Apple sides with Blu-ray Disc in format war

Apple Computer has sided with the Blu-ray Disc Association, as it enters the debate over which specification will become the next-generation DVD format.

Ooh, interesting. Now Dell, HP, and Apple are all backing BD for computing, that’s a powerful combo – Dell & HP are the two largest PC vendors in the world, Apple, of course, has the Mac market – and is a strong player in content creation. And, of course, you have Sony also using BD in their PCs, releasing BD content – and the killer, BD in the PS3. I was concerned that the Xbox2 might go HD-DVD and that could’ve muddied the waters a bit, but the recent news is that the Xbox2 will be using a standard 12x DVD drive and games will be on a DVD-9. They will be using the VC-1 codec for HD content for cut scenes, but won’t be able to playback HD movies. (Except, I’d bet, the special discs like T2 which are WMV9 on a DVD and currently only play on a PC. VC-1 is basically WMV9.)

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  • gweepprefect

    Do you know if the baseline format for either HD-DVD or BD will be 720p or 1080i?

  • megazone

    Both formats will support multiple resolutions – at least 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i. Possibly 1080p, but I’m not sure. 720p is the minimum for ‘HD’.

  • gweepprefect

    I wonder what most content providers will be targeting for their media.

    I’m eyeing a projector upgrade, and 1280×720 projectors are in my price range, but 1920×1080 projectors are not. I don’t know how long it will be before 1080 displays will be affordable.. I wonder if that will play into the decision of content providers..

  • megazone

    Most systems seem to do up and down conversion. Like the HDTV DirecTiVo – no matter the source resolution, you can have it output in 720p or 1080i. Like DVD players that have line doublers to output 480p when the DVD is 480i – or all DVD players which can put out 480i @ 30fps even if the DVD is encoded at 24fps (3:2 pulldown).

    I bet the HD-DVD and BD decks will be able to up/down convert the output no matter the raw encoding on the disc.

  • gweepprefect

    Yeah, everything I’ve been looking at can downconvert 1080i to 720p. It’s debatable which format is better anyway. Interlacing is annoying, especially on motion scenes. 720 lines of vertical, non-interlaced resolution looks pretty damn nice and doesn’t have the venetian blinds effect on motion scenes.

    1080p would be great, but I’ve not heard of anyone even considering to make source material for that. Then it would be the best of all worlds, since all of your content would look that much better when you finally upgraded to a 1080 line display.

    I’m still really curious to see what the introduction of a new format is going to do to the market. Considering DVD was the most popular consumer product ever, it stands to reason that the market may reject new formats, saying “DVD is good enough for us!” It’ll be interesting times, at least.

  • megazone

    I’ve seen some displays that say they can do 1080p – most likely the source would be 1080i media going through a line-doubler, like with DVDs today. I don’t believe the ATSC broadcast standard can handle it, but discs could.