'Universal' Next-Gen DVD Players On Way

The missing consumer link in the move to HDTV is a universal DVD player that would accommodate both the new HD DVD and Blue-ray formats. Such a player could be coming soon, thanks to Broadcom Corp., which on Thursday unveiled a system-on-a-chip (SoC) solution that aims to be a foundation for companies looking to build dual-format player.

The Broadcom single-chip BCM7440 Blue-ray/HD DVD SoC features a software stack complaint with both of the warring DVD specifications. Will there be a universal player, Doug Grearson, Broadcom senior marketing manager, was asked. "The short answer is, absolutely," Grearson said. "It helps that the two formats are fairly close to begin with. Once you can read the disks you have reduced it to reading bitstreams."

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Their was news for the same kind of chip from NEC a couple of weeks ago, but they said that there where no "buyer" for the product because of licensing problem in both camps.

Nah im pretty sure sony said something along the lines of:

We will not liscence blu ray technology to multiformat (HD-DVD + Blu ray) drive manufacturers

AFAIK, DVD Forum (HD-DVD) doesn't mind having multi-format players, however Sony from Blu-Ray group is directly opposing any form of multiformat at all. In-fact its in the contract to licence Blu-Ray, that it must NOT be used in multi-format players. Samsung tried to get around it and develop a multiformat player, but Sony threatened to throw them out of the Blu-Ray group if they continued, thus they stopped.

What happened to the thing about Sony not allowing dual format players because of the licensing restrictions of Blu-Ray? Wouldn't Broadcom need to adhere to those restrictions?

I would think that those restrictions are more of a "reverse incentive". If you don't sign this agreement, to not make dual format players, we won't like you and make it more difficult for you. If you sign it then it you will get these components cheaper and a reduce of licensing prices for.. such and such... years.

I don't think they could dictate what people do with legally purchased Blu Ray licences, as long as the security and content rules are still maintained. Sony can't stop people from making devices they want. If Blu Ray's conditions are too restriction on hardware Sony would be making the players on their own.

Think of it like AMD not letting people install Nvidia graphics cards. It simply wouldn't be allowed, but they can make it difficult.

This is good news. I have been holding off on one or the other because of the war and price. I will most likely get the HD-DVD player for the XBOX 360 mainly because it's so cheap. I will not buy a dedicated stb until a dual format box is available. Let's see how the first boxes come out.