HD-DVD Loses Format War

For those that didn’t know HD-DVD and Blu Ray were vying for sponsorship among the heavy hitters in technology and Hollywood. The battle had gone on for almost two years, but as of February 2008 Blu Ray officially won out. Why? Besides support from the heaviest hitters in the business such as Apple, LG, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung (who supports both formats), and Sony to name a few from the hardware end. From the Hollywood end you have MGM, 20th Century Fox, Disney, and Warner among several others. (Pssst-I also heard a rumor that the porn industry chose Blu Ray over HD-DVD, thus solidifying Blu Ray’s place in the market.)

Myself, I can’t see a big enough difference between the two that would make one the absolute better choice. Here are some specs and notable differences so you can decide for yourself:HD-DVD packs up to 30GB of pre-recorded material on dual layer discs vs. Blu Ray with up to 50GB of pre-recorded material on dual layer discs. For Home recordings (wink, wink) HD-DVD is capable of storing up to 40GB on dual layered discs vs. Blu Ray with up to 50GB. Transfer rates for HD-DVD is 36 MBPS vs. Blu Ray 36 to 48 but capability to 54 MBPS (keeping in mind all of these are faster than the 19.3 MBPS transfer rate approved for HDTV viewing. Both formats are compatible with MPEG 2&4, and VC1 Encoding. All HD-DVD players are required to incorporate Dolby Digital Plus, TrueHD, DTS-HD, Dolby Digital, DTS, and Uncompressed PCM. Blu Ray players however, are only required to have the latter 3 audio formats. The others are available on some higher priced players.

Based on these specs there is no clear reason as to why there are two choices. It looks to me as if it was all simply a ploy to spur competition and more consumerism. That being said (although it’s nice that Blu Ray offers more memory and better transfer rates on their discs) why are the sound quality options not the same standard on all there players as they are on HD-DVD players? I think Samsung was the smartest of the bunch by creating a player that plays both formats. As for me, I intend to stick to my regular DVDs as long as possible. My considerable collection would be too costly for me to replace.

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