Analysis: HDTV, future of DVD, and HDMI.

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Allan, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. Allan

    Allan Guest

    Analysis: HDTV, future of DVD, and HDMI
    Friday, July 8 2005, 12:10 BST -- by Alan Jay

    Digital Spy's Alan Jay analyses the medium-term development of HDTV in
    the UK.

    At a recent Toshiba road show in the US they demonstrated their
    upcoming HD-DVD specification and a few more details became available
    as to what we can expect from the format when it launches in the US
    late (November) this year – it will launch with 89 titles available in
    HD. The audience reaction was very positive to the comparable images
    shown in both standard DVD and HD-DVD.

    The most interesting thing for people buying TVs at the moment is that
    Toshiba have stated that their HD-DVD Player will ONLY output high Def
    on the player's HDMI output (plus other digital connections) the
    analogue output will be downrezed to 480 lines (in the US - expect the
    equivalent, no doubt, in Europe). The Toshiba player will also have a
    USB interface to allow connection to computers for enhanced content
    and interactive options direct off the disk. In addition mastering of
    the underlying DVD content will be based on 1080p - but there was no
    discussion on the resolution of the MPEG4 images.

    The HD-DVD disk will come in 3 sizes when first launched. There will
    be 15Gb / 30Gb / 45Gb disks (single / dual / triple layer) and there
    will also be a fourth variety which will have a SD-DVD version on the
    reverse side of the disk, allowing retailers to have a single version
    of new films on the shelves and allow consumers to build a library
    before they have the equipment.

    These disk sizes translate into 4, 8, 12 hrs using MPEG-4/AVC
    compression. The switch to MPEG4 of course means that the fight that
    is about to break out between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray is one about how much
    content can you offer on a disk. The reality is that for a basic movie
    in MPEG4/AVC the amount of disk space you need is very little more
    than you can get on a current generation DVD 9. How consumers will
    view this with a format war about to break out is going to be very
    interesting to see. The reality is that Blu-Ray will win the computer
    war because it offers greater volumes form day one and for computer
    manufacturers it is a great advantage. But for the consumer it will be
    dependent on other things and only once the machines are delivered
    will we find the answer as to what seems to be taking the lead.

    As you can see Toshiba will be trying to ensure that studios are
    confident in the security that they are offering with HD output only
    being available on the secure digital outputs (HDMI and IEEE1394). So
    once again if you are thinking about buying a HD capable screen make
    sure it has HDMI.

    "Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game
    because they almost always turn out to be -- or to be indistinguishable from
    -- self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time."
    - Neil Stephenson, _Cryptonomicon_
    Allan, Jul 11, 2005
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