Record set straight on Blu-ray Disc Association’s superior high definition format

Worldwide computer leaders and Blu-ray Disc Association members, Dell, and Hewlett Packard, today addressed the inaccurate information cited by Microsoft and Intel regarding the Blu-ray Disc format.

“From a PC end-user perspective, Blu-ray is a superior format. It offers 67-150% more storage capacity, higher transfer rates, slim-line notebook compatibility, broadband connectivity and a proven interactive layer with BD- Java,” said Maureen Weber, General Manager of Hewlett Packard’s Personal Storage Business in the press release. “The technical merits and consumer benefits of Blu-ray Disc make it the ideal solution for HP’s customers.”

Virtually every computer company that has expressed a preference for a high definition disc format has chosen Blu-ray Disc as the superior format for computer platforms and applications. Top-tier computer brands supporting Blu-ray Disc include, among others, Apple, Dell, Hewlett Packard, Panasonic, Sony and LG.

“Every computer manufacturer in the BDA carefully reviewed both formats and ultimately chose Blu-ray as the superior solution for meeting customer demands and providing the best possible end-user experience,” said Weber in the release. “It is surprising that Tuesday’s announcement is not aligned with that of the vast majority of the computer industry and is contrary to our consumer research.”

Microsoft and Intel’s announcement erroneously indicates that HD-DVD has an advantage in a number of areas. To set the record straight, here are the facts:

• Capacity: Blu-ray Disc’s capacity is 50GB. This will be available at launch for BD-ROM, BD-R, and BD-RE. This is 67% more than HD-DVD’s 30GB ROM capacity and 150% more than its recordable storage capacity — a critical issue for computer users.

• Managed copy: Managed Copy is not a function of the optical disc format, but a function of the content protection system. The AACS content protection system, which is used by both Blu-ray Disc and HD-DVD, enables managed copy and network streaming functionality. It is not format specific.

• Hybrid Disc: Blu-ray Disc was the first format to introduce a hybrid disc that could hold both high and standard definition versions of a movie on a single disc. The Blu-ray Hybrid Disc is the more elegant solution as it holds both versions of the film on the same side of the disc, which provides for easy labeling and greater ease of use for consumers.

• Backward Compatibility: Blu-ray Disc players and recorders can and will support DVDs through the addition of red lasers in the hardware. In order to be backward compatible with DVD, HD-DVD must also include a red laser.

• Interactivity: Blu-ray disc is built on BD-Java, which leverages years of industry investment and experience in the set-top box, PC, and cell phone industries. BD-JavaTM provides a mature, robust platform for authoring and delivering unprecedented interactive capabilities to the user for movies, music, and games. BD-Java was selected over iHD, the developmental Microsoft technology used in HD-DVD. The BDA carefully compared both iHD and BD-J, and concluded that iHD didn’t go far enough in providing a compelling feature set beyond DVD, while BD-J offered studios a much richer palette for providing a compelling interactive HD experience for consumers, particularly when a player is connected to a network.

“We are actively engaged with our customers who continue to tell us that features such as capacity, advanced interactivity, and industry wide support are of utmost importance when considering new optical solutions,” said Kevin Kettler, Chief Technology Officer, Dell, Inc. in the release. “Based on this feedback and a comparison of the two formats, Dell has no doubt that Blu-ray Disc best meets the needs of computer users and provides the type of open industry standards needed to drive innovation and growth of the format across all platforms — consumer electronic, personal computers and gaming consoles.”

Blu-ray Disc is the next-generation optical disc format being developed for high-definition video and high-capacity software applications. A single- layer Blu-ray Disc will hold up to 25 gigabytes of data and a double-layer Blu-ray Disc will hold up to 50 gigabytes of data.

The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) is responsible for promoting and further developing business opportunities for Blu-ray Disc — the next-generation optical disc for storing high-definition movies, games, photos and other digital content. The BDA has over 140 members. Its Board of Directors consists of Apple; Dell Inc.; Hewlett Packard Company; Hitachi, Ltd.; LG Electronics Inc.; Mitsubishi Electric Corporation; Panasonic (Matsushita Electric); Pioneer Corporation; Royal Philips Electronics; Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.; Sharp Corporation; Sony Corporation; TDK Corporation; Thomson; Twentieth Century Fox; and Walt Disney Pictures and Television.

More info: http://www.blu-raydisc.com/

Related articles:
Microsoft backs cheaper, less sophisticated, lower capacity HD DVD over Apple-backed Blu-ray format – September 27, 2005
Twentieth Century Fox joins Apple, Dell, HP, others to support Blu-ray Disc format – July 29, 2005
Poll shows Apple-backed Blu-ray preferred by consumers over HD DVD for next-gen DVD standard – July 14, 2005
Microsoft allies with Toshiba on HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray Disc backers Apple and Sony – June 27, 2005
Apple joins Blu-ray Disc Association Board of Directors – March 10, 2005

41 Comments

  1. Part of the reason that HP and Dell are whining, of course, is that HP & Dell want Microsoft to support them. If HP sells a Blu-Ray DVD drive and Windows doesn’t support Blu-Ray, HP has to bundle some other program to make it work–increasing their costs.

    So you can kiss-off HP & Dell supporting Blu-Ray. Microsoft has spoken and they will fall in line.

  2. The key to why MS choose HD-DVD: “BD-Java was selected over iHD, the developmental Microsoft technology used in HD-DVD.”

    Just like everything else, MS just has to have something proprietary in it so it can call the shots. When Blu-Ray players hit the market I’m gonna buy two, just to do my part in seeing MS choke on their choice.

  3. “BD-Java was selected over iHD, the developmental Microsoft technology used in HD-DVD.”

    That is why M$ supports HD-DVD! Explains everything. And the Blu-ray camp sports an impressive collection of quality companies.

    If HD-DVD wins out, then M$ has more life left in them than i think. If not, then it confirms my belief that they are a diseased and dying company (just like the Galactic Empire in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation).

    Time will tell.

  4. Peter, what if, a big IF, Apple were to include some sort of Blue-ray playback technology into iTunes 6 or 7 for Windows? Then M$ can truly kiss off HD-DVD. We can dream a little, can’t we? ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    MW: within. It’s all within the ream of possibility.

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