Blu Ray or Hd Dvd: Picking One Could be a Gamble

By: Terry Burns

Blu ray technology and HD DVD technology are fighting each other to become the DVD format of the next generation. Blu ray and HD DVD are fighting against each other in a similar style as the VHS and Betamax battle of the 1980's.

Blu ray Disc is an optical disc format designed for HD video and high density data storage. Backing Blu ray technology are power house companies such as Pioneer, Samsung and Sony. HD DVD is mainly supported by Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Toshiba and Microsoft and is supported by the big movie company, Universal Studios. Many of the movie studios have announced that they will be releasing movies in both formats. Overall it should be noted however, that 84% of the movies released last year support Blu-ray technology.

Blu ray has support from the following studios at the time of this writing; Sony Pictures, MGM, Columbia TriStar, Disney, Touchstone, Miramax, Fox, Paramount, Warner and Lions Gate. Paramount, Studio Canal, Universal, Warner and The Weinstein Company has decided to back the HD DVD format.

Blu ray received it's name from the blue laser it uses to read the data. This format was created for rewriting, recording and playing of HD video. They also can store large amounts of data. It holds five times more storage capacity than regular DVD's. It can store over 9 hours of high definition video on a disc. Because of its larger storage capacity, Blu-ray discs can hold the resolution formats to give you that extraordinary High Definition picture and sound.

There are some differences between the two formats. First of all it's their storage. By utilizing larger numerical aperture lens, Blu-ray is able to write more data on the same size disc. Because of the larger capacity, movie studios will be able to release movies with more HD features on Blu ray than HD DVD. A Blu-ray disc can hold up to 25GB and a dual layer 54 GB while an HD disc can hold up to 15 GB and a dual layer 30 GB. The other noticeable difference is price. The Blu ray discs are more costly.

You can not play HD DVD discs on Blu ray players and vice versa, however, both will play CD's and DVD's. And that is where the battle begins. You need to decide whether you want to invest in a Blu-ray player or a HD player as each will only be able to play there own format discs.

So let's summarize the format battle. Both formats are comparable in high definition picture quality. When making a decision on which format to purchase, you must consider cost and amount of content available in each format. One thing is for sure, it is a very uncertain market. It's very possible that you could decide on a format; purchase a player and buy movies and then be very upset if the format you choose leaves the market. More than likely, the format which goes into Christmas 2007 with the lowest price tag and widest range of movies will become the format standard.

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