Whither Blu-Ray and HD-DVD?

Many of the regular readers of this forum have commented on the lack of commercial success of SACD and DVD-A, and have looked forward with anticipation to the launch of the new Blu-Ray and/or HD-DVD formats.

The Saturday issue of The Seattle Times carried an article on the technology page, written by two of its reporters covering the CES in Las Vegas, that raises questions about whether either Blu-Ray or HD-DVD will become successful as "hi-def" formats.

According to the article, a company called InPhase (located in Longmont, CO) has announced that is has begun distribution of a new holographic storage disc called the H-ROM. This new disc, which is shipping years ahead of its expected debut, has a storage capacity of 300 gigabytes (5-10 the capacity of HD-DVD or Blu-Ray), and is read by the same type of red laser used for CD's and DVD's. The data transfer rate for the H-ROM is 20 MB per second.

InPhase is currently shipping the discs to to companies that are developing consumer devices that will use the H-ROM, and it anticipates that professional systems using the H-ROM to go on sale later this year.

So, this poses an interesting dilemma for both the entertainment industry and for aduiophiles and early adopters of new technology: support Blu-Ray or HD-DVD, or simply wait just a bit longer for H-ROM to leapfrog both of these formats?

Opinions and commentary welcome...
WOW! But only 20MB/Sec?? I thought HDMI could handle 5GB/sec... Think about it, a couple million pixels, plus 5.1 (or better) audio @ 96Khz, are you sure you got that number right?? If it is 20GB/sec, then it is what I have been speaking of.... TRUE HD and MC audio uncompressed!!!!!!

i hope it does come out!
Hi, Kenny:

I checked the newspaper article again to verify the stated data transfer rate, and it seems to be accurate. Here's a link to InPhase's news release about their holographic disc:

There is also an article on this storage system in MIT's "Technology Review", which can be seen by clicking on the following link:

Scott C-
Thanks Scott,

Appreciate the links! I am all for 'a little guy' bucxking the market....
Nice....more confusion for the consumers, unless this is mainly used for data storage. I wonder how come the tech media is not sploshing the headlines with this news. It has awesome storage - compared to todays HDDs on home PCs and Laptops.

I hope that all the new formats succeed and consumers heave a sigh of relief.....if only!!
If SACD and DVD-A haven't taken over for redbook, why would either of these formats?
Don't blame me! I'm still enjoying my Laser Discs!
Bookmarking this thread. Please ignore.
The difference between HDTV and standard definition TV is much more noticeable than the difference between CDs and DVD-A or SACD. HDTV sales are rapidly increasing and I think many people are starved for HD content. I think one or the other format will take off. Whichever format eventually dominates would probably take off faster if there weren't competing formats but greed ensures that advocates of the respective formats will not back down.
BTW, there was a very nice article on Blu-ray & HD-DVD in the latest The Absolute Sound. It had all the transfer rates in a vignet that was part of the article. I recommend that you guys (esp Kennyt) read this one as well (if you haven't already). Your local Barnes & Noble bookseller should have the latest TAS issue on the stand.
Now this IS interesting! I will watch this thread with great interest.
Back a year ago I was enjoying Voom's 40 chs. of HD.-- That be the VaVaVoom package.-- We all know what happened there. No service provider has added much HD-content in the last year. At Directv they added one ch,; that being ESPN-2-- big deal; ESPN 1, isn't even 24/7.---Most TV retailers don't sell much over 27" that ISN'T HD capable.----Still not much HD content for all these new sets.---IMO the general public doesn't have "our" appetite for content____ The tie-in??___ I think the new dvd formats will take much more time catching on--for the general public. DVD itself, caught on faster than any format---the new formats will take 1/2 a lifetime.---You guys think about going down to BB to rent "Starwars Ninteen" in Blueray in 2050???
Here in Canada at least, the cardinal selling feature for HD channels is Hockey on CBC-HD, plus the Movie Channels. Regarding the major networks, I've been ranting for years that the networks don't have the imagination to make use of the format's potential. Seriously, who wants to watch Leno in HD? Even ER and CSI don't justify being in HD, it's not like the shows are better that way! The best contender so far has been PBS with nature and documentary shows that actually make use of the higher resolution.

But hey, it's a Winter Olympics year, and I'm looking forward to watching skiing, hockey, and curling in HD.
The Absolute Sound also raved about SACD/DVD-A being the next big thing and tried to help promote it early on as well.

So, is Blu-ray or HD for home theater only or does it have anything to do with music and making music sound better? How many years will it take to get music releases on it?

I'm not trying to work against it, just wondering if it will be relavant any time soon. I'm an LP guy, but enjoy SACD and if one of the new formats sounds better, I'll go for it assuming there will be enough software to make it worth it.
Stereo TV was introduced about 25 five years ago and still not everything is broadcasted in it yet. We are getting close, but not quite all the way there yet. So, if stereo took 25 years to catch on, I'd say HD is going to take 15-20 years. So, only 10 to 15 more years to wait.

Most people don't really care about it. They say it looks nice when they see it, but don't really care about it. The exception is sports fans. Most people won't think about upgraded until their current TV takes a crap.

As far as HD-DVD/Blue Ray goes, I'll wait until the format war is over. A format war killed DVD-A/SACD; lets see what it does to these new formats. BTW Blue-ray requires that your TV has a HDMI input with copy protection enabled to get the HD signal. That means about 75-80% of us HD TV owners have to go out and buy a new set. I'll wait until my current set takes a crap.
SACD/DVD-A does sound better than CD's with evrything else ebing equalc but with K2 20 but or some other good processing CD's have goten much better in past years.Some were always goood.I used to demo speakers with Mappleshade's direct to board (that is their own hi end wire,modified mikes STRAIGHT to tape with NO BOARD (which allowed or didn't allow for filtering,EQ,compression etc etc that let's engineers become the "5th Beatle" like some seem to want to do).Japan had XRCD and a company called Venus that made great CD'd and LP's from a system called "24 bit hyper magnum sound" which sounded as good as the name was rediclulous.It also proved to me that records could be made from digital tape though of course the dynamic range wasn't as great .It was enngineering and technology that made so many badly pressed "digital" LP's in 80's-the stones ,RCA Bowie's etc.Boy if you wanted replacement wwax from the early 70's until recently you were scrwed.Now you have guys like Bernie Grundman at Classi Records aremaking BETTER sounding re-issues than the originals (sounds unlikely with tape oxidation and so forth but using multiple sources like tapre,correct original equipent,stampers etc many re-issues are now as good and in rare cases better than originals.But is this a digression or broadening the context of the argument?Could have just said that older tech can be tweaked and when companies dogedly fight (as you would expect them to given revenue that is involved) so we keep having Beta vs. VHS forever/When LP rulled from early 50's till ealry 80's at least we didn't have the "Hi-brow/low-brow" stuff with better tech like CD's improving and DVD's being so popular verus MP3 and down loaded junk.I have heard some commentators say that we are just giving the EC,Japan and now China and India the knife to cut our throats because there is no goverment support ("Interfearance in the free market" is what the executivce and congress would call it) and we are giving the Hi-Def future away when we could lead it the way we used to.But hell when Homeland security can't even demand interoprability of communiocations when it comes to Hoemland defense and you have stuff like Katrina happen could it be anything else?What happened to the country that got us to the moon and had tremendous spin offs from just that one enterprise (which may have been all vanity and the most expensive pyramid`in history just to beat the ruskies) WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!We might have complained about monopoly oif the phone company but look at what Bell Labs created?We should act like the rest of the world we taught who are now slaughtering us.Look at how much of a return the Canadians get for the goverment putting up money for a lab that has produced one grteat speaker company after another.But now?With every politician bought off we can't do anything that might mean one guy dosen't get his dough.When asked why it wasn't demanded that all ivil defnse radios be set up with goverment standards the current (Republican) goverment cried "foul" and that this was interfering with the free market.It was just total bull.We insist on stadards for everything from food to drugs to education but because it involved companioes that could all be milked (so the Dem's are culpable too) we heard that it was "Goverment Interfernece".So if we can't handle obvious things like that trying to foward looking and investing in tech standards and promotion does not fit into "the free market that serves us so well" it is no suprise we can't even think this will be helped now.The war,trade defecits,devaluation etc etc we are so screwed up and all the politicians who could influence this are afraind of losing a dime here or there (how much of the timne of a congressperson is spent fundraising these days?Half?More?) we can't expect them to think logically and help us in the future.Teir assers are on the line every two or four years and that's why we can't solve this.So we'll have to leave it to companies and happenstance and see what happens where dumbing down is the rule not the exception and fromats will rise or fall by chance or the least common denominator.DCC anyone?

I did read that little snippet you speak of, well actually skimmed it so I do not recall the actual transfer rates for the proposed formats...

FWIW It is not in the Feb TAS, and I can't find the mag it was in...
>> FWIW It is not in the Feb TAS, and I can't find the mag it was in...

I was also a bit doubtful that it was in the Jan/Feb TAS as I wrote my post as I could not remember. I read that article last Friday & jogging back my memory I believe that it was in the UK magazine "Hi-Fi Choice".
Sorry about that!

It was in the January Absolute Sound (interesting I found it on display @ Barnes and Nobles today, while the February issue is already no the old pile at my house....

Seems the transfer rates for these other formats is... from memory 2.7-11 Mb/s.... so I guess 20 would be a big step up..... until the next generation of media/storage comes out..
hddvd has warner and uni lined up. only a matter of time for blue ray to fade into sacd land.
Shall we start the "signs Blu-ray and HD-dvd are dying" thread yet or should we wait a few months?

I think mp3 will make any disk format obsolete in the future as far as music only stuff. Movies I don't care about. Hollywood just sucks anymore. :-0
I thought MP4 was the next-big-thing?
No it's MP4.1b that will be the holy grail.
Shall we start the "signs Blu-ray and HD-dvd are dying" thread yet or should we wait a few months?

WELL played, sir!