Niveus Media Announces Support for HD-DVD High Definition DVD Format

niveus ehx06 hd dvd graphic

Niveus Media, Inc., manufacturer of media entertainment devices for the high-end audio/video market, has announced that it will support the HD-DVD format and will begin shipping the technology in its line of Niveus Media Centers which utilize Intel® Viiv™ technology platform, designed to enhance and help manage the enjoyment of digital entertainment in the home.

“While we may have additional announcements later this year regarding the Blu-Ray disc format, we are ready to announce that product development is well underway to deliver HD-DVD in the award-winning Niveus Media Center by mid-2006” said Tim Cutting, CEO & Founder, Niveus Media. “By combining our award winning ISF-certified Niveus Media Center, with HD-DVD and Intel Viiv technology, Niveus Authorized Dealers will have a powerful solution to bring their clients into the high definition DVD era. We’re looking forward to being one of the first to offer dealers an HD-DVD experience in a Intel Viiv technology based system. ”

“Niveus Media’s move to incorporate a high definition HD player into their Intel® Viiv™ technology-based platform demonstrates how the home entertainment PC continues to evolve and provide consumers with compelling home entertainment experiences, including breathtaking High Definition video playback,” said C.J Bruno, director Americas Marketing, Intel.

The Electronic House Expo Spring 2006 is being held in Orlando from March 30 – April 1. Niveus Media will be demonstrating the Intel Viiv technology-based Niveus Media Center featuring HD-DVD in Demo Alley, Room 203A. More information available at:

About Intel® Viiv™ technology
Intel® Viiv™ technology is Intel’s new branded computing platform for the digital home, designed to make it easier for people to enjoy, manage and share digital entertainment in the home. Increasingly, people are downloading their digital entertainment (movies, music, games, and photos) on-demand through the Internet. Intel Viiv technology delivers the multitasking power of a dual-core processor to support these emerging digital entertainment needs.

About Niveus Media, Inc.
Founded in 2002, Niveus Media, Inc. is a Santa Clara, California OEM manufacturer, specializing in media entertainment devices for the consumer electronics market. Niveus Media is dedicated to delivering innovative, integrated consumer electronics devices for the networked home. Additional information can be found at:

Filed in: Entertainment PCs

  • 2parts

    If I recall correctly, the program manager for HD-DVD from Microsoft stated in an interview about 2 months ago that HD-DVD movie playback on a Windows box before Vista was not going to happen.

    If this is the case, then he is saying that the HD-DVD drives will be included in the systems, but omitting that you can’t actually playback any movies since it is supposed to be mid-2006 which is long before Vista.

    Or has the Microsoft policy changed?

  • ChrisL01

    Microsoft will not be developing an HD DVD Playback solution for Windows XP. There is nothing stopping Cyberlink, InterVideo, from developing a solution. It’s a lot of work due to the changes in policy from CSS to AACS, but it can be done.

  • sdsdv10

    There seems to be a little confusion here. According to this quote, Vista will have native HD-DVD support, but that Bluray support will come from third parties. This is consistant with the fact that Microsoft is part of the HD-DVD coalition. Link for quote provided below.

    In any case, Media Center blogger Chris Lanier did some digging of his own, and found this out from Amir Majidimehr, Corporate VP of the Windows Digital Media Division:

    Majidimehr said, “Microsoft is hard at work in developing native HD DVD playback in Windows Vista. We have a large, dedicated team working with our hardware partners, optimizing our software infrastructure, and ensuring compliance with copy protection measures so we can stay on target for providing HD DVD playback on Windows Vista this year. Finally, as we have mentioned time and time again, Microsoft has no plans to provide native Blu-ray playback functionality in Windows Vista. Such functionality will be provided by third parties, similar to the way DVD playback is offered today.”

  • ChrisL01

    Correct, however with Niveus quoting “mid-2006″ in the press release this means Vista will not be shipping on those machines.

    Getting a certified AACS playback application isn’t going to be an easy task. I’m not sure where Niveus is gong with that part, both other companies are planning to try to release a HD DVD/Blu-ray solution for Windows XP. The policy isn’t Microsoft’s, it’s up to AACS to give the green light to any solution (Microsoft or third party). Microsoft is both a member of the HD DVD Promotion Group as well as a founding member of the Advanced Access Content System.

    FYI, I’m Chris Lanier. :D

  • Kvmedia

    I think the truth needs to be shed on the specification of HD-DVD. The Specification is a lot more complex then DVD or CD. This might clarify some truth and some really bad marketing on both Microsoft and on Niveus’s part. I’ll do it in a numbered fashion maybe that will help:

    1) The HD-DVD Specification is broken into two parts (a) Video Play Back (b) Interactive. This is extremely important to understand, the reason simple: HD-DVDs use the same red laser as found in current DVD drives, therefore the ability to understand the 1 and 0′s on a HD-DVD much easier to implement since it builds on technology that has been proven for over a decade (CD’s do the same thing).

    2) The interactive Layer is EXTREMELY complex. Complex on several fronts, (a) new technology that has been ‘official’ for almost 1 year but not yet proven. (b) complex in the fact you have several key companies that MUST work together to get the interactive layer to work correctly. (c) For the first time Hardware manufactures MUST build mini Operating systems (verse rudimentary calculators) into their players. These Machines must parse XML, XLST, render various image formats, dynamically render digital audio from remote locations, and execute a light weight rules engine.

    3) The HD-DVD spec (Bluray as well) was created by a totatly different type of forum then the forum that created DVD’s. Not many software vendors were involved in the creation of the DVD Forum, and the DVD spec had a MUCH MUCH smaller wish list from Hollywood Studios. The only main wish was the Menu and some piracy protection (they were worried about what happened to CD’s)

    4) Also if anyone remembers the reason DVD’s worked is because studios realized they could go from over $1 for VHS production to about 80 cents for a DVD to be produced (this is the full costs, marketing, design, etc). This was the driving force behind the switch and the whole reason for the ‘bonus’ features is that Hollywood thought they needed something to lure customers.

    5)The HD-DVD’s that will be available to buy in the near future will NOT support the interactive layer, and studios have claimed it cost 80k to create one HD-DVD (or BluRay). This is because most studios are (using 3rd party companies, but also a tool that DOES NOT crash is still yet to be released so most of the use an API (code) to create these Discs).

    6) you can compile an HD-DVD Video format today, and play the video back on a Mac or Window’s machine. (remember no interactive layer). The ability to have hardware that can read the disc is not difficult, the ability to do more then just render high quality Video, is the whole problem.

    7) there is NOT one HD-DVD decoder for Windows XP or Vista that does not crash today!!!!! I don’t care how much testing is left till code freeze, it will take A LOT LONGER till both Hollywood, hardware manufactures, Dolby, and the software companies can work together to have a reliable HD-DVD. This is because a DVD today is HARDWARE we expect it to work with 99.99% compatibility with DVD players. When is the last time an off the shelf NEW software product could say it was 99.99% compatible with anyone’s machine. it takes years before software can do this. Look at Unix/Linux the damn OS has been around since the W’s yeah it’s going to solid. Win zip, solid, been around along time. A HD-DVD that uses XS LT, XML, PATH, streaming PCM audio, and a subset of Java script, is SOFTWARE… it will take a long long time before it’s 99.99% reliable.

    But more important it’ll take an even longer time for Nevus, to have a Media Center you’d put in your living room and be able to enjoy an HD-DVD inside Media Center the application (even if they used Vista, and I’ve seen the testing facilities, in Hyderabad, and other cities it will take at least a year from now, they haven’t even begun to test real world examples of what Hollywood can do) Nevius prices are an outrange to begin with the cost for the case is the bulk of the price and their switch to use a Manufacture in China has cost them time/money they must now get back.

    This message was to shed the light on some reality of the HD-DVD world or BluRay for that matter, and I don’t like bad marketing campaigns even those that submit press releases to free sites.

    I don’t care where Microsoft stands on HD-DVD of if they’ll integrate the decoder into the OS. The sole reason they didn’t do it with DVD’s is that was an extra fee to the DVD forum they didn’t want to pay everytime they shipped XP.

    I ask only one question of Niveus? How are you providing 7.1 HD-DVD specification surround sound that allows for stream a PCM audio channel from a remote location and dynamically encoding it and sending it through the DVI out? I have yet to find a single manufacture of an audio card that will provide this feature? This is the recommended feature from Dolby.

  • ChrisL01

    Where to start :)

    1) HD DVD and Blu-ray both take advantage of blue lasers. HD DVD happens to use blue-violet 405 nm whereas DVD red 650 nm lasers.
    2) Some good points here, are you saying that innovation in the formats have caused them to be more complex? I hope hope so, generally that’s how things work in this industry. It takes more work on the backend to get everything done while giving the consumer the best experience.
    3) Huh? The DVD Forum does HD DVD, they also did DVD. See for more information. As or the members comment, Microsft, Apple Computer, CyberLink Corp, Sonic Solutions, and InterVideo, Inc. are all current active members of the DVD Forum. I think you might want to check out the members list to confirm this.
    4) Okay
    5) You do know that both HD DVD and Blu-ray use completely different interactivity layers, correct? HD DVD uses iHD developed by Microsoft and Disney. Blu-ray uses BD-J which is based upon Java. I’m not sure you have the information needed to say that titles will not be using them. :)
    6) Not exactly sure what you are referring to, but you know solutions are being developed and tested as I write this, correct?
    7) :D

    Anything else you would like to share on the formats? :)

  • Kvmedia

    Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated as well as the corrections, I’m not writing this to start a war. Just to shed some light on the truth.

    1) Thank you for the correction in my haste in writing I meant to say that HD-DVD Blue Laser. Formats are more similar to the physical formats of DVD and CD and this helps the development of a HD-DVD drive, since the complexity of reading the pits is the pretty much the same as it is for DVD and CD,

    2) Agreed with the way the industry works, but right now or even 6 months from the consumer will need to deal with crashes a lot. The industry for both camps wants to get out the new DVD’s before HD On Demand becomes popular , and the fact is that neither specification is ready for the consumer.

    3) I did not make this point clear enough I apologize for that. The companies that made up the original DVD Spec are much different then the companies that determined the HD-DVD Specs and the BluRay Specs. Both of these Forums are new forums even if the old Forum members are the same, it is still a new forum, new membership rules, new membership fee structure, new business entity, and most importantly, new key members such as, Cyberlink, Sonic, etc. These members have a different vested interest then the original DVD forum members.

    4) Okay

    5) Yes I’m very ware of the BD-J and iHD specifications. I will be really amazed to see a BD-J application run on a standard consumer machine. If you don’t know, BD-J relies on the Micro Java Virtual Machine, as a former senior enterprise Java Developer, I’ll be really excited to see the JVM perform some of the complexities that the specification allows developers to do. As far as IHD, this is just as bad but in a different way. At least BD-J only requires people to learn Java whatever it’s one language, the iHD spec will require DVD authors to learn XML, XSLT, ECMAScript, and XPATH. I don’t know about you but I HATE XPATH. I also really don’t like XML with XSLT it’s a pain in the ass to develop with and debugging a render is awful. I have yet to use or even find a ECMAScript debugging tool, and XPATH is just the monkey wrench thrown in to make debugging even more difficult. Don’t get me wrong both interactive specs are bad. They have to many moving parts and require a skill set not usually found in today’s DVD authors. If someone wants to make big money, develop a ECMAScript debugger that works on Macs and on Windows (remember most of Hollywood loves macs ;-)

    6) Yes I do but I know those solutions are a long way away.

    7) :D

    This is good feedback, does anyone else in the industry have any feedback or criticism? ;)

    p.s I’m 90% certain the first HD-DVDs or BluRay DVD’s will not have an interactive layer, because it’s not 99.99% realiable. I can’t say for companies I don’t work with but the ones I do.. I know for sure.

  • ChrisL01

    Aw, a former Senior Enterprise Java Developer. I’m sorry. I guess it’s better to be a former Java Dev then a current. ;) (j/k)

    Those points look a lot better. :) However, on the iHD side I think you will find Microsoft working with content providers to try and get them out the first releases. I’m not sure where they are with it, but I would bet we will be iHD used in some (most?) first gen HD DVD releases.


  • ChrisL01

    From NAB today, Universal will use iHD for the interactive features of the new titles.