Warner Bros. Says Total HD Discs "Hard" to Push

Even though dual-format high-definition discs could end the war between Blu-ray and HD DVD formats, Warner Home Video says that it will be rather hard for a single studio to push its disc type with both Blu-ray and HD DVD layers. "We're concerned that as the only one publishing on it, it would be hard to make it go. We're still looking at, though. We're still talking to retail, but it's kind of on hold right now," said Ron Sanders, Warner Home Video president. Given that the future of Total HD is uncertain, the chief of Warner's home video business expressed his support for dual-format players, with the hope that shortly they would become more affordable. Popularization of hybrid HD players would of course eliminate the need for universal Blu-ray/HD DVD discs.

Earlier this year Warner delayed the first Total HD discs to 2008. The Total HD project involves pretty complex technologies on the optical disc side as well as custom-made replication equipment, which makes it a pretty expensive initiative. Moreover, there are increased costs of replication, which add several dollars to already expensive Blu-ray or HD DVD discs. Warner has yet to standardize Total HD with both the Blu-ray disc Association as well as the DVD Forum.

Both Blu-ray (data layer 0.1mm from the disk's surface) and HD DVD (0.6mm from the disk's surface) use a 405nm wavelength laser to read data from the recordable media of the discs. Warner's engineers plan to create a disc with a Blu-ray top layer that would reflect just enough blue light for a Blu-ray player to read, but it would also let enough light through for HD-DVD players to ignore the Blu-ray recording and find a second HD-DVD layer beneath. Theoretically, triple-layer DVDs could be created too, if the DVD layer is located on the other side to the Blu-ray and HD DVD layers.

News source: Xbit Laboratories

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All studios should go neutral. They should lose, not us. If players from both formats keep selling, there'll be a point when it will be stupid to abandon one of the formats. The longer it takes to declare a winner, the more players that are sold.

Its not like I could afford either anyway. DVD format is doing just fine for me right now. Until then, may the best HD format win.

This is one reason why I'm waiting another year or so before I start switching from DVD format. I don't want to invest alot of $$ into a dieing technology. I'll wait and see who is ahead of the game next year.

1 format combining two is not the solution, its pitiful really - you're still going to have to choose a format, unless you buy two players and watch it twice ...

As for the format war, competition is usually a good thing - although with companies bribing each other, its hardly ultra-competitive, the only ones who loose are out are those who make a choice now, but that is always the case - buying at the start will always cost you, ask the person who spent £1000s on a widescreen LCD which now sells for less than £400 ...

Do people really want the industry deciding which format to use before going public? I mean I'd rather get two and let the market at least partly decide than leave the decision to corporate execs.

SimpleRules said,
1 format combining two is not the solution, its pitiful really - you're still going to have to choose a format, unless you buy two players and watch it twice ...

As for the format war, competition is usually a good thing - although with companies bribing each other, its hardly ultra-competitive, the only ones who loose are out are those who make a choice now, but that is always the case - buying at the start will always cost you, ask the person who spent £1000s on a widescreen LCD which now sells for less than £400 ...

Do people really want the industry deciding which format to use before going public? I mean I'd rather get two and let the market at least partly decide than leave the decision to corporate execs.

not everyone can afford to invest in a format only to see it lose. in this case, yes, yes we would rather see them pick one. they're both HD, they both look great, and the rest is fluff

dagamer34 said,
And this is why we should only have one format in the first place.

Too bad it'll never happen. It'll require companies to give up their vendor lock in fetish and actually create products based on what meets customers needs rather than trying to force people by virtue of a format war.

So far in NZ, I've seen neither side win; BluRay movies are pretty much dead in the water and I've yet to see HD-DVD appear on the scene.

kaiwai said,

Too bad it'll never happen. It'll require companies to give up their vendor lock in fetish and actually create products based on what meets customers needs rather than trying to force people by virtue of a format war.

So far in NZ, I've seen neither side win; BluRay movies are pretty much dead in the water and I've yet to see HD-DVD appear on the scene.


the xbox hd-dvd is all over the place, but i have only seen one store with the movies (blu-ray and hd-dvd)

Don't have the thousands free to spend on HD stuff, I'd rather be warm this winter. Most people are being financially stretched at this time and the choice between pretty electronic junk and living on the street is a pretty easy choice. Economically, it's just not worth playing their games to see which one "Wins" since it means a loss to the consumer's pocket book. Check back with the rest of us in a couple years after we have finished being de-ARMed by our mortgages.