Apple To Back Blu-ray and HD-DVD?

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ThinkSecret claims to have uncovered documents that indicate that Apple may support both the Blu-ray and HD-DVD next-generation high definition DVD formats. Apple joined Blu-ray's board of directors on March 10, 2005, and has been expected to include the technology in future Mac Pros, however the ongoing changes in the HD-DVD / Blu-ray market war may be changing Apple's plans.

Blu-ray has seen stiff competition from HD-DVD, which beat the product to market and has consistently undercut Blu-ray's price point. Another point of interest is that Intel has supported HD-DVD since September of 2005. While ThinkSecret points out that neither format has yet to claim any clear market lead, some still view Blu-ray's trump card as the upcoming Playstation 3.

Blu-ray had initially gained a lot of studio support, but recently Universal Studios has decided to drop initial support for Blu-ray. Warner Brothers, who has not yet officially sanctioned a format, has recently filed for a patent for a Blu-ray / HD-DVD / DVD hybrid disk.

In 2004, Steve Jobs went on record siding with content creators on the topic of high definition DVD burners and the timing of their inclusion in computer hardware.

As the CEO of Pixar [ed note: now part of Disney], Jobs is taking sides with content creators, suggesting that studios not release movies in the high-definition DVD format until adequate copy protection methods are in place. Jobs even suggests that HD DVD burners not be bundled with computers at all, but admits this is an "extreme" scenario.
 

bigandy

macrumors G3
Apr 30, 2004
8,852
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Murka
I'd rather see Blu Ray win this. It's clearly the better product on paper.

However, as history shows us, this doesn't mean it will win :(

Apple supporting both? I think it's a good option to give the customers - it's us who'll decide... But a hybrid drive will be the best bet.
 

mcmadhatter

macrumors 6502
Sep 6, 2005
338
2
Bath, UK
As soon as someone creates a dual format drive all this fuss will die down. It was the same with DVD +/- . Give it a year and NEC will have a dual format drives for both computers and players and no-one will have to decide.
 

JDOG_

macrumors 6502a
Nov 19, 2003
786
0
Oakland
Ick. This whole format war is nasty, but I guess I never understood why Apple decided to support blu-ray over HD-DVD. Seemed like they did it just to go against what Microsoft had chosen. The and the whole Steve wanting crippled hardware for another (his other) company's benefit over computer users...the whole situation stinks.

As a consumer I'm trying as hard as possible to sit this one out. :mad:
 

bigandy

macrumors G3
Apr 30, 2004
8,852
0
Murka
mcmadhatter said:
As soon as someone creates a dual format drive all this fuss will die down. It was the same with DVD +/- . Give it a year and NEC will have a dual format drives for both computers and players and no-one will have to decide.
I'm not sure about what you're saying here, because content producers will still be having to supply the same film in two different formats.

They'll likely drop the less popular format, and thus, we'll have a winner.

DVD +/- is a writing thing. It's not the same, because people don't care where they get their blank discs from as much.


JDOG_ said:
Ick. This whole format war is nasty, but I guess I never understood why Apple decided to support blu-ray over HD-DVD. Seemed like they did it just to go against what Microsoft had chosen. The and the whole Steve wanting crippled hardware for another (his other) company's benefit over computer users...the whole situation stinks.

As a consumer I'm trying as hard as possible to sit this one out. :mad:
Have you read the format specifications? Blu Ray is clearly better (on paper at least), and I'd assume that's the reason they went with it.
 

longofest

Editor emeritus
Jul 10, 2003
2,846
1,394
Falls Church, VA
JDOG_ said:
Ick. This whole format war is nasty, but I guess I never understood why Apple decided to support blu-ray over HD-DVD. Seemed like they did it just to go against what Microsoft had chosen. The and the whole Steve wanting crippled hardware for another (his other) company's benefit over computer users...the whole situation stinks.

As a consumer I'm trying as hard as possible to sit this one out. :mad:
Apple chose sides before Microsoft did ;)
 

marco114

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2001
328
137
USA
Anyone feel deja vu?

It's VHS vs. BETAMAX all over again. Hopefully this time, the superior technology will prevail.

What will hurt the adoption of these is that there are too many standards. DVD came out and it was great. One format and it was easy. All these new emerging technologies will make consumers confused and market availability go down, so people will resort to iTunes. Yea! Better go buy more AAPL stock today. It's goin up after earnings tomorrow.
 

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,923
1,230
Washington DC
bigandy said:
I'm not sure about what you're saying here, because content producers will still be having to supply the same film in two different formats.

They'll likely drop the less popular format, and thus, we'll have a winner.

No they won't.

If (I said IF) everyone can end up buying a player that plays both formats, why would they have to release both formats?

Maybe all Sony movies are on Blu-Ray and all Warner Brother's movies are on HDVD. Everyone can buy either and play them in their dual-player.

That's it. Easy.

I have lots of doubts that it will work out this way, but hey...that WOULD be best, wouldn't it?
 

longofest

Editor emeritus
Jul 10, 2003
2,846
1,394
Falls Church, VA
bigandy said:
I'd rather see Blu Ray win this. It's clearly the better product on paper.

However, as history shows us, this doesn't mean it will win :(

Apple supporting both? I think it's a good option to give the customers - it's us who'll decide... But a hybrid drive will be the best bet.
Bluray is clearly better, and TDK (I think) is definitely doing an incredible job of pushing disk capacities through the 200 GB roof (with multiple layers, and increasing the single-layer capacity to 33 GB). But I heard in this forum that the content creators are still using MPEG-2, which while H.264 and WM9 is fully supported in both Bluray and HD-DVD, only HD-DVD is using the advanced codecs. So, the end result is the studios aren't using Bluray to its full capacity.

If true, I'd like to see studios stop being stupid and start using the better technology. But another BIG problem I see with bluray right now is that it is so darn expensive. There is a 2:1, and sometimes a 3:1 price difference between them and HD-DVD. I don't have over a grand to spend on a Bluray player, and I don't want to wait a decade to get one either...

Small White Car said:
No they won't.

If (I said IF) everyone can end up buying a player that plays both formats, why would they have to release both formats?

Maybe all Sony movies are on Blu-Ray and all Warner Brother's movies are on HDVD. Everyone can buy either and play them in their dual-player.

That's it. Easy.

I have lots of doubts that it will work out this way, but hey...that WOULD be best, wouldn't it?
Warner looks like they will put movies out on the hybrid disks, so if you have a blu-ray player, you can play it, and if you have an HD-DVD player you can play it. Same end game. The problem comes when you have a studio like Universal that only puts out stuff on HD-DVD or Fox that just puts out on Blu-ray. Then you need the universal player.

NEC has developed a chip that can decode both, as you have hinted at. The optical technology is coming along (I saw something on Digg a little bit ago that noted some progress in that arena), but still not there yet.
 

asencif

macrumors 6502
Dec 21, 2005
323
0
The better technology for the future is definitely Blu-Ray, however it may be trying to make it's way too early and that is working against it. Prices are just too high right now for Blu-Ray drives and discs and the PS3 is a gaming system that is just too pricey.

HD-DVD is much simpler and has a more recognizeable name and getting much cheaper which a lot of times is what the consumer market will favor. Right now it's still going to be another 2 years before people start looking away from DVD itself. How many people have a HDTV right now? When I say people I mean non-tech aficionados like us in these forums.
 

krestfallen

macrumors member
Oct 27, 2005
81
1
the ps3 is sony's method to push the blu-ray format.
but the ps3 is delayed since march 2007 in europe and the number of units at launch is not impressive. so blu-ray won't be seen in many europe's living rooms any time soon i think.

so perhaps this could be one hint that hd-dvd could win after all.

edit: i think it's sad because i think blu-ray is the superior format. but look at sony. the hole blu-ray, ps3 and the notebook-akku thing is a whole disaster.
blu-ray is better, theoretically. but it still seem to be beta more or less like everything sony is putting on the market these days.
 

sartinsauce

macrumors regular
Feb 1, 2006
191
0
Los Angeles
marco114 said:
It's VHS vs. BETAMAX all over again. Hopefully this time, the superior technology will prevail.
You know, I was going to suggest that, but I figured it would be over the heads of most of the folks in this forum. Needless to say, we're both grandpa's (grandma's) around here.

Similar characterstics to that format war. Betamax (Blu-Ray) has superior image quality, but VHS (HD DVD) is cheaper to produce. Ultimately, production costs may be the deciding factor in this war. Backward compatibility with (SD) DVD is a nice added bonus, if the manufacturers put decent upconverters into the boxes. What's up with Sony and it's effing production line anyway? Delays, delays, delays. They're full of it these days.

On the way in to work this morning, I was thinking that HD DVD is about to win this war. If PS3 tanks, Blu-Ray may be lost forever.
 

ifjake

macrumors 6502a
Jan 19, 2004
562
1
That comment about not including the burner is interesting, and I'm at least trying to give it some more thoughtful consideration. Who really needs to burn 30 - 50 GB of data? For backup solutions, wouldn't just getting a huge external hard drive be more practical? Portability might be a factor there, but external drives aren't that cumbersome I don't think. I'm thinking that the majority use of those HD media burners would be to copy movies with illicit applications. Could Apple put in place some protection framework that attempted to only allow creative-works-originating software to burn HD discs, (ie, iMovie, iDVD, FinalCut and other pro apps that use full quality, large size files) therefore denying use of a program that takes a quick and dirty imported disc image and burn it to disc, so that you'd have to work around some long and annoying solution to make an illegal copy (ala burning audio CDs in iTunes and reimporting them to strip the DRM) that would deter any easy mass pirating?

More simply, I'm curious of who out there needs to burn 30 to 50 GB chunks of data, too large for a dual layer DVD to hold, and why.
 

juststranded

macrumors regular
Oct 6, 2006
150
0
Being completely serious, the porn industry has a lot to do with it.

VHS vs. BETAMAX, BETAMAX was teh better product, but the porn industry went with VHS and thus forced it into production more than BETAMAX.

Bluray vs. HD DVD, Bluray is better, and teh porn industry has gone with Blueray. I think between all teh competitors and the porn industry Bluray will stick this one out and win it.

Apple may also just be waiting it out a little longer to see which one is looking stronger. Yes, putting Bluray in Macs would help Bluray to win, but if they put them in, and HD DVD wins, there's a few millions Macs out there with onsolete drives in them that can't play the standard HD format disc.

I'll give it 6 months befre Apple chooses one or the other officially to put into their machines.
 

bommai

macrumors 6502a
May 23, 2003
616
250
Melbourne, FL
ifjake said:
That comment about not including the burner is interesting, and I'm at least trying to give it some more thoughtful consideration. Who really needs to burn 30 - 50 GB of data? For backup solutions, wouldn't just getting a huge external hard drive be more practical? Portability might be a factor there, but external drives aren't that cumbersome I don't think. I'm thinking that the majority use of those HD media burners would be to copy movies with illicit applications. Could Apple put in place some protection framework that attempted to only allow creative-works-originating software to burn HD discs, (ie, iMovie, iDVD, FinalCut and other pro apps that use full quality, large size files) therefore denying use of a program that takes a quick and dirty imported disc image and burn it to disc, so that you'd have to work around some long and annoying solution to make an illegal copy (ala burning audio CDs in iTunes and reimporting them to strip the DRM) that would deter any easy mass pirating?

More simply, I'm curious of who out there needs to burn 30 to 50 GB chunks of data, too large for a dual layer DVD to hold, and why.

If Apple wants to sell a lot of movies online and if the movies eventually become 720p or 1080p, users will need big discs like these to backup their movies. Right now I cannot even backup my iPhoto library into one DVD because it is about 11 GB.
 

krestfallen

macrumors member
Oct 27, 2005
81
1
Yannick said:
To me, it would be good news that Apple supports both HD-DVD and BD.
well no, i think that's a bad idea. software has to be pressed on both formats - expensive - prices will increase (not only in the software branch - two holy expensive drives in one mac?)
we need one standard. every format needs a standard.
 

mcmadhatter

macrumors 6502
Sep 6, 2005
338
2
Bath, UK
bigandy said:
I'm not sure about what you're saying here, because content producers will still be having to supply the same film in two different formats.
No they won't they can produce their film in whatever format they like because all players would be dual format so it wouldn't matter, they wouldn't even need those fancy hybrid discs

bigandy said:
They'll likely drop the less popular format, and thus, we'll have a winner.
This could happen though it is unlikely with dual format drives


bigandy said:
DVD +/- is a writing thing. It's not the same, because people don't care where they get their blank discs from as much.
When it was going on it was a big thing, because a lot of dvd Players would only Play one type of disc so if you recorded to + and your friend had - they would not be able to play it

ifjake said:
More simply, I'm curious of who out there needs to burn 30 to 50 GB chunks of data, too large for a dual layer DVD to hold, and why.
I do , I have 140Gb of Photos from my DSLR (and previous digital cameras) putting this on 3 discs rather than 40 discs would be great

I also have 28Gb of music, backing up form itunes to 1 disc rather than 8 would also be useful

External drives are very easy to break beyond repair with osx (3 different NEW external drives, 3 different disk manufacturers disks, and the longest they lasted without dying so badly they needed an RMA was 72 hours) and dvd blueray etc discs take up less space, and you have the possibility of having 3-4 copies.
 

DTphonehome

macrumors 68000
Apr 4, 2003
1,781
2,347
NYC
mcmadhatter said:
I do , I have 140Gb of Photos from my DSLR (and previous digital cameras) putting this on 3 discs rather than 40 discs would be great

I also have 28Gb of music, backing up form itunes to 1 disc rather than 8 would also be useful
So why not just use an external HD?
 
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