Buzz Out Loud Wiki

Hi-Def Formats[]

Sony, among other vendors, co-developed an optical disc format known as Blu-Ray. It is so known because it uses a blue laser to read the optical information from the disk. Because of the wavelength of the laser, it is able to focus to a much smaller degree than a typical red laser. Because if this tighter and smaller focus, the pits etched on the disk are much smaller. As a result of the higher density of data, much more data can be placed onto a Blu-Ray disk as compared to a DVD disk.

The Blu-Ray project is separate from the HD-DVD project. The HD-DVD format was created by the same DVD consortium of companies that created the DVD format. The HD-DVD format uses a similar blue-ish laser light to allow for a higher density format. Until recently, HD-DVD's disk sizes were about half of the Blu-Ray disks. Now, both formats can hold about the same amount of space through multiple layers at about 50GB per disk (give or take).

Format War[]

As a result of both formats being backed by notable large technology corporations, it was inevitable that both groups would give it a valiant effort to have their format adopted as the standard. So far, it's been a toss-up. One format would entice a studio over, but that didn't make the format a shoe-in. The turning point of the war was when Warner Brothers turned to Blu-Ray. Events rapidly spiraled down, for example NetFlix scrapping HD-DVD in favor of Blu-Ray. HD-DVD is currently considered defeated by Blu-Ray.

Blu-Ray Info[]

"Blu-ray, also known as Blu-ray Disc (BD), is the name of a next-generation optical disc format jointly developed by the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA), a group of the world's leading consumer electronics, personal computer and media manufacturers (including Apple, Dell, Hitachi, HP, JVC, LG, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, TDK and Thomson)."[1]

HD-DVD Info[]

"HD DVD shares the 12cm diameter and 1.2mm thickness of the current generation of DVD discs, yet is able to deliver eight hours of High Definition video on a dual-layer, single-sided disc. Enhanced interactivity, multi-media functions, secure AACS content protection and the capacity to store ten thousand average MP3 tracks on one disc means that the HD DVD format matches the real-world needs of today’s consumer market. For the IT industry, a double-sided HD DVD-R disc can hold up to 30GBytes of data. For replicators, there is the reassurance that today’s DVDs can be produced on tomorrow’s HD DVD lines."[2]

Note that this HD-DVD information shown above was created in 2005 per the PDF it was derived.

Compatibility issues[]

Most discs produced in HD-DVD format are 'combo' disks. This means they contain both HD content and also regular DVD compatible content. Because of this 'combo' format, HD-DVD disks are compatible in both DVD players and in HD-DVD players.

Blu-Ray disks are, however, compatible only with Blu-Ray players only. These disks cannot be placed into a DVD player and play. With Blu-Ray, there is no backward compatibility to DVD like the HD-DVD format.


Both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray have well enough space to accomodate full 1080p resolutions combined with full uncompressed audio. Thus, there is no technical differences in the playback quality.


In the Blu-Ray camp, the most notable player is the Sony PS3. This player is technically a gaming console, but also contains a Blu-Ray player since the PS3 games are distributed on BD-ROM disks (Blu-Ray data disks). As of this writing, the cheapest PS3 is $399.99 for the 40GB hard drive model. The cheapest standalone Blu-Ray player is around $288 (via Nextag).

Also as of this writing, the cheapest standalone HD-DVD player is around $200 (via Nextag) which is still half of the cost of a PS3, but close (~$88 difference) not that far from the cost of a standalone Blu-Ray player. Occasionally, stores may put Blu-Ray or HD-DVD players on sale for substantially cheaper prices as one-day sales or as an incentive.

Buzz Out Loud References[]


  1. Blu-Ray Info. Retrieved on 2008-01-07.
  2. HD-DVD Info from PDF. Retrieved on 2008-01-07.

External Links[]