JVC Develops Dual Blu-ray-DVD Disc

Company is not saying when the technology will be commercialized.

Also: JVC Develops Dual-Format DVD/Blu-ray Disc

Ha! This is sweet – and exactly what I speculated on after the HD-DVD announcement. I guess they *can* put BD content in front of DVD content. Isn’t light great? And this gives them a leg up on HD-DVD. Why the HD-DVD/DVD hybrid is basically a dual-layer DVD physically, with one DVD layer and one HD-DVD layer, this is a full dual-layer DVD *plus* BD. The HD-DVD/DVD can only hold 15GB HD and 4.7GB DVD – this disc can do 25GB HD and 8.5GB DVD. So studios wouldn’t have to compromise – most releases today are on DVD9, not DVD5. With the HD-DVD hybrid they’d have to turn up the compression and/or make very bare-bones releases. And JVC is working on a 50GB/8.5GB version – so there’d be *no* compromise on either side. Full dual-layer HD and full dual-layer DVD.

I think this is just one more way in which BD is superior to HD-DVD.

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  • cassiusdrow

    I gotta say I don’t know that I understand the point of sandwiching these different formats together. So far we have the SACD+CD combo, HD-DVD+DVD combo, and now the BluRay+DVD combo. Why don’t they just package two disks together or make one side the high-resolution format and the other side the lower resolution format (like a DVD-18 – two DVD-9 disks are glued together)? I think these combo disks will cause more consumer confusion.

    I suppose there may be patent issues involved, or that the $0.30 or so to press a second disk will impact their bottom line that much.

  • megazone

    It isn’t just the disc costs, it the the packaging, ship weight, etc. One of the reasons dual-sided discs never caught on was that the manufacturing yields are poor. Only a couple of DVD-18s were made before they dropped it. The other thing is labeling – companies want to be able to screen print one side of the disc, and consumers seem to prefer it too. I admit that I do – I have some dual-sided releases, widescreen on one side, pan-scan on the other – and I don’t like them as much, having to look at the little label in the middle. Studios seem to have decided it didn’t work too – now when they do two types of releases they usually have two packages. But that requires more shelf space and has its own headaches. And it means sometimes I’ve grabbed the wrong one.

    Hybrid discs are useful for the transition. I think it will reduce consumer confusion, not increase it. You buy the movie and you stick the disc in your player. You don’t have to care if it is Blu-ray or DVD. The same disc works in either player. If you have a Blu-ray deck at home, and a portable DVD player, you use the same disc everywhere. It is one less thing for the consumer to worry about.

    I’d rather have a ‘one-sided’ disc that just works, without worrying about being the right disc, or the right side.

    As for the bottom line – realize the major selling point for HD-DVD is that it costs about $.01-.02 less a disc to press one, compared to Blu-Ray. Companies are spending millions to squeeze *half* a penny off the cost of the discs. It seems silly, but it adds up to big money over the life of the technology and the billions of discs that are pressed. HD-DVDs *only* selling points, really, are production costs – Blu-ray is either the same, or better, in every other regard. HD-DVDs only advantage is that you can use existing DVD pressing machines with a simple die change. So there is no investment in new presses, and currently the pressing cost is lower per disc. And that is enough for Toshiba, NEC, etc, to keep backing HD-DVD.

    Blu-ray is far superior technologically – and while HD-DVD is basically the *end* of the DVD tech curve, Blu-ray is at the start, with a lot of potential. But it is more revolutionary than evolutionary, so there is the higher cost of entry.