Search EMediaLive
Research Center
Blu-ray Disc (BD)
CD-R/RW Drives
Copy Protection
Digital Audio
DVD Authoring Services
DVD Authoring Tools
HD & HDV
HD DVD
HD/DVD/CD Duplication
HD/DVD/CD Media
HD/DVD/CD Printers
HD/DVD/CD Replication
HVD
Packaging
Recording Software
Standards Issues
Storage
The DVD Market
Writable DVD Drives
Services
About EMediaLive.com
Online Advertising
Subscribe to Newsletter
Privacy Policy

Other Related Sites
EventDV.net
Streaming Media
The DVD Writer: Writable DVDs for Blu-ray and HD DVD Video
Posted Jun 7, 2005 Print Version     Page 1of 1
  

Who doesn't like a good fight? In optical storage circles, the latest dustup is between Blu-ray Disc (BD) and HD DVD. Lamentably absent, however, is frank discussion of ways to promote adoption and ease consumer and professional transition into these two (or, ideally, one unified) next-generation blue laser formats. To my mind, seamless evolution requires that, in addition to their own media, BD and HD DVD devices record and play high-definition video (HD) content to and from writable DVD (DVD±R/DL/RW) discs.

It's said that only blue laser technology will suffice for optical disc-based delivery of HD video applications. But not everyone needs to publish big-ticket movies with all the trimmings or capture HD broadcasts in native MPEG-2 form. Using MPEG-4 AVC or VC-1 compression (both required by BD and HD DVD specifications) changes the rules and makes current writable DVDs practical vehicles for many HD tasks. For example, one hour of 720p resolution material fit neatly on a 2.66GB DL (8cm) camcorder DVD, over 100 minutes on a standard 4.7GB, and three hours on an 8.5GB DL—more than enough to capture many broadcasts, hobby HDV camcorder videography, school projects, corporate, institutional, and government training and presentations, kiosks, commercial prototypes, and much more. Even at the high bitrates and 1080i resolution expected from Hollywood blockbusters, these same ordinary writable DVDs record anywhere from 25 to 40 to 75 minutes.

The history of optical storage technology has taught us that new formats are not born innately compatible. Rather, seamless interchange develops only over time as hardware, firmware, software, and discs gradually mature and adapt to each other's idiosyncrasies. So, good intentions aside, early recordable and rewritable BD (BD-R/RE) and HD DVD (HD DVD-R/RW) products will suffer compatibility problems. Obviously, during this painful childhood and adolescence there will be consumer and professional desire and need for a reliable method to record, view, and distribute HD content. And while writable DVD is not without its evils, it's here and relatively dependable.

Beyond writable DVD's predictable recording and playback compatibility are low cost and pervasiveness. BD and HD DVD prices are still up in the air, but it's safe to assume that new manufacturing processes, low production yields, high profit imperatives, a galaxy of patent royalties, and limited competition will keep discs and devices expensive and scarce for some time to come. By comparison, there's a massive installed based of computer DVD burners, new units to be had for as little as $40, and discs widely available for 20 cents (4.7GB) to $4 (8.5GB). Surely the ability to record and disseminate HD content economically is an important way to drive consumer and commercial interest in the next generation of optical disc and digital video delivery technology.

While some existing methods (DivX HD, WMV HD DVD, QuickTime 7, etc.) allow HD content to be stored on DVDs, all of them critically lack universal support and consistency. Thus, to me, not only should BD and HD DVD devices play and record HD content to and from writable DVDs, but do so in the same modes and application formats used for their indigenous BD (BDMV/BDAV/HDMV/BD-J) and HD DVD (HD DVD-Video/VR/iHD) discs. This will ensure that material is always playable (on devices within the same format family) and created and presented in the same way, independent of the type of disc and hardware used. And if no compromise between BD and HD DVD is achieved, there's even the remote possibility of writing bridge DVDs containing BD and HD DVD-compliant material to play on both types of equipment.

Add these features now before next generation products hit the market. The industry will have to act quickly or squander yet another opportunity.

Hugh Bennett (hugh_bennett@compuserve.com), an EMedia contributing editor, is president of Forget Me Not Information Systems (www.forgetmenot.on.ca), a reseller, systems integrator and industry consultant based in London, Ontario, Canada. Hugh is the author of Understanding Recordable & Rewritable DVD and Understanding CD-R & CD-RW, both published by the Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA).

Click Here to subscribe to EMedia Xtra!

Click Here to view Blu-Ray FAQ!

Click Here to view HD/DVD FAQ!
Print Version   Page 1of 1
  
 


ENTER HERE!


Maps in Adobe Illustrator Vector Format
World, continents, countries, states, and city maps in Adobe Illustrator vector format. All fully editable and Royalty Free. Buy and download 24/7.
www.MapResources.com

Add your link here>>

DVD Duplication Equipment, DVD Duplicator, DVD Printer, by MF Digital
Primera Technology - DVD Duplicators CD Duplication and Disc Printers
ProAction Media - The CD / DVD Duplication Service and Equipment Pros
CD Duplicator and DVD Duplicator Experts - Summation
DVD duplicators, CD duplication by Disc Makers
Fast, Accurate CD and DVD Duplication Services from DiscNow
Mediatechnics CD & DVD Production Services
Blank CDs, Blank DVDs from Disc Makers
Tapestockonline One Stop Media Shop - DVD’s, Publishers, Ink, Mini DV and HD
DVD duplicator, CD printer and DVD / CD copier machines from StorDigital
CD Mastering, Audio Mastering from the Soundlab at Disc Makers
DVD Duplicators and CD Duplication Equipment at Octave
DVD Duplication DVD Replication, Dallas, Houston, Boston, Philadelphia