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Interesting Blue-Ray developments

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From a posting at ArsTechnica:

Originally posted by kettleoffish:
Nice primer article
That is a terrific writeup.

If the reporting is accurate and some of the bold claims prove to be
true, it's hard to see BR being derailed.

- BR discs will cost only 10% more than DVD initially and eventually
cost less? Is that single or dual layer? With or without cartridge?
With or without the TDK hard coating?

- Single-layer, 25 GB, gives you 135 minutes of HD video, 3 languages
and 2 hours of bonus materials in SD.

- Dual-layer, 50 GB, gives 3 hours of HD video, DTS and 2 hours of HD
bonus materials.

- Resoultion would be 1920x1024? What frame rate?

- MPEG2 is almost a given. Also considering MPEG4 AVC FRExt and VC-9.
Studios think they can get 2-3 times the compression with MPEG4 over

- TDK protective coating demo - sharpie pen ink beads up, wiped away
with cloth.

- Outputs being considered include component, DVI (presumably HDMI too)
and 1393 Firewire 5C.

- Sony has 1500 titles ready to go for HD? Is that only
Columbia-Tristar titles? What happens if Sony acquires MGM-UA?

The reporting suggests BR is way more on the ball than HD-DVD.
Supposedly studios are lining up behind BR "privately if not publicly."
If the disc production cost estimates are true, there would be no reason
why they wouldn't.

The main outstanding issue is hardware cost. Will they only release
recorder units? How fast can they get the costs down towards consumer
acceptance? It sounds like they made a lot of progress on disc costs
(or we've overestimated BR disc costs). So it's not inconceivable they
could get hardware costs down.

For codecs, the interesting question is whether it would be cheaper to
just press dual layer discs (if it's true you can get 3 hours of HD
video with DTS and 2 hours of HD video of bonus materials with just
MPEG2) or pay to license the other codecs. Besides licensing costs,
they'd probably have to pay for more powerful decoder chips, affecting
hardware costs.

And for Sony, there's a strategic issue with codecs. If they refuse
VC-9 put BR on the PS3, MS would almost be forced to use HD-DVD. If
Sony is confident about BR, they could "lock out" MS from BR. Of
course, MS would likely not support BR in Windows then, in which case BR
Consortium members Dell and HP would have to build in BR support
independently of MS. However, Sony is not the BR Consortium so other
members and the studios would surely have a large say in resolving the
codec question.
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