Hybrid DVD to Contain Both HD DVD and Standard DVD Formats

warner dvd rumor has itFor anyone concerned about creating a digital backup of their new HD DVD movies, Warner Home Video may have just the solution for you! Warner just announced that the industry’s first Hybrid DVD will be released on May 9th, 2006 and will contain the HD DVD version on one side of the disk with the standard definition DVD on the flip side. The feature film to receive this designation will be “Rumor Has It” staring Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Costner. So while you probably don’t have a HD DVD player to take advantage of the pure HD content, you can still do everything that you used to do with your old and outdated standard DVD’s with this edition.

Curiously, this move by Warner likely opens up the very real possibility that you will be able to back up the standard definition DVD using your favorite DeCSS enabled DVD riping tool. Although this clearly isn’t a pure digital HD back up of the film, it certainly does undermine the industry’s efforts to stop piracy with the new DVD format and related AACS encryption scheme. And if you’ve ever watched an upscaled 480i movie you will understand why the DVD consortium doesn’t want those signals carried over an unsecured component connection.

I’m not sure what the strategy is here for Warner Home Video but it should be interesting to see if this trend continues. The Hybrid DVD will be released at a retail price of $39.99. The standard DVD is being released on the same day with Amazon showing a pre-order for $16.96. I guess you could look at it as only a $23.03 or 135% premium for the luxury of having the video on HD DVD. But I prefer to see it as another tragic misstep in the advancement of the technology.

Filed in: Industry Buzz