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Friday, March 11, 2005
CeBIT 2005

13. HD DVD Seminar - Page 2

Next was the Q&A session, with several interesting findings:

A) Stand alone recorders have HDMI interface, but PC drives won't include such a feature. Will there be any additional protection schemes? T. Nedder from NEC Europe, replied that nothing has been finalized, we should wait until 2005, but the HD DVD PC drives can also be used for data storage. It's possible that PC drives may need Internet authendication to playback HD DVD movies, but then again we will have to wait and see the final decisions of the DVD Forum

B) What about a future roadmap? A PC HD DVD-ROM drive can be expected around September of 2005, while a PC HD DVD-R drive around December of the same year. We asked Mr. T Nedder about quoting drive/media prices, nothing can be said with 100% certainty, users should expect the first batch of PC HD DVD-R drives to cost around $500, the PC HD DVD-ROM drives around $300 and the media around 1.3 times the price of current DVD+R DL media. As you can understand, prices are very high for normal users, but since the production cost is high, at least during the beginning, media/drive prices would be higher too.

The DVD Forum expects that the 2nd generation of HD DVD format will reach up to 60GB with the use of double sided, double layer HD DVD (30GB) discs! We assume that this will probably come around 2007~2008.

C) What about the production lines? As we said before, one of the biggest advantages of the HD DVD format is that current DVD production lines can be used for the production of HD DVD format, with of course the corresponding modifications. But what will happen with the 2nd generation HD DVD format? Mr M. Otsuka from Memory-Tech replied, that the DVD Forum has studied the requirements of the Hollywood Studios, as a long term platform for movie use. Its quite possible that the HD DVD Data storage format will have different production line and physical format, so users may be forced to buy new media/drives, within a timeframe of 10 years. We feel that this is absolutetly correct, remember the first generation of DVD players will be able to play DVD-Video content even after 10 years from now, but in the storage area, drives change frequently (DVD±R and then DVD±R DL format, new media/drives...).

D) Is it possible that drive manufacturers could make a drive that would support universally both HD DVD and Blu-ray formats? This was a very interesting question, unfortunately the answer showed the differences between the two formats. Mr. T Nedder replied that such attempts won't be very successful due to the technical difficulties, creating increased costs, which not many users will buy after all. Remember that manufacturers create products that will be sold to the public mass at a reasonable price and not for some hundreds...

E) How can users write High Definition content, since there is no such connection interface (USB/SCSI/Firewire) on desktop sattelite receivers? Again we got the reply, that DVD Forum is discussing this issue with makers of sattelite receivers and by June of 2005, a final decision should have be made.

F) When can European users enjoy High Definition content? According to T. Nedder, the first European TV Channels will offer High Definition content around November of 2005 and especially the Moundial of 2006 in Germany will boost the broadcasting of High Definition content around Europe.

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