New Microsoft OS To Be Compatible With HD DVD Format Posted Thursday, 17 November, 2005 by kila_m
"Microsoft Corp. will make its next-generation "Windows Vista" operating system compatible with the HD DVD format promoted by Toshiba Corp., despite recent announcements by Hollywood studios expressing support for a rival technology pushed by Sony Corp., a visiting top Microsoft executive said Wednesday.
Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer said the software powerhouse has picked the HD DVD format, not Sony's Blu-ray technology, because it fits personal computers well.
Speaking at a news conference in Tokyo, Ballmer also said there are some technical concerns about the Blu-ray next-generation DVD format.
He said the initial version of the new operating system, due out next year, will not work with HD DVD drives, but the company will try to make the operating system compatible with them as early as possible.
Referring to recent announcements of support for Blu-ray by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. and Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc., Ballmer said Microsoft's preference of the HD DVD format will cause no problem to its business as Hollywood studios back both formats."
[ http://asia.news.yahoo.com/051116/kyodo/d8dtjud01.html ]
CMC And Ritek Cut OEM Prices Of DVD Discs To US Retailers Posted Saturday, 12 November, 2005 by kila_m
"CMC Magnetics and Ritek, the top two producers of optical discs in Taiwan, have lowered OEM quotations for 8x DVD+R/-R discs from US$0.20 to US$0.18 for retail chains and distributors in the US, according to industry sources.
The price reduction was due to CMC and Ritek wanting to clear their inventories of 8x DVD+R/-R discs as quickly as possible, for many second-tier Taiwanese makers have begun volume production of 8x DVD+R/-R discs, according to the sources. CMC and Ritek have been shifting production to high-end 16x DVD+R/-R discs to avoid price competition with these relatively small makers, the sources pointed out.
Because of the price cut, CMC’s estimated October revenues of NT$2.735 billion rose by only 1.03% from September of this year while Ritek’s October estimate of NT$2.219 billion slipped slightly even though this quarter is traditionally the peak sales period, the sources indicated."
Imation Readies HD DVD And Blu-ray Optical Media Formats Posted Thursday, 10 November, 2005 by kila_m
"Imation Corp (NYSE: IMN), a worldwide leader in removable data storage media, today announced it is finalizing the development of both HD DVD and Blu-ray optical recordable media, with plans to utilize its proprietary hard coat protective disc coating in the development of both formats. The ultra-durable, scratch- resistant hard coating is designed to protect the valuable memories and data that users will save on advanced optical discs.
With the rapid expansion of High Definition Television (HDTV) broadcasts and increasing use of high definition recorders creating valuable content, Blu-ray and HD DVD optical media provide the high capacity required for the vast quantity of information created in these new high definition formats -- formats that allow users to record crystal-clear superior images as well as benefit from vast computer data storage capabilities.
With dedicated teams completing technology development and testing of both single layer and double layer advanced optical formats, Imation plans to begin shipping both HD DVD and Blu-ray products starting in the early part of 2006. Imation is a member of the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) and DVD Forum.
"The exacting standards and expertise needed to develop Blu-ray and HD DVD require focus and experience that few companies possess," said Richard Weiss, vice president of research and development, Imation. "With over 25 years of experience in the optical field and our investments in the future of optical -- more than $10 million in advanced optical research development and manufacturing in 2005 -- along with our global distribution capabilities, we are in a solid position to deliver future formats when and where our customers want them. Our extensive experience in the optical market and dual-layer technology development ensures we can deliver superior quality media formats that meet and exceed our customers' expectations. As the market develops, Imation's investments will allow us to bring the advanced optical products that customers need."
Throughout 2006, Imation plans to launch the BD-RE (rewritable) and BDR (recordable) 25GB single layer and 50GB double layer Blu-ray formats. Also in 2006, Imation plans to launch the HD DVD-R (recordable) and HD DVD-ReR (Re- recordable) 15GB single layer and 30GB double layer HD DVD formats. Specific dates of availability and pricing will be announced in early 2006. For more information, go to http://www.imation.com "
Memorex Further Solidifies Position As The Number One Brand of Double-Layer DVD Media Posted Friday, 4 November, 2005 by grand national
"Memorex remains the number one provider of digital media by capturing more than 80 percent of all Double-Layer DVD media sales for September. As a result, Memorex’s year-to-date market share in the Double-Layer DVD category soars to a massive 66.7 percent, a 17 percent increase since April.
In September alone, sales of Memorex DVD+R DL media were nearly seven times greater than that of the nearest competitive brand, according to The NPD Group, a leader in market intelligence. NPD, an independent market analysis firm, tracks point-of-sale information in the United States by volume and dollar sales to determine how well products are selling in the nation’s top retailers.
“The double-layer DVD market has grown nearly 900 percent since the start of 2005,” said Brad Yeager, director of product marketing, optical media. “More and more consumers are finding double-layer DVDs to be the ideal solution for saving and sharing home movies, and backing up or archiving large quantities of data. Consumers are choosing the trusted Memorex brand for this new technology at a remarkable rate.”
For 2004, Memorex retained its position as the number one provider of digital media, outperforming all other brands of CD and DVD media in the United States. For the fifth consecutive year in the CD category and third consecutive year in DVDs, Memorex led its competitors in all blank digital media, in both volume and sales, according to NPD data. Memorex secured a 27 percent share of the CD market based on dollar sales - about twice that of the number two brand - and a 30 percent share of the DVD market, based on dollar sales - nearly three times that of the number two brand."
Grandpa Is Sued Over Grandsons Downloads Posted Friday, 4 November, 2005 by kila_m
"A 67-year-old man who says he doesn't even like watching movies has been sued by the film industry for copyright infringement after a grandson of his downloaded four movies on their home computer.
The Motion Picture Association of America filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against Fred Lawrence of Racine, seeking as much as $600,000 in damages for downloading four movies over the Internet file-sharing service iMesh.
The suit was filed after Lawrence refused a March offer to settle the matter by paying $4,000.
"First of all, like I say, I guess I'd have to plead being naive about the whole thing," he said.
"I personally didn't do it, and I wouldn't do it. But I don't think it was anything but an innocent mistake my grandson made."
Lawrence said his grandson, who was then 12, downloaded "The Incredibles," "I, Robot," "The Grudge," and "The Forgotten" in December, without knowing it was illegal to do so.
The Racine man said his grandson downloaded the movies out of curiosity, and deleted the computer files immediately. The family already owned three of the four titles on DVD, he said.
"I can see where they wouldn't want this to happen, but when you get up around $4,000 ... I don't have that kind of money," Lawrence said. "I never was and never will be a wealthy person."
Kori Bernards, vice president of corporate communications for MPAA, said the movie industry wants people to understand the consequences of Internet piracy. She said the problem is the movies that were downloaded were then available to thousands of other users on the iMesh network.
"Basically what you are doing when you use peer-to-peer software is you are offering someone else's product that they own to thousands of other people for free, and it's not fair," Bernards said.
Illegal downloading costs the movie industry an estimated $5.4 billion a year, she said."
HP Drives Format Compatibility For High-definition DVDs Posted Thursday, 20 October, 2005 by kila_m
News managed by NewsPro.
"HP today announced a significant step toward bridging the differences between the two competing high-definition (HD) optical disk formats by supporting two new technologies to be part of the next-generation standard.
The company has formally appealed to the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) to include the technologies – mandatory Managed Copy and iHD – as part of its format specification. Both technologies are currently supported in the competing HD-DVD format.
The move reflects HP’s desire to ensure that customers are not forced to choose between competing HD formats for DVDs.
HP has determined that Managed Copy and iHD will address the fundamental technical needs of the PC and help create a seamless experience throughout the digitally connected home:
Managed Copy: Unlike with today’s conventional DVDs, this feature allows consumers to make legitimate copies of their HD movies and enjoy this content around the home or across their networks. Making this feature mandatory will ensure a consistent consumer experience across all next-generation DVD content.
iHD: Next-generation HD movies will provide a level of interactive experience well beyond that of today’s conventional DVDs. iHD technology provides a broad foundation to enable new interactivity with standards-based development tools and technologies. It will provide consumers with enhanced content, navigation and functionality for HD films. Furthermore, Microsoft plans to implement iHD support in its Windows® Vista operating system, which will help ease implementation and provide a cost-effective solution for consumers.
“HP is committed to delivering rewarding consumer experiences, and we see format compatibility as critical to making technology accessible and easy to use for consumers,” said John Romano, senior vice president, Consumer PC Global Business Unit, HP. “As a leader in the development and promotion of the Blu-ray Disc format, HP expects these moves to help ensure that the format provides the best possible experience for customers.”"