The Media Guru

Feb 25, 2008


Blu-Ray DEFEATS HD DVDThe last format war is over. HD DVD has been defeated by Blu-Ray. Everyone had seen this coming, except from Toshiba…

HD DVD - Rest in PeaceWhy HD DVD died?
There are several reasons to explain HD DVD’s demise… but it actually narrows down to two things - the movie majors & the PS3.

HD DVD vs Blu-Ray Comparison ChartTechnically, Blu-Ray is superior to HD DVD. It’s twice more in size - 25/50GB compared to 15/30GB. & it has a faster data transfer rate. But HD DVD is more user-friendly since it’s region-free & is much much cheaper than Blu-Ray. & it has Microsoft’s HDi interface…
In terms of add-ons, Blu-Ray favours users with more movie bonuses since it has more space to store them, while HD DVD rules with its user interactivity system (Microsoft HDi).

LG Dual-Format PlayerFor once, it wasn’t the consumers who decided which HD optical disc won the format war. After losing the VHS v/s Betamax war, Sony couldn’t afford another defeat & it decided to bet everything on Blu-Ray - by making Blu-Ray standard on all PS3s - a highly risky bet. Albeit PS3s are not that cheap, but they contributed significantly to Blu-Ray players overall sales. Toshiba on the other hand, was betting on the early-release of its HD DVD players.

Harry Potter vs TransformersAfter almost a year of stalemate, whereby Blu-Ray kept its steady ascent in sales while HD DVD players kept getting cheaper… a major breakthrough came through the movie studios’ decision to stop dual-format sales. Sony managed to entice Warner into the Blu-Ray camp for an undisclosed sum (reports put it at $400 Million!). HD DVD meanwhile decided to radically slash prices, with some players being sold at $99. When Wal-Mart, Best Buy & other retailers followed Warner Studios, everyone knew it was over. & finally Toshiba declared HD DVD officially dead on the 15th of Feb.

Blu-Ray LogoThe winners:
Sony - Sony has managed to keep itself from going bankrupt & can now bring in the royalties. & the PS3 is looking to cash on that!
Movie Studios - They can finally focus on a single format that offers better protection than HD DVD.
Consumers - The format war was ultimately a great thing. Prices had massively been cut down. But now after the war, Blu-Ray players will still be sold at the same price.

The losers:
Toshiba - Toshiba has lost everything. With HD DVD dead, it’d take quite some time for the company to recover.
Consumers - Everyone who bought HD DVD players must be cursing themselves. & it will take some time to crack Blu-Ray’s BD+ protection!

Check the whole story on Engadget…
& conspiracy theories that Sony bought off Toshiba...
[Wiki] Comparison of the two formats
[Wiki] The format war

What’s next?
Holographic Versatile Disc (HVD)The format of the future is the Holographic Versatile Disc (HVD) which can hold up to 3.9TB (3900GB) of data! I know you must be thinking that who would need such a gigantic amount of storage, when the biggest hard disk you can buy is just 1TB! But technology changes faster that you can say “huh?” - just like this 40Gbit/s connection in Sweden.

HVD DiscHVD belongs to the next generation of storage media - 3D optical data storage. DVDs are considered 2D while HVD uses holograms. Holograms use several layers of images to make an image appear 3D - just like those shiny “genuine” holograms that display different images at different angles (More on holograms here). In the same way, on a multi-layered disc, we can burn 3D data by using two different lasers made to reflect at different angles.

Read with Wiki for the technical details.

HVD uses two different lasers - red & green. While red is the most used laser in the world, & blue is just round the corner, there’s a huge lack of green lasers. So actually, it will require some time for the green lasers to be commercially viable before we see a public version of the HVD. But with the dawn of laser TVs & handheld micro-projectors, cheap production of green lasers has been on fast track. So finally, the next 3D optical format war may take place within the next 5 years…

Or the next format war may NOT take place!
Fastest Internet Connection in the WorldAgain using the example of the 40Gbit/s connection in Sweden (the world’s fastest - 5GB/s), that has been put into the hands of a 75-year old woman! The connection uses a normal fibre optic cable with a new modulation technique which allows data to be transferred directly between two routers up to 2,000 kilometres apart, with no intermediary transponders.

GiFi - 5Gbps!!!Another example is GiFi. Researchers at the Melbourne University have managed to achieve speeds of up to 5Gbps (0.63GB/s) on a new wireless chip. The device has a short-range like Bluetooth, but uses only a 5mm square chip & a 1mm antenna that uses less than 2 watts of power! GiFi operates on the unused 60GHz frequency & is expected to have a cost-per-chip of $10. Watch out for the future demise of Bluetooth.

Kizuna 1.2Gbps Satellite& finally... Japan has launched the Kizuna satellite that promises Internet speeds up to 1.2Gbps for Japanese islands… Not a total of 1.2Gbps… but a 1.2Gbps connection for each user. & unlike fibre optics, it is not affected by natural disaster - only a receiving antenna is needed.
[via Gizmodo]

3D Image of WWWAll of the above point to a single thing - the future of content distribution doesn’t lie in traditional media like DVDs, Blu-Rays but on the Internet. Tomorrow, we will not be buying HD discs, but rather downloading them off the Web with our ultra-fast internet connections. With a 40Gbit/s connection, you can download a DVD in 2s... but only if we can afford such a connection… an utopia for most people!

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Anonymous said...

very cool

Anonymous said...

must have 40gbit connectionn now! In my town we only get 6mbps and .75mbps up!

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