One combo DVD player to rule them all.

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Allan, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. Allan

    Allan Guest

    [January 14, 2006]

    One combo DVD player to rule them all

    (Orange County Register, The (CA) (KRT) Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)
    Jan. 14--Mind not made up on whether to go with Blu-ray or HD DVD for
    your living room? By the time you're ready to buy, the point may be

    Irvine's Broadcom Corp. just introduced a chip that will let the
    next-generation DVD player work with either format. The company
    expects the first combo players to launch late this year. Broadcom
    wants to help consumers avoid confusion and frustration, like the
    consumers who bought Betamax instead of VHS in the 1980s, or sided
    with one of the three incompatible DVD recorders just a few years ago,
    said Don Shulsinger, Broadcom's vice president of business development
    for its consumer electronics group.

    "That is absolutely the strategy behind our efforts," Shulsinger said.
    "(Competing sides) want to make this like DVD-minus and plus. You had
    to think about what media and player you were buying. We want to make
    it so that consumers don't have to worry about the stuff. The whole
    idea of a format war isn't good for anybody."

    There's even a group, The HD Disc Consumer Advocacy Alliance, pushing
    for one format at

    But a two-in-one player isn't as simple as creating a combo chip,
    Shulsinger said. The other parts of the DVD player -- the drive,
    software, the box -- must also be compatible with the two formats. And
    this is no easy task. The formats differ in bit rates, audio formats,
    security and navigation software (Blu-ray uses a Java engine while HD
    DVD uses Microsoft software).

    Broadcom opted to develop the software along with the chip and now is
    trying to interest hardware makers to do rest.

    "Don't forget, it's not just us but the electronics," Shulsinger said.
    "Even though both use a blue laser -- and both must handle red laser
    -- there are differences in terms of aperture of optical size, media
    and bit size. Broadcom doesn't make that, but there are
    (manufacturers) who are working on that."

    The Broadcom technology isn't limited to third-party manufacturers and
    is also targeting Blu-ray and HD DVD makers who want to build in the
    rival format.

    "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, Jan 15, 2006
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