HP confirms Blu-Ray plans with some further drive details

While HP has announced its commitment to Blu-Ray support, now they have confirmed its plans for Blu-Ray drives.  These drives will be placed in many of its products including certain consumer Desktop PCs, digital entertainment centers and personal workstations beginning late 2005 and in laptops from early 2006. 

Since the major PC makers Dell and HP have started backing Blu-Ray since January, this has helped convince 73 organisations to back Blu-Ray to date.  However, as Sony is backing Blu-Ray and Microsoft is acting sort of ‘anti-Sony’, Microsoft has decided to start supporting HD-DVD instead, including native HD-DVD support in Longhorn.

HP has also announced that its Blu-Ray drives will also support its LightScribe technology to give professional looking labels on LightScribe compatible discs.  Its drives will also support the three Blu-Ray disc types:  BD-ROM – Pre-recorded media such as software and HDTV video, BD-RE – Rewritable media for temporary storage such as video recordings and data backup and BD-R – a write-once format for permanent data or video storage.

HP has firmed up its plans for Blu-ray DVD disk drives and said the format would begin going into many of its product lines, including select consumer desktop and notebook PCs, personal workstations and digital entertainment centers.

The company adds it will continue to work with the other companies of the Blu-Ray Disc (we say Disk) Association to complete the format technology and develop the drives and will introduce them in late 2005 – initially in media center PCs, desktop PCs, personal workstations and digital entertainment devices followed by notebooks in early 2006.

The technology enables the recording, rewriting and playback of high-definition (HD) video, as well as the ability to store immense amounts of data, up to 50 gigabytes on a single dual-layer disk, enough to record 26 hours of standard definition television and eight hours of HDTV.

Blu-ray remains in a fight for its existence with the DVD Forum’s HD DVD, which uses the same basic technology and which was initially embraced by over 200 members of the DVD forum last year when the NEC/Toshiba technology proposal was accepted. Since that decision, however, the great bulk of the big consumer electronics firms, including Philips, Sony and Panasonic, have come out in favor of Blu-ray, which is expected to arrive earlier than the competing standard. It was proposed by Sony and Panasonic.

As HP will start putting drives in its PCs starting late next year, it will be interesting to see if they actually do the manufacturing themselves or if they will re-badge another manufacturer’s drive like they did with the HP DVDwriter300. 

Unfortunately, as HP has announced its commitment to enforcing anti-piracy measures in all of its products, it is not clear how this will affect its Blu-Ray support.  HP has also announced that it is working with other companies to complete the Blu-Ray technology, so I wonder how much effort they are putting just into the DRM part alone.


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Source: The Register