Here is some information about Intel's views on HD-DVD and Blu-ray. It comes from IDG colleague Martyn Lewis, writing for MacWorld:-
Blu-ray support hinges on disc copy, says Intel
By Martyn Williams, IDG News Service
Intel Corp., which last week expressed support for the HD-DVD format for high-definition video discs, is open to also supporting the rival Blu-ray Disc format should its backers commit to allowing the copying of content from discs onto home multimedia servers, an Intel executive said Tuesday.
Intels decision to join the HD-DVD Promotion Group and come out in favor of the format, which it did together with Microsoft Corp., was a departure from the companys usual stance of technology neutrality.
The decision was born out of a belief that the interests of consumers are being ignored as the worlds largest consumer electronics, computer and content companies prepared to bring two competing and incompatible high-definition optical disc formats to market, said Donald McDonald, vice president and general manager of Intels digital home group. He was speaking at a news conference at the Ceatec exhibition in Chiba, Japan, on Tuesday.
The HD-DVD group, led by Toshiba Corp., NEC Corp. and Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd., is planning to put its system on the market in late December in Japan, while the Blu-ray Disc group, led by Sony Corp. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (Panasonic), is planning to launch its system in 2006. Both are vying to replace DVD as the de facto standard for high-definition movie discs.
The reason we provided support for HD-DVD is that basically it has committed to several features. Specifically, the mandatory managed copy, said McDonald.
Mandatory managed copy guarantees that consumers will be able to copy the content on their discs to home servers so that it can be accessed from around the home. It will also mean movies can be copied onto portable devices for viewing on-the-go.
We have not heard an unequivocal statement from the Blu-ray camp to say that youll be able to have mandatory managed copy without any kind of complications and any kind of issues. So we could be thrilled if they were able to deliver a similar commitment, McDonald said. The opportunity is for Blu-ray to unequivocally commit to having exactly the same consumer friendly features.
Intels statement of support doesnt mean its technology wont work with Blu-ray Disc. Like other technologies the company will build the technical support required for the format into its chipsets and devices, he said.
So Intel will provide some support for Blu-ray despite its HD-DVD protestations. Its public support for HD-DVD, co-incident with Microsoft's equaly public support was ... what? Co-incidence? As a Los Angeles resident might say, "Yeah, right."
The last paragraph in the MacWorld story appears to nullify the import of Intel's suppport for HD-DVD. Working out exactly what that HD-DVD support will mean in Intel product terms as distinct from Blu-ray support is virtually impossible.
And it appears that one Intel'ite sees Intel as the peacemaker bring Sony and Tosh together. But Don MacDonald has his Viiv home computer do-everything platform to punt. And Blu-ray/HD-DVD format wars will cramp its style. Why isn't Intel so bothered about business computer users and software distribution and so forth?
Notebook computers are going to have to be equipped with one or the other format.
Please Intel, just be quiet on the topic.
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