End-user Initiative: Super-DVD

Remember S-VCD? Well, it’s time for Super-DVD, S-DVD or SDVD.

We have hi-def camcorders and flat-screen TVs on the wall. Now we need a way to burn and play back our high-definition home movies - inexpensively.

Do you realize how close an upconverting DVD player is to an hi-def player? It wouldn’t take much to get those things to do what we want. Perhaps just the right codec.

I have been reading about various hi-def initiatives in the far-east. HD-VMD appears to be the latest in a short list of proposed formats for which they don’t have to pay royalties. The hardware is relatively cheap since it is based upon the currently used red laser. Current single-layer DVDs would provide about twenty minutes - which is about the longest attention span our families have for home movies anyway! Double-layer disks would provide about forty minutes and the far-east suppliers are talking about three layers or more in the future.

Commercial movies were never released on SVCD and this format would support the same users - those who make home videos. Can the users of this forum rally around this format and hasten its appearance in the home?

Unfortunately thus far it really isn’t gaining any support and in fact the players cost more than the entry and middle range HD-DVD units and they have only about 1/4 the titles that HD-DVD has and a number of them are the Bollywood type releases which aren’t of much interest to folks here in the US. Point is that if HD-DVD had a bunch of things going for it that HD-VMD didn’t then how on earth can it possibly hope to succeed where HD-DVD failed. Furthermore HD-VMD is currently online only which puts it at a HUGE disadvantage. Don’t get me wrong, I think the potential of HD-VMD is great but there is no way I am investing $200 in one at this point when it’s wiser to invest in clearance sale priced HD-DVD hardware and titles.

Thanks for the reply. I’m just trying to generate some discussion.

Eventually we will probably all buy Blu-Ray burners and players but at these prices the adoption will be too slow. The investment for me would be about $1000 usd and I might be tempted to stretch my budget but since the lowest cost player I’ve seen is $450 usd I don’t see widespread adoption yet. IOW, nobody will be watching these videos but me.

For now I have contented myself with capturing my hi-def video as std-def, editing with Premiere Elements and burning a conventional DVD. Playing them on an decent upconverting DVD player to a hi-def LCD panel they look surprisingly good - the best looking home movies I have ever seen. It’s good enough for now - but the possibilities for low-cost hi-def media still intregue me.

It occurs to me that SVCD started as a hack. Is there any way, with this world-wide audience, for a group of dedicated home developers to do an end-run around the “system”?

Since we are dealing with existing red laser tech, there has to be a way. I would be happy with just 20 minutes of 720p on a single-layer DVD.

You can burn hi-def blu-ray compliance to DVD using a DVD burner but you still need a standalone blu-ray player to playback. If cost is concerned, at least we can cut the cost from the pricey BD media and BD burners this way. I think at least for starters, it’s not a bad idea.

In a few months when new profile 2.0 blu-ray players are out in $300-500 range, I believe we can get the older models at lower price.