Remember more than two years ago when Apple CEO, Steve Jobs held the Sony’s HVR-FX1 HDV camcorder up on stage and called it “The year of HD.”
Here we are several years later and, mostly because of the protracted “format war” between HD DVD and Blu-ray, we have been left with almost everyone sitting on the proverbial fence.
The war’s over folks. There’s only one direction to go and it’s been picked for us.
The real irony to Toshiba’s announcement to the end of HD DVD’s future is that Apple had (despite Jobs inviting Sony Chairman Nobuyuki Idei on stage with him) picked HD DVD as the only way for Apple DVD Studio Pro users to distribute HDTV- by putting HD video onto a standard DVD.
This is something Toshiba has also toyed with (as I mentioned before) but, despite the incredible efficiency of the new codecs that make this quite doable, nobody seems to be pursuing it with any real effort.
Toshiba itself developed and released a HDTV on DVD (red) recorder, but the release was limited. Maybe they didn’t want to hinder adoption of their own HD DVD (blue) format. Perhaps, since they don’t need to worry about that any more, they could pursue this HD on red DVD again. At least the media is nice and cheap.
Toshiba’s HD DVD denouement clears the way for every manufacturer to integrate Blu-ray in a big way. One nice feature to starting now is that Blu-ray burners are already down to a few hundred bucks– a far cry from what they were at the outset of this bitter embroilment. There’s no reason for every single desktop and tower made from here on out to not include a Blue-ray burner.
Moreover, with the end of over-the-air broadcast analogue TV, and for the most part, the end of SD TV at home, it sure would be nice to swap out our DVD recorders with Blu-ray recorders. Over in the east, there are numerous HDTV recorders, including those that will let you burn your favorite HD shows to optical disk. Many of these were shown at the Consumer Electronics Show under glass. Decks like this Panasonic Blu-ray recorder also feature internal hard drives for convenient time-shifting of shows. Then you can burn only the ones you really want to keep.
BD-R 4X drives. HE mode in the hard disk recording high-definition one-hour program, the BD-R 4X corresponding to approximately 23 times (about 2 minutes and 35 seconds) can be fast dub, traditional hard disk recording mode DR 1 hour program, and about 8 times (approximately 7 minutes 30 seconds) it is possible to dub.
From a production standpoint, it would be wonderful to have a more affordable HDTV record deck than the $16,000 Sony PDW-F75. For certain productions, we need to be able to record right to media we can hand to a client and be done with it. It’s not going to be HD DVD any more. So, unless Toshiba pursues the HD on a DVD (red) that they already have for sale elsewhere, then we’re all going blu.
Yes. I’m well aware that home Blu-ray recorders are not recording the same thing as XDCAM decks. But with 50 GB Blu-ray disks basically being common media between the two formats there’s little stopping any deck manufacturer from recording a really high bitrate onto the media. I actually prefer cartridges to keep fingers, dust and scratches off the optical disk. I can’t tell you how many DVD’s (which use a much wider and comparatively robust signal) have been rendered completely unplayable by scratches. Sure, you can buff off the top layer of plastic to try and ameliorate the optical imperfections, but I’d rather use a system that prevents all that in the first place. We need it to work reliably, every time.
It’s time for those hardware designers and integrators at the forefront of media technology to move to gear that actually is the forefront of technology. Bring on the Blu.