Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sat 5th Jan 2008 04:08 UTC
Multimedia, AV While this might be a bold statement, all things point to this. Blu-Ray was already winning in market share slowly but surely, and today's Warner decision to go BD-only puts the final nails into this HD format war as Warner is the biggest movie distributor. The HD-DVD Group didn't seem to know about Warner's decision and they canceled their CES conference out of the blu tonight, amidst making vague references to possible legal action. My take: I wish Blu-Ray had a region-free policy like HD-DVD does. Living in USA today but one day moving to Europe, it will have an impact in my media library.
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Member since:

I don't think it's the deep pocket reason. Blu-Ray is mostly Sony, Apple, Sun, & Dolby. HD-DVD is Toshiba & Microsoft.

My personal reason for not liking HD-DVD is the specification. Toshiba menu control language and Microsoft Media file for audio and video.

Blu-Ray uses Java for the menu control language; Dolby's AAC audio format. Video is supplied by ITU-T Video Coding Expert's Group (VCEG) & ISO/IEC Moving Pictures Experts Group (MPEG). Thus the audio comes from an expert in audio and the video comes from two groups of experts who worked to gather.

I don't consider Microsoft an expert in video or audio. From having to deal with their software for all these years, I hardly consider them software experts. I haven't looked into Toshiba's control language, so I can't tell if it's better or worse then Java.

To support HD-DVD you need to license Toshiba's control language engine and also Microsoft's media CODACs. Blu-Ray is licensed by the standards bodies and is thus a little more accessible to implementers.

Microsoft created HD-DVD because the group developing the 2nd generation DVD refused to accept Microsoft's Media files as part of the standard. I;m not sure if this was done because the Media Files were poorly designed of if licensing demands came into play.

Reply Parent Score: 12

Alex Forster Member since:

I don't know how accurate the rest of your very charged statements are, but WM9 is quantifiably one of if not the best codecs in terms of quality:size.

Edited 2008-01-05 06:10

Reply Parent Score: 6

nutshell42 Member since:

but WM9 is quantifiably one of if not the best codecs in terms of quality:size.

and h.264 (=MPEG-4 AVC) is quantifiably one of the codecs that's significantly better than VC1 (=WMV9) in terms of quality:size.

The whole discussion is pointless though because both BD and HDDVD support h.264 and VC1. Use whatever you want.

Edited 2008-01-05 13:54

Reply Parent Score: 6

Kelly Rush Member since:

I agree Alex. Having worked quite a bit with WM9 content for compressing videos, I would have to say, it is probably the easiest way to get quality HD content. That's not to say H.264 isn't good (it is also great, actually), but I just find it a lot easier to get content to WM9 via Microsoft's freely-available tools.

Reply Parent Score: 1

ba1l Member since:

I think you have your facts backwards.

For both BluRay and HD-DVD, there are three supported video codecs. MPEG-2, MPEG-4 AVC, and Microsoft's VC-1.

Most earlier BluRay titles used MPEG-2, but newer BluRay titles and virtually all HD-DVD titles use VC-1.

In terms of audio, both formats support AC-3, DTS and LPCM, the same as DVDs. HD-DVD requires support for several more advanced audio codecs, including two high-quality lossess variants, while those same formats are optional on BluRay. Even so, both disc formats support the same audio codecs.

Also, there was no "group developing the 2nd generation DVD". There were two separate efforts, one by Sony and one by Toshiba. The DVD Forum, who maintain the original DVD spec, also maintain the HD-DVD spec, so HD-DVD is actually the "official" successor to DVDs. BluRay exists because Sony and several associated companies weren't happy with the DVD Forum's control of the DVD format, and wanted to control the replacement themselves.

The interactivity stuff on HD-DVDs was developed by Microsoft, not Toshiba.

Reply Parent Score: 12

Eugenia Member since:

Well said. The two formats are almost identical, with Blu-Ray only having some edges in storage etc, while HD-DVD is region-free. But as I said, overall for the casual viewer, the two formats are pretty much identical. There's no "better and worse", neither Microsoft is "bad at codecs". This was simply a strategic war, not a technology one.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Moochman Member since:

BluRay exists because Sony and several associated companies

If by "several associated companies", you mean everyone except Toshiba and NEC, then you are correct.

P.S. Sony and everyone else on the Blu-Ray Disc Association are also members of the DVD Forum.

Looks like you ought to do a little fact-checking yourself....

Edited 2008-01-06 15:56 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:

You realise that WMV9, aka VC1 isn't controlled by Microsoft; its an SMPTE specification - WMV9 happens to be an implementation of the VC1 specification:

Side issue; BluRay's specification includes VC-1 support (aka WMV9).

Edited 2008-01-05 08:09

Reply Parent Score: 2

baadger Member since:

To be more specific, VC-1 is a standard largely built by Microsoft based on their original WMV3/WM9 codec (Which existed before VC-1).

Microsoft later pushed out Windows Media Video 9 "Advanced Profile" which fully conforms to the said SMPTE VC-1 standard.

Many people don't know that Microsoft's original WM video codec was based on a broken implementation of MPEG4 ASP. The multiplexer for .asf files was then hacked and gave rise to DivX v3.xx and the popularity of MPEG-4 in the AVI file container we see today on peer to peer networks.

Reply Parent Score: 2