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HD-DVD – What to Know About Blu-ray VS HD-DVD Formats
DVDs continue to be the predominant medium for home theater entertainment. The technology is being refined and improved by a number of manufacturers, making its future slightly uncertain, although it’s clear it will continue in one format or another. Many of you have probably heard of Blu-ray and HD-DVD discs and their journey as the next generation of DVDs. The discrepancies between the two confuse many home theater buyers, so it’s important to know exactly what each of these new technologies has to offer so you can make an informed decision on what to buy and when.
Let’s start by discussing what Blu-ray is. Chances are if you’ve walked into any of the nation’s leading home theater and electronics stores, you’ve seen Blu-ray discs advertised in the DVD section. In truth, Blu-ray Discs are a bit like traditional DVDs, except they have the ability to record, rewrite, and play high-definition (HD) video that’s compatible with the growing number of HD televisions that find themselves every year in home theaters. . Unlike traditional DVDs, Blu-ray discs can hold almost five times more data. On a single-layer disc, they can hold 25 GB of data, and 50 GB can be stored on a dual-layer disc. By being able to hold much more, Blu-ray discs are able to easily store the advanced information needed to deliver content in HD format.
HD-DVD offers the same technology, although it cannot hold as much information as Blu-ray. Developed by Toshiba and NEC, it is capable of holding three times more data than traditional DVDs. Although this may be less than Blu-ray, the data capacity of HD-DVDs still exceeds the amount needed to watch major blockbusters in high definition. HD-DVD was also released much earlier and was first cited as the successor to the standard DVD format. HD-DVD is fully compatible with HD-DVD players, which are themselves compatible with HD televisions. High definition technology is certainly the wave of the future for home entertainment, and HD-DVD was the first disc technology formatted for it.
Blu-ray and HD-DVD discs use a new form of laser that improves on what standard DVD used. While older standard DVD models used a red laser to transfer the contents of the disc to the on-screen player, both of these technologies use a blue-violet laser instead. The main advantage of using blue-violet lasers is that they have a shorter wavelength than red lasers. This means they can be focused with a much higher accuracy rate.
As you can see, the differences between these two formats are very rare. In short, Blu-ray is capable of holding more information than HD-DVD, but HD-DVD has been around much longer and still holds enough for all applications. currently on the market. Both formats use blue-violet lasers to better read information.
The biggest question right now is which format will end up on top. Blu-ray has the added benefit of being backed by some major players in the movie industry. Seven of the eight major Hollywood movie studios have recently released movies in Blu-ray format, while five of them are releasing movies exclusively on Blu-ray. HD-DVD has support from several major consumer electronics manufacturers, but has some catching up to do with production companies. However, with the added experience of being in production longer and having consumers more familiar with the name, it is very possible for them to move forward. The race to become the best home entertainment format will continue and the consumer will just have to wait to see which one wins. In the meantime, drives are available for both formats and some manufacturers have drives that satisfy both available formats.
~Ben Anton, 2007
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