What are HD DVD and Blu-Ray Disc?
Today's conventional DVDs can hold 4.7GB of information, but many want a higher-capacity successor to accommodate the larger data demands of high-definition video. HD DVD and Blu-ray both use blue lasers to read and write data; because blue has a shorter wavelength than the red used in DVD and CD lasers, information can be packed more densely on a disc and a single disc can hold more. Both HD DVD and Blu-ray drives are able to read current-generation DVDs.
What are the differences between Blu-ray and HD DVD?
Each next-generation DVD format comes in single-layer and dual-layer formats. For HD DVD, that means capacities of 15GB and 30GB; for Blu-ray, it's 25GB and 50GB. Blu-ray uses Sun Microsystems' Java software for built-in interactive features, whereas HD DVD uses a technology called iHD that Microsoft and Toshiba have worked on.
Although both Blu-ray and HD-DVD will support both recording and playback of high definition material with the same expected result, in terms of video and audio quality, there are differences between the two formats.
Data Transfer Rate: 36 MBPS (Megabits per Second) - This exceeds the 19.3 Mbps transfer rate approved for HDTV broadcasts.
Disc Properties: Format similar to existing DVD disc structure, requiring minimal upgrading and retooling of existing DVD disc manufacturing and replication plants.
Video Specifications: Compatible with MPEG2 and MPEG4 Encoding.
Audio Specifications: Incorporation of both Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD
Measuring The Success Of Blu-ray and HD-DVD
Although true high definition playback and recording is definitely welcomed, the acceptance of Blu-ray and HD-DVD will not depend as much on the on-paper technical specification details but its long term performance in the real world, based on the following:
1. Availability of both recorders and players.
2. Availability of pre-recorded high definition recordings.
3. The ability to record high definition television programming.
4. Ease of use.
5. Demonstration of significant video quality over standard DVD.
6. PRICE - The $500 barrier must be broken quickly for mass acceptance by average consumers.
If you are sitting on the edge of your seat with mouth-watering anticipation over the introduction of high definition DVD, just take a deep breath and relax. You might just want to let the Blu-ray/HD-DVD war to settle down before making the jump.