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Blu-ray vs. HD DVD

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Microsoft, Sony and dozens of other large corporations have spent years NOT agreeing on a standard format for the next generation DVD. The result: two separate and incompatible formats are being offered to consumers. Eventually, like Betamax and VHS before them, one will win and one will lose. As of now, which one will win and which one will lose is uncertain. What is certain is that consumers will lose. Why? Some consumers will buy the losing format and end up with obsolete equipment. Many more consumers will buy nothing until after there is a clear winner - and prices will remain high until a mass market is developed.


It is our belief that we the consumers can determine the winner in this format war. How will we do this? By having YOU vote for the format you prefer to win (Click here or on "Comparison between Blu-ray and HD DVD" link in the "Learn More" section to the left to see a comparison between the two formats). Then we all agree to buy the format that wins the vote. OK, it's as much a social experiment as a consumer stand. But our goal is clear - push the losing format to drop out. Let's take control! WHY DID YOU VOTE AS YOU DID? Share your thoughts in the forum below.
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Personally. I have had a PS3, and now back to the 360. Blu Ray added little over what HD DVD is offering, extra capacity that just isn't needed at this point in time. I'm happy with my seperate HD DVD drive for my 360, it costs 130 british pounds, and if blu ray does win, i've not lost much money. But if HD DVD wins, i've saved alot of money. And chances are in todays media and entertainment hungry society, everything will be downloaded onto hardrives anyway. I'm gonna sit back and enjoy the war. 'Cos as long as there's competition, the prices will keep falling drastically.
I voted for Blu-ray. I think that with the Playstaion 3 and prices coming down for the Blu-ray player that it will dominate the market.
Well, Lets start at the begining. If you remember Toshiba invented the dvd we know and use today, When dvds were first introduced LASER DISC was the thing of the future, Those 12" Lp record looking discs that Pioneer was behind. We all know that Toshiba's dvd sunk laser disc. Second lets not forget that Microsoft (Bill Gates) is backing HD DVD, with their xbox gaming system , a company that could buy and sell sony if they wanted. Third while Blu Ray has more companies on their side, several of them make movies for hd dvd also like Paramount and Warner, but most important HD DVD has Universal on their side alone, a company that owns about 75% of all the movies out there, so when they stop concentrating on the new movies and start puting the older stuff on HD, HD DVD will have thousands more movies than Blu Ray, Fourth, Blu Ray uses the old mpg2 encoding while HD DVD uses the new AC1 encoding, Side by side HD DVD has a sharper picture becuase of that. Fifth There are 3 companies that produce blu ray vs hundreds of companies that produce dvds, The technology is the same to produce a dvd as a HD DVD, the Blu Ray is completely different, meaning that any company interested in staying in business if blu ray wins will have to retool their factory if HD DVD wins they dont, So you know that Hundreds of companies are hopeing HD DVD wins and will help to see that it happens even if they have to cut the cost to studios for production to do it, making HD DVD cheaper to produce, The Price of a HD DVD is already slightly cheaper than Blu Ray already. Sixth, remember only three companies produce blu Ray, and while they so far have kept up with demand unlike about everything else Sony promotes " Did you see a over supply of PS3 game systems, nope, lines and line of people that bought the Xbox because Sony created more of a demand for their produce than they could fill, So while it seems like Sony is keeping up with the demand for Hi-Def movies Consider that all of the Hype you here is based on 1% of the dvd market, thats right, so when you hear One or the other has sold 60% of the Hi-Def market, They are talking about 60% of 1% of the market. It is still very early with all of this. If HD DVD wins ,Hi-Def will probably sink regular dvds in about 7 years, If Blu Ray Wins I suspect dvds will always be around, 2 reasons 1- Blu Ray is a higher technology the regular dvd or hd dvd and much more vunerable to damage. The information on the disc is burnt .1 millimeter deep 1/10. Regular dvds AND hd dvds are .6 millimeters deep 6/10, six times as deep, Blu Ray is much more likely to be damaged by a scratch and your not going to have the depth to repair it. Which would you rather give to your kid to play in the player. Video store rentals are the same, when they discover that the Blu Ray are vertually unrepairable, HD DVD will be what rental store hope for as well. Another plus for rental stores is that many HD DVDs have Double formats, DVD on one side and HD DVD on the other They only have to buy one movie to meet the needs of 2 customers the DVD and the HD DVD guys. Blu Ray doesnt do this ever. Nearly Doubleing the cost for stores per movie, until dvd disapears if ever. The Great thing for us with the HD DVD double format it will play on any dvd player but Blu Ray, if you buy a movie in Blu ray and take to a friends or loan it to a friend if they don't have a blu Ray palyer they're out of luck. If they have a regular dvd and the HD DVD is one of the many Double formats you can enjoy it on anyones player, as well as Hi-Def a home.Like i said earlier, Blu Ray is a higher Technology,You've heard it can hold more information than a HD DVD ECT. The reason for this is what i said earlier, About how deep the disc is burnt and how close the lines of information is on the disc. Blu Ray gets more on the disc because the laser is closer to the disc allowing the line to be closer together and as i said easier to damage, I have a player that plays both and have some Blu Ray that only came on Blu Ray, I got a finger print on it and it wouldnt play right, It artifacted, "Scarbled up square looking stuff". I tried to clean it with a cleaning cloth. The Super soft ones for dvds, It put tiny scratches all over it. So some technology even if it might be better in some ways ie. holds more gigs of imformation per disc, needs to be user friendly, Your Hard Drives in your computer Hold alot more than a Blu Ray disc but there is a very good reason you cant take the disc out of the hard drive and let your kids use them, They are made in Dust Free factories with people in space looking suits because just dust from the air will contaminate the imformation on the discs. Dont ever open one unless you are in what they call clean room or you will never see what was on the drive again, trust me it did it and lost everything because of room dust. Ive heard Sony is coming out with a spray that you can buy to help protect the Blu Ray discs , but for me especially since the HD DVD has a better picture already, Im not concerned about the space left on the disc. Last if it is important to you, Many say that the adult industries picking VHS to put there movies on is what finally sunk Beta years ago, I Know that some adult companies adult titles out on HD DVD and that Sony wants no Part of it, Refusing to Licence any of the 3 companys or any other to make them, additionally Disney Has contracts with 2 of the three companies to burn their movies and will not allow Disney movie to be made at any plant that does manufactures adult material, Im sure they don't want any mix ups with the Dumbos and Bimbos, Well, Thats all i have time to say for now , Hope it helps
On Microsoft backing HD-Dvd: Microsoft isn't officially backing HD-Dvd. They're backing the encoding used on Hd-dvds & they simply hate Java so... Secondly, Microsoft hasn't put a HD-Dvd player inside the Xbox 360 for a good reason! They may even go Blu ray in a few years time. A Microsoft spokesperson fellow admitted as early as 06 that this is "a possibility" for MS to do so. The rest of your comment is well argued..
In response to Jim K, after reading your comments I signed up to set some facts straight... Toshiba did not event the DVD we know and use today it's actually a combination of the following companies Philips and Sony, which created a format MMCD and by Toshiba and Matsushita (a.k.a. Panasonic) which created the SD format. IBM pushed the two warring factions to settle for one format which we now know as DVD. As for the movie studios... Every major movie Studio is releasing movies on Blu-Ray with the exception of Universal and The Weinstein Company. They are the only two HD-DVD exclusive movie studios. Blu-Ray has Columbia Pictures and Tristar which are owned by Sony as an exclusive and MGM which is now owned by Sony as an exclusive. MGM is the movie studio with the largest modern day library, not Universal as you mentioned... which is why Sony bought a controling stake last year. This also gives Blu-Ray a library of over 7500 films between those 3 studios alone. Disney which owns Buena Vista pictures has kept their option open for releasing movies on HD-DVD, but for now there are no such plans... all their movies will be released on Blu-Ray only. Lions Gate a smaller movie studio has also opted to release as a Blu-Ray exclusive. The other movie studios will be releasing movies on both formats. As for the costs involved in manufacturing although Blu-Ray needs retooling to produce, the fact that they have more movie studio support speaks for itself... Even Warner Brothers who was initially HD-DVD exclusive has decided to release for both... as for the prices they have already come down for Blu-Ray and are practically at the same level of HD-DVD. Prices for Blu-Ray movies are the same as HD-DVD not more expensive... check amazon and you'll see that their prices are the same. As for your claim that Blu-Ray is more vulnerable to damage this is simply not true in fact it's the other way around. You're right Blu-Ray's encoding does cause the information to be stored closer to the surface but they do have a special coating that makes their discs very scratch resistant. This was created by TDK and HD-DVD does not have this coating. I'm sure many of you have experienced renting movies from your local Blockbuster a few days after a new release and the DVD's are already scratched. HD-DVD's have the option of dual format of HD-DVD/DVD but so does Blu-Ray if the movie studios so choose... As for capacity Blu-Ray discs already have 200 GB discs in the works... so needless to say they are way ahead of HD-DVD when it comes to capacity. You claim that HD-DVD has better quality... well that again is simply not true... reviews from just about all impartial movie review sites show that they are the same in picture quality. As for the adult film industry and Blu-Ray again your facts are off... It has nothing to do with Sony or Disney... There is currently only one manufacturing company that will make films for adult film industry. The adult film industry will have the option to release on either format if they so choose. If I remember correctly there is a movie studio that is planning the first release of an adult film on Blu-Ray this summer. Hope this helps to clear some of the confusion. Lastly if in doubt don't take my word for it or Jim's... do your own research. Regards, Cromeus

go to ht tp:// and eat your words

Hi Jim, Great article. I learned a lot. As I have said before in this forum thread, I am not interested in buying any new technology until a clear winner emerges and the price drops. Most of what I hear from the high-end retails stores seems to indicate that Blue - Ray will be the winner. I am not so sure about this. Practical issues that you raise like the resilience of the disk to finger prints and scratches and price considerations will l ikely lead us to a winner.
I was at Tweeter the other night, killing time while my son took his guitar lesson, and had the opportunity to view a blu-ray disc on a Pioneer elite 50 inch plasma TV. The color and clarity were stunning. But, as I said to the salesman, not that much better, if at all, than hi-def on cable through my 720p projector and, although superior to cd's on my samsung player that has upconversion, not enough to have me buying the new technology. I think I will wait until prices fall precipitously, like tv and prjector prices have, to make the leap into a hi-def player.
I too did not see the advantage yet to make a move to a blu-ray or hd dvd yet. I just purchased a plasma tv and the dvd's I am playing are great. The next purchase would be a good surround sound system.
Blu-ray is winning my attention. Yes, at this point the discs will be more expensive but we all know that prices will drop quickly. The biggest attention getter is the gaming ability. It will play all my old playstation games and the new games.
Well folks...I bought an HD-A2. The interesting thing about HD-DVD is there are way more titles than Blu-ray. Almost 100 more. Did you know some of the blu-ray studios still make the movies HD-DVD for Europe.... Did you also know that HD-DVD has no region... So you can get all the movies you want for HD-DVD and love the cheaper players.... I have several USA "Blu-Ray" exclusive titles on HD-DVD bought from France or Germany!! It rocks...must love loop holes!!
Everyone seems to be enamoured with the Storage potential of Blue Ray.... HD DVD alos has plans to increase its storage potential. This is pointless to me as the studios seem to be able to work within the constains of the lesser storage for what they currently plan to offer in these formats. The only place that I can see the relevence of High capacity is in data achiving on the computer. However, has anyone attempted to write 30- 50 GB on a optical media lately???? Never mind trying to read all 4.7 or 8.5 GB from your DVD-ROM/RAM drive into hardisk! yea let's increase that wait time by 10 fold! I sure someone started a writing/burning a week ago, and they should be about half way through now! :-P Does anyone here have any idea of what it would take in man-hours (opps i'm being non PC .. oh well!) to author 50+ GB of compressed media??? I know that I would want min. $100 per mass-produced disc, for that amount of work! And who would watch all 8-10 hours of media? Honestly who out there actually watches all of the second disc in a TWO DISC SET! of any DVD? Two seasons of 30 min sitcoms on one disc... WooHoo! Storage capacity = great potential, however, practicality, low cost and high quality = better value (to me anyway). IMHO
Mike M Maybe you ought to consider HD VMD... might alleviate some of your aggrevation :) IMHO I do appreciate your storage comment... & it makes a whole lot of sense. For example Sony released a HD video camera with no compression tools built in so what european consumers ended up with was a1000Euro disposable camera! Go figure:) The capacity is still important to keep in mind though, as home video making will take off eventually on HD & people will get frustrated with the limited capacity of Hd-Dvd. Hopefully the technology to store the data onto pc's etc. will improve significantly. If not Blu ray or HD dvd will be a mute point.
Don't you think that, ultimately, price will win the war? If all I want to do is watch a movie, and it looks essentially the same on either player, and If I can buy an HD DVD player now for $250 (I've seen them advertised), but need to pay $400+ for a Blu-ray, won't the 'average person' (not the early adopters) go for the cheaper player? The only 2 caveats I see in this are: 1) availability of titles. If Blu-ray dominates in number of available movies that could sway it; and 2) PS3. If sales take off that will really ramp up the Blu-ray installed base. Blu-ray is winning the battle on YouChoose though.
Maybe price does matter... but how do you compare it? Short term? long term? If price is to be the winning argument than HD VMD is the way to go!
Wow. So much misinformation of this board. Blu-Ray and HD-DVD are almost exactly the same EXCEPT: -Blu-Ray disc are more advanced because they can hold over three times the data as a HD-DVD by layering the data -Blu-Ray has more than twice the studio support which means more movies
Unfortunately, to date neither of these factors has proven to be of any decernable value to Sony, in the overall formate debate. You should try to find something more tangable to base your opinion on.
It seems as if many on this website are uninformed of recent changes in the HD technology. 1. You can watch regular (SD) media on blu-ray players. I have one and watch my old dvds on it all the time. 2. You don't have to have a 1080p tv to watch blu-ray. You don't even have to have a high definition tv. If I watch on a 720p tv, my blu-ray player displays in 720p. 3. Blu-ray has much more storage capacity than HD-DVD...blu-rays holding nearly 200GB have been developed. Chances are, that is more storage capacity than the computer you are currently using. This means that blu-ray is--in a sense--more advanced than HD-DVD...why take a half-step in advancement, instead of a full step? That extra space will allow us from having to "upgrade" for a longer period. The extra space will be very important in storing HD media in the future, especially as resolutions increase over 1080 even. 4. Both Blu-ray and HD-DVD use the same codec to program, so the picture quality is the same. 5. Blu-ray quite simply has more studio support. Sony, Disney, and many other company's are exclusively releasing their movies on blu-ray. Why buy an HD-DVD format if you will not be able to get all the movies you want? I know I could never live without Pirates of the Carribean and other Disney classics.
I have all of the Disney movies that I can stand now! Why in the world would I want to re-invest in the same movies in HD format, if my HD-DVD play or Blue Ray player does and excellent job of upconverting to HD output? Now I realise that many people out there do not have 550+ DVDs in their current inventory, however, I would NOT base my purchasing decision, while in a Format war, on which studios are backing which format at this time. Eventually when the dust settles, ALL of the studios will publish in one format or they will end up publishing in both (a la Warner). Make no mistake MONEY is MONEY when you are in business to MAKE MONEY! Format wars preclude these companies from making MONEY! They want to end this more than you or I! and they WILL go where the MONEY is!
lg corp has come out with a player that plays both formats. so dont worry.
Kevin, The problem with the dual players is that it is unlikely that prices will ever fall to the levels we've seen with DVD players if manufacturers need to include two separate sets of technology into each player.
... also the cost of movies. Producing and stocking two formats is more expensive. Although I suspect we won't be buying movies in a store on permanent media for many more years.
The problem with this format war also bleeds out to the equipment you own beyond the format player. As far as I understand, it's pointless to even upgrade to blue-ray without a TV that supports a 1080P signal to get the full benefit of the definition it displays. I can't say HD-DVD has the same issue, but I can't imagine why it wouldnt fall under that same problem. Sure, you can display it in 720P, but isn't that kind of like buying a Ferrari and only driving around the block? I personally dont see why we need to make this jump from DVD at the moment when most people: 1. don't own a TV that supports 1080P resolution 2. most people can't see the difference between 1080P and 1080i I think the next jump need to be MUCH more about HD. The reason why the DVD format was a no brainer was due to the fact that it completely innovated what movies at home could be when compared to VHS (menus, chapters, trailers, deleted scenes, special content, commentary, amazing image clarity). BRay and HD-DVD needs to innovate on top of that somehow.
R. Great comments. I have a 720p projector in a dedicated movie room. I use a dvd player that upconverts and the picture, although not quite hi-def, is exceptinally good. My next upgrade will happen only after prices have come down to $100 for a player and it is clear to me which technology is the winner. I do not plan to waste money. The benefits of the HD-DVD and Blu-Ray are improved picture. I do not see additional benefits. Like you said, DVD had many other innovations that people may have been willing to pay for. This does not appear to be the case with the new hi-def technologies. I am interested to hear whether or not Blu-ray and HD-DVD are worthwhile for 720p TV's and projectors. WIll I really see a difference or do I need to wait until I upgrade to a 1080p projector?
I you already have high quality upconverting DVD players, you may be content to wait out the format storm. However, once you plunk down $3000-$10000 for a true HD dispay + $500 - $1500 for a HDMI AVR that supports Dolby TRUE HD + $250-$10000 per speaker for your 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound, setup... I think $350- $1500 to finally take full advantance of your INVESTMENT is a very small price to pay! Considering it is $33 for my wife and I to go to a move theater to see 1 Lousy movie + Cramp seats + Stick Floors + rude people on cell phones during the movie and lest we forget the 2-3 people with major bladder problems that get the 1 gallon of Soda each, and never fail to sit in the middle of freaking row! I'll pay the $1000 dollars for High Def. DVD today... With my Wife's Blessing!
though blu ray can hold more info, it stil can not read standard dvd's or cd's. if, one was to buy a hd dvd player and that camp did not win the war, you have still bought a really good dvd and cd player

Blu-ray!!!!!!!    Don't let them win & have another inferior technology as the standard, like what happened with Beta by the VHS guys.  This time it's Sony's turn to win...!  And therefore the consumer who pays for this technology wins.  Don't just look at the fact Blu-ray will take us further into the future, but it will also give us more space for storage when burning discs.  Plus it's a kooler name for the new High Definition standard.  I'm tired of hearing everything HD.  Lets use the 'Blu' laser, on a technology that has a more stable and focused light!  Read up on the differences betweent the 2 technologies, and you'll see why Blu-ray is a better technology for the future and for the consumer in general, just by how it uses the Blu laser alone.  And the disc is more innovative for the future, as it has a new type of coating that is fingerprint proof...developed and engineered by TDK!

Blu-ray all the way!!!!!!!  

Maybe you should read more, they are both blue lazers.
This is not true...(at least now). I have a blu-ray player and it plays regular dvd's just fine. In fact, my dvd collection is much larger than my blu-ray collection, so I usually watch regular dvd's on my blu-ray player.

Thats absolutely true.

It also up converts with  HDMI cables.


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