Microsoft Wins a High-Definition DVD Battle.

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Allan, Sep 1, 2004.

  1. Allan

    Allan Guest

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Blu-ray on Wednesday said Microsoft Corp.
    (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) has won the DVD technology group's
    backing of a video compression standard for new high-definition discs,
    marking an advance for the software maker in an emerging consumer
    electronics arena.
    Two consortia, Blu-ray and HD DVD, are competing to become the
    technology for the next generation of DVDs which can store
    high-definition movies and many times the data of today's discs.

    Microsoft is not guaranteed that its technology will be used by movie
    companies and others who produce advanced DVDs since content makers
    can choose any approved standard, but getting approval from a
    consortium is a major step in that direction.

    Both groups, Blu-ray and HD DVD, have now backed three video
    compression standards, including VC-1, led by Microsoft, and the
    MPEG-4 AVS and MPEG-2 standards.

    MPEG-2 is used for digital broadcasts and current DVDs while MPEG-4 is
    an advanced version of that standard. VC-1 is another standard for
    compressing video Microsoft has designed to work best with its

    The Blu-ray consortium includes consumer giants Sony Corp. (6758.T:
    Quote, Profile, Research) , Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.(005930.KS:
    Quote, Profile, Research) and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd.
    (6752.T: Quote, Profile, Research) , while Toshiba Corp. (6502.T:
    Quote, Profile, Research) , NEC Corp. (6701.T: Quote, Profile,
    Research) and Sanyo Electric Co (6764.T: Quote, Profile, Research) all
    support HD DVD.

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    - Neil Stephenson, _Cryptonomicon_
    Allan, Sep 1, 2004
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  2. Allan

    John Savard Guest

    This is very good news, particularly in the case of Blu-Ray.

    Originally, HD-DVD was going to be recorded on disks with the same data
    capacity as a DVD, relying only on improved compression to allow
    high-definition movies to be recorded.

    This was not unworkable, because the MPEG-4 compression standard can
    allow a movie to fit into the 650-megabyte capacity of a CD-ROM with
    quality that, even if it doesn't fully equal the quality of the best
    DVDs, is much closer to DVD quality than to CD-Video quality.

    This would mean that a Blu-Ray disk, in addition to containing an HDTV
    movie at very high quality with MPEG-2 compression, giving its capacity,
    could contain a very large amount of content at the ordinary 720x480
    resolution of regular DVD with MPEG-4 compression. An entire season of
    an old TV series could fit on a single disk.

    Many of the best of the old TV series, of course, would not be made
    available at low cost in such a format, but I'm sure there would be some
    material which would be available that way.

    John Savard
    John Savard, Sep 8, 2004
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