HP coughs up surprise update to desktop PC range
Breeds flock of hybrid DVD boxes
HP has quietly snuck through an update to its home desktop PC range with the computer giant now officially shipping its media centre systems with hybrid Blu-ray/HD DVD drives.
The firm has added the drives to both its Intel (m8010y) and AMD (m8100e) processor-powered Pavilion media centre models.
HP's decision to adopt the Blu-ray format, which is already backed by Sony as well as many of the Hollywood studios, alongside high definition DVD could satisfy consumers who are stuck with having to make a choice between the two competing formats.
But HP's notable shift of gears in the high-end market is not limited to consumers.
It also announced today that the firm is to extend its worldwide sales and marketing agreement with Microsoft to push high-performance computing (HPC) into the mass market.
It said the partnership hoped to deliver supercomputing clusters for enterprise and mid-market customers, and reckoned that the adoption of HPC by companies could see easier deployment and support.
The multimillion dollar deal with Microsoft could be significant for HP which is currently sitting in the number two spot for worldwide computer sales.
It said its HPC systems will ship with Windows Computer Cluster Server (CCS) 2003 and will be sold direct as well as through reseller channels as part of the firm's unified cluster portfolio, which includes support on HP ProLiant servers and HP Blade platforms.
HPC vice president and general manager at HP, Winston Prather, said: "We see the addition of Microsoft as an important part of our unified cluster portfolio program to expand the market and bring HPC technology to the mainstream."
Same frequency for both
They're not different frequency lasers - they're both "blue" 405nm wavelength (so 666.7 THz if I remember my physics). Difference is the width of the beam (I think).
Either way, they both differ from the CD/DVD laser
Since these are two different frequency lasers,
I imagine it being a case of rotary-swapping out the lens (and emitter possibly) as appropriate, which is pricy and potentially a small risk of greater chance of failure. But at the same time, consumers in doubt will certainly want t drive that future-proofs! :)
Not exactly scientific, but a quick look through the movies in HMV on grafton street, dublin, shows about 60 to 70% of HD disks were Blu-Ray, but with a good amount of HD-DVD too. They also cleverly stock some in the games area near the relevant consoles, and it appears that, while Sony may not have the best games library out yet, they certainly have the btter range of movies available. Again, this is one shop, and I didn't exactly count them all...
Not too different
IIRC, Blueray and HD-DVD use the same wavelength and are both technically "blue" (405nm) so could use the same laser source. The only difference is the pit size (so width of laser - variable aperture?). Most drives coming out (assuming they're not a hybrid) are catering for different technologies already - CDs and DVDs.
Won't argue that it's not cost-inhibative at the moment, but given a year or so that argument will vanish. Regardless of the 70% figure Blockbuster are not going to sniff at the remaining 30% - they'll rent whatever the studios put out there. And studios are notoriously stubborn with regard to standing by their decisions... Just look at DRM! DVDs continue to be churned out with CSS in it, despite the fact it's been rendered useless. With that in mind, I think we'll see a lot of both discs for quite a while and a retailer would be foolish to ignore it.
We'll also see which is the most "resilient" format - BR is apparently very susceptible to scratches. The bain of rental companies lives??
My money's still on the Chinese EVD format. How about a link, El Reg?
Difference to DVD+/-R
Blu-Ray and HD DVD use different lasers. The DVD+R and DVD-R used the same laser, so it was much easier to produce a dual format plater/recorder.
There is a dual format player, but not recorder and it adds substantially to the cost.
I have a feeling with Blockbuster in the US stating they will only stock Blu-Ray movies for rental the winner has been declared.
According to the news report over 70% of High Def movies rented at Blockbuster were Blu-Ray
Also, this is an interesting article.
Including PS3 and Xbox360 for their respective palyers there are 5 times as many Blu-Ray players as HD DVD players in the US.