Monday, January 07, 2008

Verbatim 2 x HD DVD R-R and HD DVD-RW

Verbatim have just announced their 2 speed writeable HD DVD disks in both -R and -RW formats, meaning that a 15Gb blank can be written in around 30 minutes.

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

Toshiba clinging on

With the news that Warner Brothers are going Blu Ray Exclusive, Toshiba are taking their time to come back with their assesment. However, there are also reumours going around that Microsoft is about to license the Xbox 360 architecture to external companies, such as Toshiba.

A Toshiba produced Xbox 360 with built-in HD DVD drive may change the landscape once more...

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Paramount Movies to be Exclusive to HD-DVD (almost)

Towards the end of August, Paramount Pictures announced that it would drop support for the Blu-ray Disc format and exclusively support HD DVD. This includes DreamWorks animations as well (think Shrek The Third) .

Great news, I'm sure you'll agree! But there's a little more to it than that.

The announcement doesn't include movies directed by Steven Spielberg, but it does include movies with Spielberg's involvement - such as Transformers, which will be exclusive to HD DVD.

But almost immediately there were reports of Paramount being paid by the companies who want HD DVD to be a success, such as Toshiba and Microsoft. $150million was bandied around, but described as an "advertising incentive".

Whatever. We should now see some reall good HD blockbusters on HD DVD over the coming months - don't miss out!

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Web enabled Blood Diamond

For those of you with a Toshiba HD-DVD player plumbed into that Internet, you'll probably be wanting to upgrade to the new firmware on offer from Toshiba. The update is available for the second gen models from Toshiba, namely: HD-XA3, HD-A20, HD-A2W and HD-D2.

Blood Diamond is the first high profile HD DVD movie with web extras, which includes maps, and a couple of online message boards (one for Blood Diamond, and one for Warner themselves). More from the High Def Digest.

You can download the update directly from your player if it's all plumbed in correctly.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

HD DVD suffers rental setback

In the days following Blockbuster's decision to got with Blu Ray in their 1400+ US outlets, HD DVD has been suffering a bit of a setback. Rumours floating around the Internet suggest that HD DVD player sales have dried up almost overnight, with orders for players being cancelled.

If true, this could be disastrous for the fledgling HD DVD format. Although online based rental services will continue to operate with HD DVD alongside Blu Ray, the mass market will be led by decisions such as the one made by Blockbuster.

We will be keeping our eyes and ears open for the HD DVD retaliation!

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Monday, June 11, 2007

HD DVD Selling well.

OK, it's before the Blu Ray boys have had a chance to get their side of the story across, but Team HD DVD claim to have whopping 60% of the "standalone high definition player market" (ie. ignore the PS3 please!) Not too shabby at all. Of course Blu Ray may come and make similar claims, with the PS3 as ammo, but we'll see their numbers soon, I'm sure.

source engadget


HD DVD Player Prices Heading Down

The upcoming second generation Toshiba HD-A2 HD DVD player may see the start of much cheaper HD-DVD players, reports Engadget. Originally appearing on a US electronic website for only $199 (which included $100 off at the point of purchase), HD-DVD players look like they were going to tumble in price (how much did you pay for your Xbox 360 HD DVD player...?)

Unfortunaley, mere hours later, the retailer has upped the price by $100 taking us to a respectable, but not nearly as attractive $299. Still, at the current £ to $ conversion rate...


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Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Secret Numbers...

Shhh! Don't tell anyone, but there's a bit of a revolt going on out there, regarding the secret encryption code used by HD-DVDs. The number, a 16-digit number that is "illegal to possess and disseminate" according to AACS has gained popularity (as far as a number can be deemed popular) as a way of sticking it to the man.

The code can, in theory (and certainly in practice for some), be used to rip the contents of an HD-DVD disk to a PC, allowing a lossless digital copy of an HD-DVD disk to be made. Film studios don't like the idea of that, so went with the AACS encryption model with HD-DVD.

What they didn't foresee (how not?) is that PC based HD-DVD playback solutions such as WinDVD and PowerDVD were inherently weaker than any hardware based players, and provided a way into the code to find the encryption keys. Which is what happened.

Initially the keys were discussed on various forums, but in the last few days they have been distributed all over the place, with AACS trying to send cease & desist orders to anyone breathing the numbers. Unless they've given up already.

And they should. Not everybody who wants rid of DRM wants to pirate disks. They want to be treated as adults. If they need a backup of their movie collection so they can use a movie server, or to stop the kids scratching them, then why can't they? If we're only buying licences, then why can't I swap my DVDs for HD-DVDs? After all I have a licence for the content, I just want it on different media.

Whatever the situation, it looks like HD-DVD is wide open in this respect, and attention is turning to Blu Ray.

The numbers? Well, they're a secret, but if you do this, then you will see the numbers in all their glory:

Go into you favourite desktop calculator (with Hex mode) and put this number in decimal mode: 11497989095545517501. Then convert this to Hex and copy the numbers out. Then enter this number in decimal also: 594852031564777664 , and again convert to hex and copy it next to the first one.

Stick a zero at the beginning and you will have the magic numbers.

Or as a string of decimal numbers, you can have: 09 249 17 02 157 116 227 91 216 65 86 197 99 86 136 192.