HD DVD: What’s New?

Posted by James Segars on November 16, 2007 
Filed Under: Format War, HD DVD, Replication

We’ll keep this short and sweet. There are three bits of information that are worth reporting on the HD DVD front today.

1) The DVD Forum has officially approved the triple layer 51gb HD DVD disc: “DVD Specifications for High Density Read-Only Disc [HD DVD-ROM (51G)] Part 1 Physical Specifications, Version 2.0″

2) CH-DVD, the Chinese HD DVD format, has taken yet another step towards the mass market in China through the finalization/approval of their HD DVD logo by the DVD Forum.

3) HD DVD’s main promotional site receives a complete overhaul, and now provides release updates, release calendars, and full disc details among other new features.

Arguably, the biggest piece of news in the realm of High Def Media today is the 51gb HD DVD approval. While many people are quick to point out that the new discs might not be compatible with the current batch of HD DVD hardware, we think it’s equally important to note that there is no official word one way or the other, so there is no reason to speculate at this time. As always we will keep you posted on any further developments. Thanks, Delusional, for the tips.

ChinaHDDVD.jpg NewPage.jpg 51gb.jpg

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13 Responses to “HD DVD: What’s New?”

  1. Kris on November 16th, 2007 2:07 pm

    Great news, go HD DVD! Don’t want to hear anymore of this BS from blu-ray about "but we have more space" even though they don’t use it  unless its for fake picture in picture.

  2. Ryan on November 16th, 2007 4:12 pm

    Realistically the more space argument wasn’t even an issue. HD-DVD, with less space, has accomplished amazing picture & audio capability on par with the best Blu Ray releases. I’m glad the space issue is gone now because it seems folks who don’t know much about either format are quick to point out Blu Ray’s extra space, and then nothing else.

  3. Delusional on November 16th, 2007 4:27 pm

    Cool info on the remodeled HD DVD website!  That is one cool change! :)   I love the "Warning" at the beginning.  :D

  4. Tyler Pruitt on November 16th, 2007 5:05 pm

    BD\’s bandwidth advantage may show itself as important in the future.

  5. Dave Cowl on November 16th, 2007 6:13 pm

    As Tyler notes the key BD advantage is actually bandwidth, not capacity (though obviously they go hand in hand). A larger disc may help with longer movies but realistically this disc, assuming it is compatible, will not help with the lack of lossless audio on releases like Transformers and Shrek 3 – you need more bandwidth to add that.

  6. D on November 17th, 2007 2:47 am

    @ DaveThat’s not exactly true.  Both HD DVD and Blu-ray have sufficient bandwidth to support lossless audio codecs.  It becomes more of an issue in balancing the bitrate for video in relation to audio given each format’s bandwidth limitations.  Studios have the option of decreasing the video bitrate in order to accommodate a lossless audio track if bandwidth is an issue.  This does not necessarily mean that video quality will decrease.  Given the efficiency of the newer VC-1 and AVC video codecs, high quality video was meant to be achieved at lower bitrate as compared to the legacy MPEG-2 codec.  Especially given VC-1′s ability for regional optimizations, a video encoded at a lower bitrate will easily match and may surpass one encoded at a higher bitrate.  Troy Director’s Cut is a perfect example of a great video encoding job while also including a lossless audio track, especially given that the movie itself is over 190 minutes long.Even though a representative stated so, I find it difficult to believe that Paramount decided not to include a lossless track on Transformers and particularly Shrek due to "space limitations" or even bandwidth issues especially given that Shrek is only 90 minutes long.  They may have completely prioritized video or may have thought Dolby Digital Plus (96khz/24-bit) was a better choice for whatever reason they may have decided upon.  Why they decided to do this only they know for certain the reasoning behind such a decision.

  7. Ryan on November 18th, 2007 3:38 pm

    You know reviews of the Transformers disc’s audio abilities have said it sounds as good as anything, you won’t miss lossless audio. Specs are only good for so much, you know?

  8. Tyler Pruitt on November 18th, 2007 8:15 pm


    Good point, 1.5Mb/s 24bit DD+ should be good enough for most home systems.

    I think trueHD/DTS-HD MA/L-PCM really shines with music/concerts encoded @ 96Khz/24bit.

  9. Kris on November 19th, 2007 9:17 am

    Actually it has been pointed out that this 51gigs will inrease the speeds 1.5x which will in turn bring the bandwidth up with that of Blu-ray, so I don’t think your arguement will last for long.. assuming all current HD DVD players will be able to play these 51gig discs or not.. No one seems to have any cofirmation either way and I wish Toshiba would issue a statement about it or something.

  10. Ryan on November 19th, 2007 1:45 pm

    It would surprise me if the current models did not play the new discs, I think most would agree Toshiba has been very generous with their firmware updates, and not making folks buy new players to support the new technologies/features. The PS3 has been impressive in this matter as well, credit due to both Toshiba & The HD-DVD camp, and to the Playstation Camp.

  11. The_Omega_Man on November 19th, 2007 9:02 pm

    The Blu-Boys are running for the Max video bandwidth hills, now that the "Oh so important, and superior" disc space advantage, has been quelled for now!  "The key BD advantage is actually Bandwidth, not capacity,"  need I say more here? Next it will be the primary advantage is the number of PS3s in homes,  then it will be, the 2:1 (Ave.) disc sales advantage (AGAIN), Then it will be………As you can see this really gets old!
    Toshiba and M$ seem to be determined to chase the Blu-Ray camp all the way back to it’s FUD making machine! LOL  They found the "War is over, and Blu-Ray has won!" FUD maker and promptly dis-assembled that one.  Thanks Paramount and DW! =)
    The only winners in this war will be US the consumer, but only if we all buy smart!

  12. Ryan on November 20th, 2007 9:20 pm

    Now if we could only get FOX, Lionsgate & Touchstone/Buena Vista over to the HD side of things … I’d be the happiest person for miles : )

  13. James Segars on November 21st, 2007 11:04 am

    One thing that’s interesting to note is that Disney, as a part of the DVD Forum, actually approved the 51gb HD DVD disc and the triple layered twin disc format.  While some might say that Disney is simply hedging their bets, and they’re definitely not wrong to say so, I think this is further proof that the HD DVD format is a viable option for the studios who are currently Blu-ray exclusive. 

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