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01-19-2011, 10:28 PM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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I know there were a few HD DVD-R drives made (a friend has one in his HP notebook), but were any RW drives (or R DL even) produced before the format died?

It appears Maxell sold RW media, although its likely that was a paper launch.


I wonder how HD DVD-R media would have fared in terms of archiving and longevity vs. BluRay. Too bad it died before anyone could find out.
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01-20-2011, 08:37 AM
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Outside of theory and lab test products, I don't think the HD-DVD format was allowed to exist long enough to see the production of anything like this.

It's really quite sad that Blu-ray succeeded over HD-DVD, because the media is really quite shoddy (replace "oddy" with "itty") in terms of the physical structure. In fact, it was the physical structure of the media that caused the entire format war.

This archived 2007 article explains in-depth: http://www.internetnews.com/storage/article.php/3671091
Refer specifically to this quoted section:
And now it seems the physical layer was also an issue. Mark Knox, an adviser to the Toshiba HD DVD division for Toshiba America consumer products, also denied that Microsoft sabotaged the deal, and said that format structure was non-negotiable with Sony.

"I was told the basic presentation from Toshiba and other HD constituents was 'We're willing to put everything on the table if you are willing to put everything on the table and have our engineering teams pick everything that makes the most sense,'" he said.

That included disc structure, one of the biggest differences between HD DVD and Blu-ray. "The response we got was short and succinct, that disc structure was not on the table, we [Sony] will not discuss it. That put an end to discussions with them being inflexible at that point," said Knox.

There's a reason for Sony's intransigence on the subject. Back in 1995, there were two competing formats called Super Density CD from Toshiba, Matsushita, Time-Warner and JVC, and MMCD, or Multimedia CD from Sony and Philips. IBM came in and acted as mediator, merging the two technologies into what is now DVD. But to do so, Sony caved on the disc structure, costing it billions in royalty revenue.
That MMCD was another absolutely horrible physical construction. With the flimsy structure of these discs, you'd almost think Sony wants the discs to fail in under 10 years.

CD and DVD are the same thickness, but a CD has all of the polycarbonate on the bottom of the disc in a double-thick layer compared to DVD.

CD has an upper foil layer only protected by a thin lacquer. Easy to ruin.
MMCD has two stacked CD data layers, same weak protection. Easy to ruin.
SDCD was basically a "flipper" CD, thus requiring dual polycarbonate layers on both sides, and moved the data layer to the center interior.

The dual polycarbonate with middle data interior + stacked layers + high density write areas is what created DVD.

HD-DVD was simply using higher density write areas with the same DVD structure, and be read by another laser of higher power and wavelength. Both HD-DVD and Blu-ray used 405nm. And it's actually a violet/purple 405nm laser, not a blue one -- but I guess "Violet-Ray" or "Purple-Ray" sounded too sci-fi? You don't get to blue until about 460nm.

A Blu-ray disc is almost like an upside-down CD, with almost all of the polycarbonate on top. But rather than simply have a weak lacquer "protecting" the obviously-important data side, you have a super-thin polycarbonate that's been coated with anti-scratch materials like Durabis. But much like a CD, you can now affect the data layer easily by such nominal forces like pressure from fingernails, or dropping a disc. It's also near-impossible to repair by standard DVD-repair method, where the surface is sanded/re-buffed with machines like an RTI DiscChek.

NOTE: Technically, DiscChek says that you can repair Blu-ray discs, but if you use a machine, you'll understand that it doesn't really work all that well. You're limited in how aggressive the machine can grind/buff, and there's a higher fail rate compared to DVD or even DVD-R (which is technically not supported, and needs somewhat lesser settings compared to pressed DVD).

Because of the density of data, dirt and scratches now become even more of a problem, too. (Granted, this also would have affected HD-DVD, but you could have at least had the HD-DVD run through a DiscChek).

And then to make matters even worse, the laser power/pitch used by Blu-ray requires that a disc hover much lower to the laser assembly. And from what I've read/seen, it's so close, in fact, that the disc can actually impact the laser assembly during normal use. Yes, your disc can actually be screwed up simply by being played as design. How f'd up is that?

Blu-ray won simply by force of marketing and teasing copy protections that never really worked. For example, AnyDVD has long been able to hack most/all Blu-ray protections. Sony screwed you, and they got away with it.

HD-DVD was a superior tech that lost -- and because of that, we all lose.

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06-12-2011, 08:59 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
Blu-ray won simply by force of marketing
Or as the recent BBC documentary mini-series "Secret of the Super Brands" (in episode #1, "Technology") stated, Sony smuggled Blu-ray into homes on the backs of the Playstation 3 console. In fact, this cost Sony more than $3 billion in losses (based on the BBC's reverse engineering of the decks, and pricing components from suppliers), as the PS3 costs more to make than what it was sold for. Sony hopes to reclaim the loss, and turn a later profit, on the licensing of the discs. However, due to the heavy growth of streaming media (which includes HD), that may never happen.

So in a way, even if Sony screwed us, they'll possibly still get their "just desserts" for the fiasco, to the tune of losses in this millions or billions. As the BBC program stated, technology is a huge gamble. Sony "won" the war, but their actual victory is yet to be had. (The BBC program also failed to include the payola to studios, which caused groups like Warner to dump HD-DVD. So $3 billion may be undercutting the actual investment totals.)

HD-DVD was a superior disc format, and consumers/businesses would have picked it under fairer conditions.

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06-14-2011, 02:11 PM
jbd5010 jbd5010 is offline
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BetaMax vs VHS... history always repeats itself. Except original HD-DVD's weren't limited to 60 minutes of video
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06-21-2011, 12:26 PM
Reading Bug Reading Bug is offline
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All the more reason I'll stick with standard DVD for my recording needs. Thanks for the advice.
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