Obituary: HD DVD 2002-2008
No flowers, please
(Almost) Forgotten Tech Toshiba's decision to end its production of HD DVD players and recorders effectively marks the death of the optical disc format once touted as the natural successor to the phenomenally popular DVD.
HD DVD was born in 2002 out of the apparent unwillingness of Toshiba and a number of other DVD Forum members to back a blue-laser disc format developed by Sony and Pioneer that would that year become known as Blu-ray Disc.
Work on the precursor to Blu-ray stretches back to 2000, with the first prototype players being demo'd in public in October that year at Japan's CEATEC show. By February 2002, the physical spec had been nailed down as a 12cm disc capable of holding up to 27GB of data on a single-layer disc and 50GB on a dual-layer version.
Sony's PDD: Blu-ray in disguise
Nine companies - Sony, Philips, Samsung, LG, Thomson, Hitachi, Pioneer, Matsushita and Sharp - formed the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) to promote the format.
What worried Toshiba and others was Blu-ray's need for a protective disc caddy, rightly considered to a turn-off for consumers. The BDA's response was to state it would move toward a caddy-free system, but the DVD Forum decided to pursue an alternative technology, thereby declaring the format war.
The Forum's announcement came in April 2002 - by August, Toshiba and NEC announced they were working on the technology they hoped would be accepted by the Forum. In May 2003, Toshiba revealed its technology would result in discs that could be manufactured using modified DVD production lines and didn't require a caddy. If forecast a capacity of at least 36GB.
Sony's BDZ-S77 Blu-Ray video recorder
By November of that year, Toshiba's format had been selected by the DVD Forum. The previous summer Sony launched Blu-ray recording in Japan, albeit aimed at data-storage applications rather than consumer uses. It called the format Professional Disc for Data (PDD) and the $3300 recorder unit the BW-F101. It offered both recordable and rewriteable PDDs for $45 and $50, respectively. They could hold 23.3GB of information.
The BW-F101 began shipping in December 2003. Some three months later, Sony began touting second-generation, 50GB disc recorders, this time pitched at consumers and to be launched to tie in with the Olympics.
Fare thee well
HD DVD, we hardly knew ye
About time too...
I'm one of the, many?, people who had decided to wait until the war was over before buying a new player...
So, now to find a decent Blu-Ray player...
The point to all of this?
Can I ask whats the point in half of these spats?
Does it really matter if someone else doesnt agree that blueray/bd/hd-dvd/cd/tape/porn is as awesome as you think it is?
Do you really think that by constructing your point of view in various ways that all of a sudden people are going to stop and go "ahh he is right what a smart little geek this one is"
pointless flame fuelled by an emptiness elsewhere in life Id imagine.
In 5 years time we will have another media format and another 5 years after that, its called evolution.
@Anne van der Bom
How old are you ??? ... I thought I was pathetic coz I'm bolding and working Saturday nites (should have quoted the work part ... getting bored and reading el Reg rather) but I can go reassured seeing that some speak of a wonderful shopping experience, where do you go Harrods (still)? or like most of us HMV & Virgin ... or online, even eBay maybe. And you always go to concerts because listening to music at home is not that a thrilling experience.
I thought the unpacking of a DVD was as the latex wrapping of the bishop e.g. an interesting but lame moment compared with what is supposed to follow.
And yes iTunes Store does not sell because the tune does not come all blistery and stickerish. Oh you bet that iTunes will fail on the movie renting front for the same reason.
Here is an other silly idea: Virgin is launching a new "HDD wrapping" scheme so it can be nervously unwrapped when home, for the really nostalgic ones they may even offer a "burn as you buy",(I've always been amazed by people looking at the recorded face of a CD/DVD as if they'd be able to see/listen to what's on it) and btw I'm proud to announce el Reg is now shipping its daily blistered print copy (for a fee) will you buy it?
But don't worry the HDD wotsit comes with the ability to burn the film 7 times ... so plenty of plastic to waste.
Re: @Michael Compton
I'm not sure what you mean that layers are easier to add to HD-DVD than BD. I still have to see any HD-DVD DL in the market.
BD-RE are pretty cheap nowadays, the price has dropped a lot, single layer discs are going for just over 10 Dollars each here in the States and double layers (50GB) are still expensive but price will drop and quickly (just a year ago one BD-RE SL was 24 dollars).
Also, in the works is a 4L disc with 200GB capacity.
I'm a professional photographer and disc capacity is the thing I'm most interested in and that's why I backed BD since the start. HD-DVD simply was never an option to me.
BD DL = 50GB, HD-DVD DL=30GB, that's 20GB difference: HUGE!