The difference between Blu-ray and HD-DVD
Question : What are the major differences between Blu-ray and HD-DVD, the two
new DVD formats?
Answer : The conventional DVD format can record data and video from
computers and televisions and store about 4.7 to 8.5 gigabytes of information
on a disc. With the arrival of high-definition TV, two different standards --
Blu-ray and HD-DVD -- are competing to be DVD's dominant successor. On
recorded discs, Blu-ray can hold 25 to 50 gigabytes of information and HD-DVD
can hold 15 to 30 gigabytes; still greater capacities are being developed for
both standards. With this increased capacity, both of the new formats promise
higher audio quality and better screen resolution (1,080 lines) than the
current DVD format.
Blu-ray has Sony, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Hewlett-Packard, Apple and Dell
in its camp, while HD-DVD backers include Toshiba, NEC and Sanyo. Microsoft is
including HD-DVD support in Windows Vista as well as in its Xbox video game
console, but Sony's new PlayStation 3 will use Blu-ray technology.
Movie studios can release films in both formats, but without a universal
player that can handle both, Blu-ray discs will need to be played in Blu-ray
players and HD-DVD discs will require compatible HD-DVD players. At least 100
movies are planned for release on the Blu-ray format this year, while 200 are
scheduled on HD-DVD.
Samsung has said it will introduce a Blu-ray disc player in April with a
price tag around $1,000, while Toshiba expects to start shipping HD-DVD
players (prices starting around $500) in March. Warring technology formats
often shake out into one dominant standard, so if you are in no hurry to buy a
next-generation DVD player, waiting may be the way to save some money and