News Posts matching "Blu-Ray/HD DVD"

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Microsoft: Lite-On NOT Making Blu-ray Drive

It was yesterday when I first saw the report from DigiTimes, and I decided to wait on purpose before posting it here. First it was the 1st of April, second it sounded too good to be true: "Lite-On IT is developing built-in Blu-ray Disc-(BD) ROM drives for the Microsoft Xbox 360 game console" that will start shipping in the second half of 2008. Well I was right, the unspecified DigiTimes sources have misled a lot of hardware news sites. Microsoft responded today to the rumour with the following statement: "No. Lite-On is not manufacturing Blu-ray drives for Xbox 360. As we have stated, games are what are driving consumers to purchase game consoles and we remain focused on providing the largest library of blockbuster game available ... For our customers who want a premium movie experience we offer the largest library of on-demand HD content available and the ability to play back DVDs in high definition.“ This is the second time when a rumour is spreading around the web that Xbox 360 will get Blu-Ray support, but unfortunately that's also the second time when Microsoft crushes all hopes with a single sentence.Source: TechRadar.com

Plextor Readies New Internal Blu-Ray Drives with LightScribe and HD DVD Capabilities

After our brand new TechPowerUp Reader Survey 08 results, it's time for some news coming from Plextor. The firm has released two new multifunction disc drives that combine next-generation Blu-Ray and HD DVD technologies. I'll start with the more sophisticated model the PX-B920SA, a Blu-Ray and Blu-Ray DL (50GB) burner that plays HD DVD discs and supports high-speed reading and recording of DVD and CD formats, including DVD-RAM and Dual/Double Layer DVDs. The internal drive features 4X BD-R write speed, Serial ATA (SATA) interface, 4MB buffer and Lightscribe disk labeling. Second in order is the PX-B300SA, a multifunction drive capable of only playing both Blu-Ray and HD DVD media, while DVD and CD burning features remain presented. Other than that, the PX-B300SA is identical to the PX-B920SA model. Both drives support Buffer Underrun Proof technology and come with one year full warranty. They are also bundled with a complete package of application software, including InterVideo WinDVD 8, Ulead MovieFactory 5.5 SE, and Burn.Now 4.5 SE. The PX-B920SA costs $599 while the PX-B300SA Blu-Ray/HD DVD reader ships for $499.

Source: Plextor

Microsoft Downplays Blu-ray for Xbox 360

Microsoft has commented that there are still no plans in place to introduce a Blu-ray player for the Xbox 360, despite comments by Stan Glasgow which seemed to hint that such an add-on could be on the way. A spokesperson for the company said:
There are no plans to introduce Blu-ray. In response to Stan Glasgow’s statement that Blu-ray is a possibility for Xbox 360, we have made no such announcement. Games are what are driving consumers to purchase game consoles and we remain focused on providing the largest library of blockbuster games available.
So Xbox 360 owners could find themselves without the ability to watch new HD movies in the coming months as film producers stop selling HD DVDs.Source: Next Generation

Circuit City and Future Shop Allowing HD DVD Trade-In

Circuit City and Canadian retailer Future Shop are both running schemes which will allow owners of HD DVD hardware to trade-in their current players to receive a discount on Blu-ray hardware. An internal memo from Circuit City states:
We do not want to upset our valued customers. For this special circumstance, we are happy to offer an exchange for a Blu-ray player (customer pays any difference in purchase price) - even if it has been several months since the customer made their HD DVD player purchase. If the customer does not want a Blu-ray player, we can issue a gift card refund for their original purchase price. For products purchased in the last 30 days, handle as usual.
Meanwhile, Future Shop is allowing customers to return their HD DVD players between 7th March and 3rd April to receive a $100 discount off either an LG or Samsung Blu-ray/HD DVD combo player – even if their HD DVD player was purchased at another store. However, HD DVD movies are not eligible for a refund or trade-in at either store.Sources: Gizmodo, DailyTech

Sony and Microsoft Discuss Blu-ray for Xbox 360

The Financial Times citing an unnamed senior executive reports that rivals Sony and Microsoft are discussing the possibility of offering a Blu-ray drive for the Xbox 360. Sony Electronics US president Stan Glasgow also noted that the company was holding discussions with both Microsoft and Apple over Blu-Ray. The report even claims that there is also the possibility of an internal Blu-ray drive being incorporated into a new, more expensive Xbox 360 model, as it is already done in the PlayStation 3. Currently all Xbox 360 consoles support the HD-DVD format only, but since Toshiba abandoned production last month, Microsoft has no choice but to reconsider Blu-ray as vital step forward. Microsoft refused to comment on the story.Source: The Financial Times, GameSpot

Paramount Moves to Blu-ray

Given that Toshiba has now officially discontinued its HD DVD business, this news acts merely as an extra nail in the format’s coffin. Paramount has become the last of the big six Hollywood studios to decide upon Blu-ray, saying:
We are pleased that the industry is moving to a single high-definition format, as we believe it is in the best interest of the consumer," the statement reads. "As we look to (begin) releasing our titles on Blu-ray, we will monitor consumer adoption and determine our release plans accordingly.
Universal, Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Studios and Warner have already made the switch to Blu-ray, which looks almost certain to become the dominant high definition format for the next few years.Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Toshiba Responds to HD DVD Claims

Toshiba has responded to claims that it plans to give up on the HD DVD format with a rather half-hearted statement that seems to neither confirm nor deny the speculation. The firm released a statement saying:
The media reported that Toshiba will discontinue its HD DVD business. Toshiba has not made any announcement concerning this. Although Toshiba is currently assessing its business strategies, no decision has been made at this moment.
However, it certainly doesn’t sound like a strong denial given that Toshiba at no point gives any indication that it is still backing the format. So there may be a slight glimmer of hope for HD DVD owners, but things still look rather bleak.Source: Neoseeker

Toshiba to Give Up on HD DVD

Following closely on the heels of news that both Netflix and Wal-Mart plan to drop HD DVD support, it looks like Toshiba, one of the key firms behind the format, is planning to do the same. A company source is being reported as saying:
We have entered the final stage of planning to make our exit from the next generation DVD business.
An official announcement is expected to come within the next few days, and it is estimated that the move could see Toshiba suffer losses of hundreds of millions of dollars. This is likely to put an end to the HD format war, with Blu-ray, backed largely by Sony, looking almost certain to overcome HD DVD, which had powerful names including Toshiba and Microsoft supporting it.

Update: Toshiba denies the reports:
"The media reported that Toshiba will discontinue its HD DVD business. Toshiba has not made any announcement concerning this. Although Toshiba is currently assessing its business strategies, no decision has been made at this moment."Source: Reuters

Plextor Launches New Combo Blu-ray/HD-DVD Drives

Plextor has introduced two new combo HD-DVD/Blu-Ray DVD ReWriter drives, the PX-B920SA and PX-B300SA. The Plextor PX-B300SA is a dual-layer internal DVD drive for PCs which can read BD-ROM media at up to 6x and HD DVD-ROM at 3x. The drive can also write DVD+R / DVD-R at 16x, DVD+R DL / DVD-R DL at 4x, DVD+RW at 8x, DVD-RW at 6x, DVD-RAM at 5x, CD-R at 40x and CD-RW at 24x. In addition, Plextor has included LightScribe technology to both devices, enabling custom text and designs to be printed/burned onto discs. The PX-B920SA shares the same above specs, but is also a highly versatile Blu-Ray writer, writing BD-R (SL/DL) at 4x, BD-R (SL LTH) at 2x and BD-RE (SL/DL) media at 2x. Both drives utilize SATA connection, and 4MB of data buffer. They are also covered by Plextor’s Fast Warranty Service (2-year warranty in the EU, Norway and Switzerland (Collect & Return); other countries 1-year carry-in). Expect the PX-B920SA and PX-B300SA to be widely available at the end of this month.

Source: Plextor

HD DVD Believes Format War is Far From Over

Even with the tide apparently shifting in Blu-ray Disc’s favor, the HD DVD camp isn’t about to relent in the on-going high-definition format war. HD DVD still commands a significant portion of exclusive content and the most affordable hardware, giving the format a fighting chance. One part of HD DVD’s new strategy is on lower prices and selling the hardware’s ability to upscale regular DVD movies.Source: DailyTech

Xbox 360 Could Back Blu-ray

According to Albert Penello, group marketing manager for Xbox hardware, the Xbox 360 console could be equipped with a Blu-ray add-on in the future if HD DVD fails to take off. Penello said:
It should be consumer choice, and if that's the way they vote, that's something we'll have to consider. I fundamentally don't think this has a significant impact on Xbox 360 versus PS3. You can't say it's not a bummer, not a setback, but I've seen this battle declared over so many times. I want consumers to have a voice in this and I think there are a lot of consumers who bought HD DVD who are going to have a say in how this shakes out.
Source: Reg Hardware

Warner Bros. Opts for Blu-ray Exclusivity

The HD disk market has seen another twist with the news that Warner Bros. plans to make all of its high definition film releases exclusive to Blu-ray. The movie label is claiming that the decision was a strategic move, saying:
The window of opportunity for high-definition DVD could be missed if format confusion continues to linger. We believe that exclusively distributing in Blu-ray will further the potential for mass market success and ultimately benefit retailers, producers, and most importantly, consumers. A two-format landscape has led to consumer confusion and indifference toward high definition, which has kept the technology from reaching mass adoption and becoming the important revenue stream that it can be for the industry. Consumers have clearly chosen Blu-ray, and we believe that recognizing this preference is the right step in making this great home entertainment experience accessible to the widest possible audience.
Warner Bros. will stop releasing HD DVD movies in May this year, and any movies it does release before that cut-off will be initially launched on Blu-ray and released on HD DVD after a “short window.” This news follows Paramount and DreamWorks announcing that they would release movies exclusively on HD DVD four months ago.Source: DailyTech

Firm Developing 1TB DVDs

An Israeli firm known as Mempile is currently working on a new form of DVD called TeraDisc DVDs, which will offer 1TB of permanent storage on a single disk. The company has already managed to develop a disk capable of storing half a terabyte, and expects the 1TB disks to become available within the next few years. The disks, which are made of a polymer similar to Plexiglas, use powerful red laser technology to read and write, with a second laser which tracks data. The technology works by writing bits at the molecular level, which changes the color of florescent molecules in the disks. The main advantage of this method over current technologies such as HD DVD are that it has far less background noise, allowing it to read and write to hundreds of layers without any deterioration. The company plans to launch a 700GB version in 2011, with an expected price of around $30 per disk – although the DVD drives required to play them could set you back between $3,000 and $4,000.Source: COMPUTERWORLD

Michael Bay Accuses Microsoft of Conspiracy

This is rather unusual story, at least for me, but according to a statement made by Michael Bay, producer of Transformers, Armageddon (1998) and other movies, Microsoft wants both HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc to fail "so they can be heroes and make the world move to digital downloads."
That is the dirty secret no one is talking about. That is why Microsoft is handing out $100 million dollar checks to studios just embrace the HD DVD and not the leading, and superior Blu Ray. They want confusion in the market until they perfect the digital downloads. Time will tell and you will see the truth.
I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For them to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks! They were progressive by having two formats. No Transformers 2 for me!
The story will finish with your opinions?Source: TeamXbox

LG 6x Blu-Ray Burner Available in Korea

LG has officially today announced the release of the first Blu-Ray/HD DVD Super-multi DVD burner capable of writing at 6x on Blu-Ray media. The new GGW-H20L is the successor of the currently available GGW-H10N Super-multi Blue Blu-Ray /HD DVD combo drive. Basic specifications include a SATA interface, support for Lightscribe, 6x burning for BD-R media using the CAV (Constant Angular Velocity) writing strategy, 3x HD DVD-ROM reading (15GB and 30GB), 16x writing for DVD+/-R media and 40x for CD-R. Another strong advantage of the new drive is the support for 4x BD-R DL (50GB) burning, which means that you will be able to write approximately 46 GB of data in less than 50 minutes. Currently, LG is the only ODD maker that offers drives compatible with both Blu-Ray and HD DVD formats. The new GGW-H20L drive will be available in the Korean market first and LG has not confirmed yet confirmed its availability overseas any time soon. It will sell for W490,000 (U.S. $526), almost the half price of the company's previous Super-multi model. HLDS also plans to release a Blu-Ray/HD DVD ROM drive (GGC-H20L) with Lightscribe, keeping up with the demand for more affordable drives for entertainment PCs.Source: CdrInfo

Wal-Mart Offering Sub-$100 HD DVD Player on Friday

Following a sudden price war between retailers to offer the lowest price HD DVD player (which Best Buy is currently winning at $180) Wal-Mart has gone one better than the competition to offer the Toshiba HD-A2 at just $98.87 this Friday as part of its ‘Secret In-Store Specials’. However, you might want to get to Wal-Mart early (the offer starts at 8:00 a.m.) if you’re interested, because the company does comment that this deal is only available while stocks last and it will not be offering the discount in all stores. Wal-Mart’s regular price for the HD DVD player is currently $198, so this is a saving of almost $100.


Update: here is a link to the Wal-Mart page pictured above, you should be able to check if your local store will be offering this promotion by clicking on the HD DVD player's picture.Source: DailyTech

HP Adds Blu-Ray, HD DVD options on Select Pavilion Desktops

HP on Friday quietly updated its Pavilion media center PCs with the option of mixed-format Blu-Ray and HD DVD drives that let the towers read either format without fear of their becoming obsolete. The d4995t, as well as the system builder's m9000z and m9000t Pavilion Elite models, all have the option of two HD-ready optical drives. A basic version of the drive is capable of full Blu-Ray burning but will only read its rival HD DVD format. A top-end drive will write both formats. Both drives also incorporate HP's LightScribe feature for burning a label graphic directly to each disc; each also records to legacy CD and DVDs. The cost of the upgrade varies depending on the system, but typically adds $250 for the more limited combo drive and $400 for the dual-format burner.

Source: Electronista
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