More HD DVD Announcements

January 8, 2007

HD DVDOk, I’ve already reached information overload and CES is barely underway. Starting off with one of the announcements that completely blindsided me, Toshiba has announced they’ve been able to increase the storage capacity of single-layer HD DVD’s by 2GB’s, which would stretch the formats theoretical triple-layer storage capacity to 51GB.

I honestly don’t know what to think about this announcement. On one hand I think its great that their being proactive with the formats capacity, but I have to wonder if we’ll ever even see this increased capacity put to use. The answer to that question would seem to hinge on whether the players/drives in use today can be firmware-flashed to read the increased capacity discs.

From there and potentiality even more important, several Chinese manufacturers have announced plans to ship HD DVD players “by the end of 2007”. The brands (and sub-brands) Alco, Jiangkui/ED Digital, Lite-On, and Shinco may not be staples in our home theaters, but those manufacturers do have the ability to deliver something crucial in any burgeoning formats overall acceptance, price points that even non-enthusiasts can stomach. The Chinese players are expected to sell in the $199 to $299 range, not the $500-1K plus price-points of current generation players.

Speaking of additional CE manufacturer support, HD DVD picked up two other supporters that carry a little more name recognition than the recently announced Chinese manufacturers. Onkyo and Meridian also announced that they will build HD DVD players in 2007 as well. The Meridian player is expected to sell for 3k or more while Onkyo’s HD DVD offering is expected to retail closer to current upper-end price points. Oh and lest your car feel left out of the HD DVD action, Alpine will offer a mobile HD DVD player as well.

On the software front, Warner Brothers again committed to the Matrix trilogy and the Harry Potter series but stopped short of announcing a firm date for the popular titles. Late entry into the high-def DVD formats; New Line Studios is also expected to announce their first round of HD DVD titles but again no firm dates. Obviously CES is still underway and we may very well get further announcements, stay tuned.



Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under HD-DVD


Comments

  • Dave

    I don’t think flashing the firmware will be a problem–if it’s even necessary. Talk of adding a third layer goes pretty far back.

  • Dave

    I don’t think flashing the firmware will be a problem–if it’s even necessary. Talk of adding a third layer goes pretty far back.