Blu-ray vs. HD DVD: The Format Wars



HD DVD Technology

HD DVD players are set to be released this coming March with models from Toshiba priced in the $500-800 range. Reportedly studios will also be releasing almost 200 movies to the market by the end of this year based on the new format. The catch is however these movies will not exclusively be produced for the HD DVD format, and are also going to be released for the Blu-ray format.

There are three types of HD DVD formats planned:

  • HD DVD-ROM for pre-recorded media such as software, games and movies

  • HD DVD-R (recordable) for HDTV recording and PC data storage

  • HD DVD-Rewritable (recordable) for HDTV recording and PC data storage

The big advantage of HD DVD technology is that it will not cost much money to adapt manufacturing methods from current DVD procedures for these discs, as will be necessary for Blu-ray manufacturing. This should keep the cost of HD DVDs down for consumers as compared to BDs.


HD DVD discs will have a standard 15GB capacity on a single layer, which is noticeably smaller than Blu-ray Discs, while dual-layer HD DVD discs will be available with a 30GB capacity. Dual and triple layer discs allowing larger capacities for read and write functionalities are currently in development.

The Name

HD DVD stands for High-Definition DVD. The initials of DVD originally stood for Digital Video Disc, but the DVD Forum argued that they should actually stand for Digital Versatile Disc, as can be used for many different applications, thus more accurately describing its purpose. As this dispute was never settled, DVD officially now stands for nothing. As the DVD Forum only recognizes and supports HD DVD, they state that HD DVD stands for High Definition Digital Versatile Disc.

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