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Friday, December 19, 2008
First Hybrid Blu-ray/DVD Movie Title Announced For Japan


Japanese entertainment softwar

The Hybrid Blu-ray/DVD disc is a combination of a traditional DVD with the new high-definition Blu-ray format. Originally developed by JVC more than two years ago, the disc has a blue laser top layer (25GB); underneath there are two more layers just like an ordinary DVD (8.5GB). The Blu-ray and DVD layers are separated by a semi-reflective film that reflects blue light while it allows the red light to pass through the DVD layer underneath. The disc conforms to the "Blu-ray Disc, Hybrid Format" specifications released by the Blu-ray Disc Association.



The disc itself was produced by Kyodo Television Co., Ltd. and Infiniti storage media Ltd..



The Hybrid BD/DVD disc is compatible with current DVD and Blu-ray players. Infiniti storage media claims that it achieves a compatibility of 99% according to tests made on 64 Blu-ray and DVD players.

The structure of the disc allows for easy manufacturing as well. According to Infinity, Blu-Ray's double layer can be manufactured as double layer, without needing to produce a double line up for discs. The DVD layers of the disc are stacked together with the BD layer.

Using a single layer for the Blu-ray content required the use of a new efficient video-encoding algorithm, since the provided capacity (25GB) was not enough. Provided that the specific title is not very demanding in terms of bandwidth, it was decided to use JVC's "Intelligent HD encoding technology", a technology based on the MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) specifications. According to JVC, the technology compresses a full HD image of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels and 24p/60i into about 12-24Mbps.

However, the first hybrid releases will be quite expensive. Pony/Canyon said that the fist movie package to be released in February would include a set of four hybrid discs (MPEG-4 AVC, Dolby Digital, 534 minutes in total) that will cost around 36,540 Yen ($406), while the DVD version (7 DVD discs, 534 minutes, Dolby Digital) will retail for 23,940 Yen ($266).

More information on the specific releases is available at http://www.ponycanyon.co.jp/ (Japanese).


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