Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD

Blu-ray to Win Format War, says Forrester Research:

"It will be a long, tedious war but Forrester Research is convinced that the Sony-led Blu-ray format will succeed in replacing DVD as the next-generation disc. The irony, however, is that by the time consumers are ready to switch digital media may be far more important than physical media. More within..."

[Edit January 14, 2006 - Ha! Blu-Ray machines at CES cost over $1,000 while HD-DVD was $500! Blu-Ray is dead.]

I am pro HD-DVD but the Hollywood people don't know anything and Sony can convince them to use Blu-Ray because of PS3 and Sony Picures etc. It holds more storage which sounds good to Hollywood studio types.

Gates said everyone better get this right since it's likely to be the last physical distribution format ever, as streaming downloads begin to take over. That's actually an argument FOR Blu-Ray because it's bigger! If this is the last format, then make it as big as possible!

I have a friend that says DVD is the last format that will matter. We already don't need a bigger disk format. With MPEG-4 a high-def movie can go on the current DVD format. But his real point is that it's all gonna be on-line anyway.

"The home activity of the future will be very digital, we actually call it the digital lifestyle," he said. "Your music, of course, is already moving away from being on a physical media to just being on a hard disk or streamed across the Internet. My daughter, who's 9, asked me as we went into a record store what a record was, and, of course, she's never seen a record, and five years from now people will say what's a CD, why did you have to go to the case and open something up and you couldn't sequence it your own playlist way; that will be a thing of the past."

Gates continued, "Likewise, even for videos that will happen. The format that's under discussion right now, HD versus Blu-ray, that's simply the last physical format we'll ever have. Even videos in the future will either be on a disk in your pocket or over the Internet and therefore far more convenient for you. You can organize things the way you want and it will show up on all these different devices."

Gates is against Blu-Ray because he doesn't like the copy protection scheme - it doesn't allow making copies to laptops etc. very easy. HD-DVD does, and of course locks the copy to the computer, so it can't be further redistributed. (Gates seems to think that you can't even watch a Blu-Ray movie on your laptop - that the PC wouldn't be granted the rights to even read the disc in the first place. Maybe. I dunno.)

(Also - this is really amazing, BTW, and nobody talks about it - whatever is used will use something like MPEG-4 if not the actual MPEG-4. MPEG-4 is about 10 times better than MPEG-2. So these giant disks will hold an additional 10x more video than the current generation. The DivX people aren't kidding when they say "DivX - the MP3 of video!" I've seen DivX video at 1/10th the size of the original MPEG-2 and it looks terrific. So, if Blu-Ray storage is 25 gigabytes, then that would be about the same as a 250 gigabyte DVD because of the vastly superior encoding.)

From: http://www.blu-ray.com/faq/#1.5:

1.5 How much data can you fit on a Blu-ray disc?

A single-layer disc can fit 23.3GB, 25GB or 27GB.
A dual-layer disc can fit 46.6GB, 50GB or 54GB.

To ensure that the Blu-ray Disc format is easily extendable (future-proof) it also includes support for multi-layer discs, which should allow the storage capacity to be increased to 100GB-200GB (25GB per layer) in the future simply by adding more layers to the discs.

1.6 How much video can you record on a Blu-ray disc?

Over 2 hours of high-definition television (HDTV) on a 25GB disc.
About 13 hours of standard-definition television (SDTV) on a 25GB disc.

I read later that Sony is going to use MPEG-2 on Blu-Ray initially.

I don't understand that.

I don't understand $1,000.00 for a Blu-Ray DVD player.

Sony is a half-dead company. This might be the final straw.