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Home > Interviews > Optical Storage

Monday, February 13, 2006
Interview With Mr Brian Zucker of Dell Concerning Blu-Ray

2. Page 2

Will my standalone Blu-Ray recorder require an internet connection in order to authorize backups of Blu-ray movies?

The specific details of how Managed Copy will be implemented have not yet been completed. However, there will certainly be no requirement to have an internet connection for standard movie playback.

Lately, the HD DVD spokesmen said that the HD DVD Video titles may not be regionally locked. On the other hand, the BDA has announced plans for regional codes for the Blu-Ray Video. How do you believe the distribution of regionally coded Blu-Ray video titles will affect the market success of the Blu-Ray format?

The Blu-ray Disc Association is currently working the specifics behind region coding policies with the member studios to understand the business implications as well as consumer impact.

The availability of affordable recordable/rewritable Blu-Ray media is one of the key factors that will lead to the success of either HD DVD or Blu-Ray formats. Do you believe that the media manufacturers will widely support the new formats anytime soon? What about support from Taiwanese manufacturers?

Pilot lines and early production runs have already started from several manufacturers. The license is being made available to companies in Taiwan as well as the rest of the world to start production efforts of their own. We see good progress on the manufacturing side and predict a great format launch world wide.

PC-related Blu-Ray products (drives) should be aligned to the content security requirements of the Blu Ray Video format. What kind of I/O interface will these products have, considering that the current SATA, ATAPI or USB/FireWire interfaces do not comply with these security requirements?

Industry standard components and interfaces will be used. There will be no need for new, proprietary solutions as that would play counter to the efforts of a new format launch. Data that is transferred over these open interfaces will certainly have to be encrypted in order to protect the content from piracy.

The DVD Forum has also been keen to work with the Chinese in order to deliver a Chinese version of the HD DVD format. Does the BDA plan to proceed with a similar plan for the Chinese market?

The Blu-ray Disc Association is not restricting which countries or companies can obtain licenses or specifications. The goal is to make a world wide format that meets the needs of as many different consumers as possible.

Do you believe that the Taiwanese-backed next generation DVD format, EVD, will be a success or failure and why?

A new optical format needs many ingredients to be successful. It must meet customer needs that include new features and benefits over the previous version, maintain a similar or better cost structure, offer compelling content, and offer support from multiple companies. The development of a format for isolated needs or without industry backing will ultimately only provide a niche solution.

Is there a chance we could see a comboHD DVD/Blu-Ray device before 2007?

A combo device would only prolong a format war that neither the consumers, manufacturers, nor content providers want to see.

Toshiba is the main backer of the HD DVD format, while Samsung has announced that both internal and external Blu Ray drives will be launched simultaneously in 2006 under the Samsung brand name. Could the TSST corporation be for Samsung a mean of access to the HD DVD technology in the future?

Mr Zucker did not answer to this question.

Could you give us an update of the Hollywood studio support for the Blu-Ray?

Currently 7 of the 8 major studios have stated support for the format. This is in addition to the two largest providers of music, Sony BMG and Universal Music Group. The format also has the support of major gaming companies like Electronic Arts and Vivendi Universal Games.

When do you expect Blu-Ray to replace the current DVD format?

Blu-ray Disc adoption will closely follow the penetration of high definition television sets. Other factors such as PC usage for archival and backup needs as well as gaming on both PCs and consoles will help to drive growth of the format. It is really too early to say when a complete replacement will be seen as that is still several years away.

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