Posted by: kurtsh | December 8, 2005

NEWS: The Father of DVD blasts Sony BluRay

In the war between BluRay & HD-DVD, honestly, we really don’t care which high definition format wins.  As long as the format provides the ability for people to use software to best interact with their video investment, we’re happy.
And this is the reason why we and Intel are currently landing on the side of HD-DVD.  HD-DVD provides the following that BluRay just won’t provide in the future.
  1. COPYING:  Or ‘managed copying’ to be precise.  HD-DVD mandates that all content written to HD-DVD enable the end user to copy the content to things like "Home Video Servers" so that people don’t have to own DVD jukeboxes to provide random access to their video collection.  They can just copy it to a big hard drive and play it from there, and just archive the HD-DVD.  BluRay will make this TOTALLY OPTIONAL, meaning that no publisher like Disney or Warner Bros will spend the time or the money to do it.
  2. OVERLAYS:  During director’s commentaries, wouldn’t it be cool to enable the director or whomever’s speaking to mark up the video like a chalk board to point out flaws or mistakes in the film directly on the screen?  That would be a programmatic overlay that could be provided in software and that’s something HD-DVD provides.  BluRay makes this extremely hard to do.
  3. LOW COST:  HD-DVD will be half the cost of BluRay – this includes disc media, the HD-DVD players, the HD-DVD writers/burners, and, for the manufacturer’s, the manufacturing equipment will require simple retooling of existing DVD player & media manufacturing equipment to begin production.  BluRay is a completely new technology that requires completely new manufacturing facilities.
We would probably be more than happy to side with BluRay if they would provide the above allowances but that doesn’t appear to be in the cards in the near future.  But then again, judging by Sony’s track record of coming out with such market winners <sarcasm> like "Memory Stick", "Betamax", "Mini-Disc", "Sony Connect", and now most recently, "Sony DRM" aka "The Rootkit", this should be obvious to everyone which is the better choice.
Obviously Warner Bros, Disney, 20th Century Fox and the other entertainment companies who’re paranoid enough (as well they should be) about their IP being pirated freely over the Internet, are supporting BluRay as the most "copy protected" format on the market. (No mandatory Managed Copy)  Meanwhile HP & Dell are supporting BluRay over the fact that they’re basically rooting against Toshiba their competitor and more eager to appease/kiss-the-butt-of the Entertainment Industry for kudos points.
What does this have to do with Warren Lieberfarb?  He’s the creator and father of todays modern DVD format.  He’s also firmly behind HD-DVD and a stauch detractor of Sony’s BluRay format.  And this is what he has to say about the current battle between the two formats.


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