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First Hybrid Blu-ray/DVD Title Announced

Posted by Mehar Gill on December 24, 2008 
Filed Under: Authoring, Blu-ray, Format War, Replication, Software



One of the major advantages HD DVD had over Blu-ray was undoubtedly the ability to have the DVD and HD DVD copy of a movie in the same box. It seemed like a love/hate thing but the DVD Forum heard positive things, with retailers urging studios to continue produces the combo discs as they were a apparent success with consumers. Around the end of the format war hybrid DVD/HD DVD discs were demoed with the ability to have the DVD and HD DVD content on the same side, today that technology hits Blu-ray!

bddvd

Originally prototyped by JVC roughly two years ago, the disc will have a 25GB BD layer along with a dual layer DVD directly above it. The two layers will be separated by a thin semi reflective layer that reflects blue light only allowing red light to enter. The discs will be produced by Kyodo Television Co., Ltd. and Infiniti storage media Ltd. with the first batch of titles being published by Pony/Canon.

To meet size requirements, the discs will use a variation of the AVC codec dubbed “Intelligent HD encoder”, the codec compresses 1080p bitrates down to 12-24Mbps allowing a full 2 hour movie to fit onto a 25GB disc.

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The discs are currently set for a Japanese only release with no word of a US release date, the hopes of the disc’s are to further increase Blu-ray adoption. We figure with the first batch of titles costing close to $406USD for a 4 pack boxset, you might have a tough time.

 

[Via CDR Info]

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Comments

15 Responses to “First Hybrid Blu-ray/DVD Title Announced”

  1. Joel Schaffer on December 24th, 2008 6:28 am

    I am not sure HD DVD / DVD combo discs were an advantage over Blu-ray at that time because the HD DVD / DVD combo discs were plagued by technical issues……….they were often the major complaint from HD DVD owners for both technical issues & keeping the HD DVD prices at or above $34.99

    HD DVDs one SINGLE advantage was cheap players….HD A2s for $99 around Black Friday 2007 and players available for around $199 most of the time….that was the only advantage HD DVD had at that time…IMHO.

    The BDA countered cheap players with free movies incl. w/ player purchase & Buy One Get One Frees on Amazon which the HD DVD group countered with their own free movies w/ player purchase offer etc….

    I got my HD A20 from Amazon w/ 3 free movies from Amazon & 7 free movies in the mail from the HD DVD Group.

    I got my 2nd PS3 from Wal-Mart w/ 10 free movies from Wal-Mart at the time of purchase + 5 more free movies in the mail from the BDA

    THOSE WERE THE DAYS

  2. Scott S on December 24th, 2008 7:32 am

    This would be great news if it didn’t force the BD content to be compressed more to fit on only 25G. I hope this doesnt take off. I would rather have movies less compressed and sold by itself than be compressed more and sold on a combo.

    Not to mention the fact that the HD/DVD combos had all sorts of problems.

  3. Mehar Gill on December 24th, 2008 8:29 am

    @Joel Schaffer -

    I personally believe it was major since it made the argument of “Not everyone has a XXXXX player” less valid. You could buy the combo disc at the store, go home and watch it on yoru HD DVD player, then if you wanted to go over to a friends house with the disc, flip it, and watch it in their DVD or Blu Ray player.

  4. Joel Schaffer on December 24th, 2008 11:13 am

    @Mehar Gill

    and I don’t disagree except that the HD DVD combo discs had numerous technical issues….so for me at that time it was more of a liability than an asset or advantage….often it led to a let down when the disc wouldn’t work

    I hope Blu-ray combo discs do work for the exact reason you point out

  5. Tyler Pruitt on December 24th, 2008 11:17 am

    Scott S,

    These might be best used for TV series, or including a digital copy on a single disc.

  6. webdev511 on December 24th, 2008 12:06 pm

    These discs will be useless. Okay, maybe not useless, but the won’t do much for those of us that have a BD player, because most releases I’ve on BD25 have made a compromise to get there. over compressed video (remove grain/dnr makes the file smaller) and lossy audio are the biggest disappointments.

    Give my my films on a BD50 with a high bit rate encode (VC-1 please) and lossless audio (I prefer TrueHD, but DTS-MA works too)

  7. Dave Cowl on December 24th, 2008 12:13 pm

    They can do BD50 + DVD5 which would be ideal for Digital Copy.

    The HD DVD Combo discs were awful – both expensive to make and unreliable.

    In reality, with BD player prices going the way they are, there is little reason to burden a Blu-ray title release with an SD copy of the movie as well.

    webdev – it looks like VC-1 is becoming more scarce, with Warner being the only studio married to it, and they don’t do high bitrate encodes so I guess your wishes won’t be met.

    Do you have issues with AVC? Almost half the BDs are AVC now…

  8. webdev511 on December 24th, 2008 3:02 pm

    @Dave Cowl
    I don’t see any hybrid format being cost effective. The studios should just do a BD50 and include a DVD with a digital copy.

    @Dave
    No I don’t have any particular issue against AVC, but have encoded (just straight encoders, not fancy tools like AVID or the like) using both. When the bit rates are high, VC-1 looks better, when they are low, AVC looks better. Since I would prefer higher bit rate encodes, it just makes sense to me to use VC-1. If a studio has 50GB to work with, then use all 50GB.

    Blu-Ray has high capacity and is capable of very high sustained transfer rates, so anytime something comes around that implies the use of less capacity and lower bit rates I just through up my hands in frustration.

  9. Ryan on December 24th, 2008 4:13 pm

    This is an awesome development for someone like myself – I enjoy buying the obviously higher quality format, but I tend to watch movies at other folks homes sometimes, and my father almost always asks to borrow discs when they come to visit which leads me into a ‘not compatible’ conversation. The obvious thing would be to have everyone get a BD player, but until then this is nice. Don’t hate!

  10. popeye9000 on December 25th, 2008 6:04 am

    HD DVD had this ability already with the HD DVD/DVD twin format – the Freedom anime series was issued this way. I don’t believe this increased adoption of the format at all, but perhaps if it had been applied more widely it would have.

    I have a large HD DVD collection and have not had a problem with a single combo release. The issues did exist apparently but were greatly exaggerated by the Blu-Ray crowd. There are a lot of folks who greatly appreciate having both HD and SD versions on one disc.

  11. Joel Schaffer on December 25th, 2008 12:53 pm

    @popeye9000

    How many times did you attempt to play an HD DVD combo disc in a DVD player?

    Answer honestly, not out of anger or bitterness.

    BTW: the problem was NEVER playing a combo disc in a HD DVD player only in DVD players. And I never recall these problems being a marketing point of the BDA only from actual consumers across the blogs all over the internet…………and that the combo discs kept HD DVD pricing at or above $35.99 per….

    Personally I own 6 HD DVD combo discs of which all DO NOT PLAY in a SD DVD player…..The Bourne Ultimatum, The Good Shepherd, Hot Fuzz, Dazed & Confused, Fast Times at Ridgemont High & Animal House all show up as Unknown Disc in any SD DVD player.

  12. webdev511 on December 25th, 2008 3:03 pm

    @Joel Schaffer
    I played somewhere around ten combo discs in a standard DVD player. American Gangster, Breach, Invasion, Bourne Ultimatum, Hot Fuzz, Good Shepperd all played just fine on the cheap DVD player at the cabin we rented last summer.

  13. Joel Schaffer on December 25th, 2008 4:48 pm

    @webdev511

    Then you have better luck then I do.

  14. webdev511 on December 26th, 2008 9:34 am

    @Joel Schaffer – Yes, I did, but that doesn’t mean I think they were worth the extra expense. With $150 Blu-Ray players becoming more common, Blu hybrids are a lot less appealing than if players were still $400+.

  15. popeye9000 on December 26th, 2008 1:32 pm

    Originally Posted By Joel Schaffer@popeye9000

    How many times did you attempt to play an HD DVD combo disc in a DVD player?

    Answer honestly, not out of anger or bitterness.

    I not sure why you’d think I’d be angry or bitter – I was just reporting my own experience. I collect both HD formats, by the way.

    I’ve played a few of the combos in on my computer’s DVD drive without problems. Just for grins, I just now tried a couple more at random. They played just fine.

    I’ve never heard that there were problems playing the DVD side before – from anyone. I’ve only heard of issues with the HD DVD side – usually solved by giving them a thorough cleaning. Apparently, something about a residue left over from the manufacturing process.

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