HD on a DVD. Toshiba joins Apple. Wither blue-ray?
It’s well known that both HD optical disk formats (HD DVD and Blu-ray) burn data onto a disk with a blue laser. Well, in a recent Engadget note, they noted that the new Toshiba Vardia RD-A301 conforms to the “HD Rec extension which allows HD DVD format content to be stored on red-laser DVD-R/RW/RAM disks…“
Engadget says this is about 2 hours on a 4.7g disk. Interesting, since Apple’s DVD Studio Pro also records HD DVD video onto a DVD-R, which can be played back in HD DVD players. This was as of version 4.1.2 (this application hasn’t received any big upgrades in a long while.)
So… what’s the point of going to a new optical standard of the same HD content can be put onto existing DVD disks?
Apple currently notes: For playback of DVD Studio Pro 4-authored HD DVDs: a Macintosh computer with a PowerPC G5 or Intel Core Duo processor.
Primarily that’s for the decoding and pixel pushing power. (You really have to wonder why Apple needs a $3000 PC to do what a $98 Toshiba A2 can do- for 1/30th the cost!)
Another thing to consider here is that many people are using legal, commercial software to rip DVD movies onto personal media players of all sorts. Most often, they re-compress the MPEG-2 movie to MPEG-4. Then maybe they reduce it from 720×480 to 320×240 to fit their portable player’s screen and make for much smaller files. In other words, most people are very accepting of lower than “stellar quality” video.
So, do we need 50 gigs of space for a movie?
Or can we compress it with MPEg-4 and put it on media we already have?
For movies, I’d hazzard a guess that the Toshiba Vardia might just be the HD home video solution that tips the scale, while HD DVD and Blu-ray duke it out.
How many Blu-ray or HD DVD home video recorders do you see on the market?
People like to record their favorite programs, either to keep or to time shift.
Thusfar, Blu-ray and HD DVD have only offered us the ability to play content we buy…
…again (VHS, Laserdisk, DVD, …)
The reason the VCR, and today’s DVR / PVR, on-demand, TiVo, Sling, video iPod and the rest really succeed is that they let us watch our content, or record new content, and watch it as we see fit. They are not about selling us new disks.
Neither is the Vardia. And that’s why it may be the winner.