

BobY
10-11-2006, 07:06 AM
I didn't see anything in the linked article that NEC said about hybrid players. If you're going to design a chipset, you make it as universally applicable as possible to maximize your potential customer base. Obviously the chips could be used in a hybrid player, but on the logic side of things, probably any chipset that could do either an HD DVD player or a BD player could also do a hybrid player.

The real issue is the OPU--having two separate OPU's, one for each format, is not cost effective. Ricoh's adjustable OPU is the ideal solution--I wonder how that is coming along. I haven't seen anything else about it since the announcement. Without something like that, I doubt you'll see hybrid players, as the cost wouldn't make sense.

borromini
10-11-2006, 02:22 PM
We haven't seen any further announcements or product plans based on Ricoh's technology because I believe current licensing/NDA agreements prevent the making of any actual hybrid players.

Revolv
10-12-2006, 03:20 PM
NEC issued a press release in Japan that was very specific that this was the market they were after... They wanted to bridge the gap.

Another story in Digitimes today said much the same thing. http://www.digitimes.com/MailNewsSites.asp?ID=26625&Cat=510

Nobody's stopping Ricoh - they'll be proceeding to market.

The restrictions that Sony have placed on BDA manufacturers is that they can only build hybrid players, but no HD DVD -only players.

BobY
10-12-2006, 04:19 PM
Can you post the link to the press release? There's nothing in either linked article about hybrid players other than wishful thinking on the part of the writers.

Isn't it the DVD Forum that is unwilling to license hybrids?

borromini
10-12-2006, 07:35 PM
...Nobody's stopping Ricoh - they'll be proceeding to market.

The restrictions that Sony have placed on BDA manufacturers is that they can only build hybrid players, but no HD DVD -only players. I second BobY's request...haven't seen any such info from reliable sources on Sony and the DVD Forum allowing hybrid.

Revolv
10-12-2006, 11:34 PM
Can you post the link to the press release? There's nothing in either linked article about hybrid players other than wishful thinking on the part of the writers.

Isn't it the DVD Forum that is unwilling to license hybrids?
Sure - here it is... Their press release:

http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.asahi.com%2Fbusiness% 2Fupdate%2F1007%2F002.html&langpair=ja%7Cen&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&prev=%2Flanguage_tools

Quote "The inconvenience which the standard dispute brings if is cancelled, it is good news in the consumer."

"But as for NEC the HD camp, NEC electronics where we would like to expand the customer participates in both camps."

"In the next generation DVD, the HD camp and the BD camp have disputed extremely, but as for the consumer there is a possibility of trying “it will win and to ascertain group”, “after all the manufacturer which produces the hybrid machine promptly wins”, that there is also a viewpoint."

ie. They would like to increase consumer participation in the adoption of HD by eliminating the format war...

There are specifically addressing the hybrid player market...

Revolv
10-13-2006, 08:33 AM
....crickets...

BobY
10-13-2006, 09:24 AM
I'm not trying to argue with you--whether NEC is targeting Hybrid players or not doesn't matter to me, but just to play devil's advocate, the translation is so tortured that it could be interpreted any way one wants.

"The inconvenience which the standard dispute brings if is cancelled, it is good news in the consumer."

No question ending the format war would be good for consumers. That's not saying that NEC is targeting Hybrid makers.

"But as for NEC the HD camp, NEC electronics where we would like to expand the customer participates in both camps."

Here they are talking about the customer of NEC Electronics, i.e., the people who they want to sell chips to, not the consumer. They could just as easily be saying they want to expand their sales by selling the same chipset to both camps.

"In the next generation DVD, the HD camp and the BD camp have disputed extremely, but as for the consumer there is a possibility of trying “it will win and to ascertain group”, “after all the manufacturer which produces the hybrid machine promptly wins”, that there is also a viewpoint."

Here it sounds like they are addressing the consumer's dilemma as to which system might win and would therefore be safe to buy into--pointing out that a hybrid machine solves the problem. No big revelation and hard to interpet as NEC targeting hybrid manufacturers--more like encouraging them.

ITALIAN926
10-13-2006, 09:01 PM
I absolutely will not buy any HD movie hardware of software until the war is won or theres a hybrid. I'm one of the industy's best customers, they better listen to me :) :D

Revolv
10-13-2006, 10:02 PM
I'm not trying to argue with you--whether NEC is targeting Hybrid players or not doesn't matter to me, but just to play devil's advocate, the translation is so tortured that it could be interpreted any way one wants.Clearly...

Anyway, you asked for the story to prove what I had said and I gave it to you - job done.

If you don't want to believe it then fine...

Frankly - this isn't Nostrodamus we're dealing with here, so it's rather simple:

"The inconvenience which the standard dispute brings if is cancelled, it is good news in the consumer."
This means it would be good for the consumer if the inconveniences, caused by the format war, could be alleviated.

"But as for NEC the HD camp, NEC electronics where we would like to expand the customer participates in both camps."
We NEC, want more people to buy movies in both Bluray and HD DVD...

"In the next generation DVD, the HD camp and the BD camp have disputed extremely, but as for the consumer there is a possibility of trying “it will win and to ascertain group”, “after all the manufacturer which produces the hybrid machine promptly wins”, that there is also a viewpoint."
The format war is a bitter fight, consumer shouldn't have to guess who will win or wait it out; we feel that the manufacturer who puts out a hybrid machine will be the real winner of the war.


Now, they have gone to all this trouble talking about "hybrid players" (by NAME even) in their Press Release, FOR this new CHIP - and YOU want to convince people here that that is not their target market and they were just aimlessly blathering in Japanese but didn't MEAN IT??

Ok, hombre... whatever ;)

mfabien
10-14-2006, 04:09 AM
Hybrid players, I don't believe it will happen

It would require 2 trays, 2 blue laser lights. The reading distance is different, the disc thickness is different. It would take a monster size machine...

ITALIAN926
10-14-2006, 05:00 AM
Hybrid players, I don't believe it will happen

It would require 2 trays, 2 blue laser lights. The reading distance is different, the disc thickness is different. It would take a monster size machine...

Never say never.. wasnt the first VCR the size of a piano? Theres one certainty in technology.. hardware shrinks over time. Even the current HD players are HUGE . In the future , they will be slim, and eventually be portable.

mfabien
10-14-2006, 05:24 AM
Never say never.. wasnt the first VCR the size of a piano? Theres one certainty in technology.. hardware shrinks over time. Even the current HD players are HUGE . In the future , they will be slim, and eventually be portable.

Best solution, buy one of each.

Combos (DVD/VCR) have always been lacking in durability. Same with your proposition, if it's done, eventually, doubt it will be problem free. Some internal components will be wired for both operations and somethings will simply not work as intended.

Toshiba and Sony have worked years to develop their players... how many years will the other manufacturer research and test their hybrid ???

paulc
10-14-2006, 07:53 AM
Very much from a consumer standpoint, hybrid players just perpetuate a bad situation. If you gave me one, I'd sell it. I'm not adding one cent of revenue until there is one and only one standard. All I'm trying to do it vote with my wallet, and that's really the only thing the commercial interests are going to pay real attention to. If NOBODY would buy players or discs, bingo, there's be one standard right quickly.

Anyway, hybrid players do NOT mean that there still won't be a "war" because you'll still have discs made in one, the other or dual releases (BD and HD). All factors guaranteed to keep prices high.

borromini
10-14-2006, 12:13 PM
I'll assume you're extremely patient. ;)

BobY
10-14-2006, 12:34 PM
Actually it's not that difficult to build a hybrid. Worst case, if you needed two Optical heads, they could both be mounted to the same tray (that's actually how HD DVD started until NEC developed an OPU that could produce/read both red and blue laser wavelengths from the same head.).

Even that can be avoided if Ricoh produces the variable OPU they announced, which is capable of reading DVD, HD DVD and Blu-Ray discs.

Revolv-

I think you're definitely misinterpreting the one statement about NEC Electronics. NEC Electronics is the semiconductor division of NEC--they sell chips to CE companies. They don't care whether consumers buy HD DVD or Blu-Ray, they care whether CE manufacturers buy their chips.

Obviously they are encouraging the development of hybrid players to help grow the market, but they *targeting* companies that make HD DVD players, companies that make Blu-Ray players and, if anyone actually does it, companies that make hybrid players. They would be absolutely insane to develop an ASIC specifically for a hybrid player when nobody knows if anyone will build one. We already know that it isn't the technology standing in the way of a hybrid player (Samsung and LG were both well into development if they thought they were going to ship in late 2006, but cancelled their plans due to licensing issues--both the BDA and the DVD Forum have to be willing to license their technology for use in combo players).

Revolv
10-14-2006, 04:21 PM
Best solution, buy one of each.
No way... I refuse to reward the mediocrity that is being turfed out on the Bluray format.

The only releases worth buying on Bluray right now in my opinion are the Warner titles in VC1 - and I can buy those with 5 Gigs extra and more audio options on HD DVD.

I'll do Bluray a favour when the Hybrid players come out.

For me it's either Hybrid players or waiting until those other studios start supporting HD DVD and VC1.

I will not let the bean counters at the Bluray institutions start thinking that they can get away with the garbage they've been releasing so far.

Revolv
10-14-2006, 04:24 PM
Revolv-

I think you're definitely misinterpreting the one statement about NEC Electronics. ...

Obviously they are encouraging the development of hybrid players to help grow the market, but they *targeting* ... companies that make hybrid players.
Hmmm - I think that's what I said too. Doesn't matter to me if other Bluray-only or HD DVD-only players use them as well...

paulc
10-15-2006, 10:03 AM
I'll assume you're extremely patient. ;)

Good point, but not really (sanguine is a better term to use). I do understand that my litany about voting with one's wallet falls mostly on deaf ears. If they did, we wouldn't be in this position. But the realistic chances are pretty close to nil.

Right now I find that I get what I'd consider a not totally unreasonable amount of HD content via cable. I am very content to be very selective about what movies I spend a small fortune to see on the big screen, and am content to be patient about when it hits my HD movie channel.

Someone over at AVS did a great post that I forgot to save, but essentially he said "we're talking about freaking TV here, not a cure for cancer." I try and repeat that to myself whenever I feel getting worked up about any of this stuff... kinda puts some perspective on things.

borromini
10-15-2006, 02:06 PM
...Someone over at AVS did a great post that I forgot to save, but essentially he said "we're talking about freaking TV here, not a cure for cancer."... That's because the AVS poster has never seen an HD-DVD movie projected on a 100" screen! :)

ah802
11-10-2006, 12:53 PM
Sony's lackluster interest in dual/hybrid HD systems, might change by next year when projected sales of blu-ray tank. I'm sure many industry analysts are counting on this to open up the HD market.

http://www.eetimes.com/news/latest/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=193700002

Insiders believe that universal players supporting the standards will be introduced next year, taking some of the steam out of the fight.

BCM7440 supports the all the mandatory audio and video compression standards required for Blu-ray and HD DVD optical disc formats, including H.264 VC-1 , MPEG-2, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Tru-HD and DTS-HD, Broadcom said. The BCM7440 also provides full backwards compatibility for current DVD video titles as well as DVD-R, DVD-VR and audio CDs, according to the company.