Hope for hybrid players/NEC combo chips - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 10-12-2006, 12:16 PM
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Default Hope for hybrid players/NEC combo chips

http://gear.ign.com/articles/738/738270p1.html

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Over the summer, rumors of combination HD-DVD/Blu-ray players from Samsung, LG, Ricoh, and Phillips sprung up, but were each officially quashed within weeks.

Today there may once again be new hope. NEC announced this morning that it plans to begin shipping two new chips that could have a dramatic impact upon the feasibility of Blu-ray/HD-DVD hybrid players. The chips, PD63410 and PC3360, will be sold for 10,000 yet (~$85 U.S.), essentially the same price NEC currently sells the chips it manufacturers that can only read one of the formats. NEC expects to begin making monthly shipments of 300,000 chips in April of 2007.

The low-cost of NEC's combo chips is heralded for removing one of the key impediments that face hybrid players. The primary stumbling block that remains is the optical component of reading the next-gen DVD formats. Both Blu-ray and HD-DVD make use of the same 405-nanometer blue lasers, which is good. The problem lies in the fact that the laser must be focused different for each format. No lasers capable of reading both formats are currently in production, however, there is a great deal of lens technology for focusing optical-media purposed lasers, and engineering a dual format laser is unlikely to pose too great a challenge.

Besides the fact that NEC's new chips are laying the groundwork for a combo format player, the most intriguing aspect of the announcement today is the volume at which NEC plans to produce the new chips. 300,000 units a month is a significant figure in the (thus far) relatively low-volume business of HD-DVD and Blu-ray players. It is unknown if NEC will replace the single-format chips it is currently manufacturing with the new bi-format chips announced today, though this could explain the volume. If, on the other hand, NEC actually expects a market for the 300,000 chips per month specifically among manufacturers building hybrid players, the format war, at least in terms of consumers' point of view, may soon be over.
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Old 10-15-2006, 11:24 AM
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http://www.digitimes.com/systems/a20061011PR208.html

Taiwan ODD makers unlikely to launch HD DVD/Blu-ray hybrid models

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Following an announcement by NEC of chips supporting both the HD DVD and Blu-ray formats, Taiwan-based optical disc drive (ODD) makers said they are not considering launching dual-standard drive models for the two disc standards.

Japan-based chip maker NEC Electronics said on Tuesday it began shipping a chip compatible with both the HD DVD and Blu-ray formats, for next-generation DVD drives, a Reuters report said.

Although NEC claims the new dual-standard chips can help reduce costs by 20-30%, Taiwan-based ODD firms said the overall production cost of ODDs using the chip may not be less than that of disc drives using chips that support a single DVD standard since overall costs are determined by other factors, such as the cost of the optical pick-up head (PUH) and yields.
Nevertheless, the makers said they do not rule out the possibility of a merger of two major DVD standards, such as DVD Dual or Super Multi.
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Old 10-22-2006, 10:31 PM
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with the nec chips out, assuming they stay available, i am sure they will make a hybrid player. i just thought it was very interesting to hear so many times certain manufacturers talking about plans of making hybrid players and then quickly be dismissed, i wonder if its something political going on. like maybe blu-ray disc associtation gets on these makers about them supposing to be strictly blu-ray and not support the hd-dvd or vice versa. either way however, eventually somebody will make a hybrid as long as both formats continue to co-exist.
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Old 12-27-2006, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by resevilfan86 View Post
with the nec chips out, assuming they stay available, i am sure they will make a hybrid player. i just thought it was very interesting to hear so many times certain manufacturers talking about plans of making hybrid players and then quickly be dismissed, i wonder if its something political going on. like maybe blu-ray disc associtation gets on these makers about them supposing to be strictly blu-ray and not support the hd-dvd or vice versa. either way however, eventually somebody will make a hybrid as long as both formats continue to co-exist.
yea, i think depending on how things shape up a year from now. The reason why some companies might be holding up is, lets say Blu-ray is gaining leaps and the industry is starting to go that route for sure, why support a dying format. Or lets say that HD-DVD starts gaining alot of foothold and lots of studios and providers go that route, why invest in a unit that will soon support the next format and a dead format when they can just support 1 format and keep their costs compared low.

Now if in over a year, both formats are holding it strong, then it makes sense to take in from both sides with a combo player
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Old 12-27-2006, 08:19 PM
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The problem with that is that if a vendor waits a year to decide it'll take them another 6 months or more to actually deliver a product. That's 18 months and you could easily get beat to market. I think we'll see Universal players hit end of 2007 and they'll likely be based on NEC and Broadcom LSI as well as a couple more players.
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Old 12-29-2006, 03:40 AM
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Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post
The problem with that is that if a vendor waits a year to decide it'll take them another 6 months or more to actually deliver a product. That's 18 months and you could easily get beat to market. I think we'll see Universal players hit end of 2007 and they'll likely be based on NEC and Broadcom LSI as well as a couple more players.
although that maybe true, is this market hardly of any size and profit for there to be worries. Sure for Sony and Toshiba it made a difference of when they jumped into the market because its their formats that their supporting but for other makers, they might not have as much to loose and or in this case really gain by a 6 month window if not even 1% of units purchased are Blu-ray or HD-DVD ya know?
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