Wal-Mart denies cheap HD DVD deal
Scheme simply hadn't got that far?
Wal-Mart has denied it is working with a Chinese manufacturer to build millions of budget HD DVD players, a move that could prove decisive in the battle with rival next-gen optical disc format Blu-ray Disc.
A Wal-Mart spokeswoman yesterday claimed that a Chinese-language report indicating the retail giant had ordered $300m worth of HD DVD players - 2m in all - from a certain Fukuhiko Electronic - aka Fuh Yuan - was "untrue", according to a PC Magazine story.
The original report also mentioned Chinese company China Great Wall which would, apparently, manufacture the players designed by Fukuhiko/Fuh Yuan. Interestingly, Fukuhiko/Fuh Yuan reportedly put up a statement on its website to the effect that it had indeed won business from Wal-Mart, though when we checked today, the company's server was not responding.
Did the company tell the local press something it should have kept confidential? That's possible. The original Chinese-language story certainly appeared to be sourced through Fukuhiko/Fuh Yuan, and it's hard to imagine it posting a similar claim on its own website if it was indeed "untrue".
Curiously, Wal-Mart's spokeswoman refused to comment on the statement on the Fukuhiko/Fuh Yuan website, saying she could not discuss the retailer's business dealings with suppliers. If Fukuhiko/Fuh Yuan is not a supplier, why not comment?
Because it was - potentially. Fukuhiko/Fuh Yuan later posted a retraction on its website, stating it had not received an order from Wal-Mart but instead had been asked to provide a costing and production schedule for HD DVD players.
In short, it was bidding for Wal-Mart's business, which it had not yet won. Either way, Wal-Mart appears interesting in acquiring a heap of cheap HD DVD players, and even if Fukuhiko/Fuh Yuan fails to win the manufacturing contract, some other Asian manufacturer will.
I don't know how many of you have actually played a HD-DVD, but they have special features and extra content like you wouldn't believe. Not that its really special (Director et all commentaries are no longer just alternate audio tracks, they have a little picture in picture style window that shows the commenter talking, for instance...) The studios, for some reason or other, think that this drivel is essential, so they need the extra room on the HD-DVD to store it. From what I've seen, a typical transcode from HD-DVD to straight H.264 will barely fit on a dual layer DVD, plus it uses some of the more calculation intensive features in H.264 which HD-DVDs do not, in order to sqeeze more quality out of less storage. That doesn't leave a lot of room for footage of the cast eating lunch, or whatever other 'intertesting' content they accidentally record.
From what I've read, Divx is comparable to the H.264 and VC1 codecs that are standard on the next-gen video discs. If you're willing to put up with a 4.5Mbps bitrate for your video then I guess DVDs aren't a bad choice for you.
Plain DVD with DIVX can do HD
I've seen 2 nice quality planet earth episodes in HD on divx quality, that fit on one 4.7GB dvd.
So that's about 2GB per hour to do 1080p HD.
Why is the industry trying to rip us off with those "blu-ray" and "hd-dvd" formats which are expensive and unnecessary, while all they really have to do is to modify a plain dvd player a bit and equip it with a dvi/hdmi output.
Perhaps *this* is what they have done, and it's not really "HD-DVD", but plain divx HD quality-ish DVD, which 'd be fine.