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  • HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray

    It's been almost 3 years now since the format wars over HD "DVD"s started. I've been reading up on HD-DVD and Blu-Ray and the features (or lack of) of the two.

    I'm hoping HD-DVD wins the format war, but I'm not too sure since Sony has backed its Blu-Ray with aggressive and heavy advertising.

    I want to get some feedback and also help me decide on which format I should put money down on in the future (actually parents money ;)). I pose these questions for those who own players (and recorders) for either of the formats:

    1. Who owns HD-DVD and why did you pick HD-DVD over Blu-Ray?

    2. Who owns Blu-Ray and why did you pick Blu-Ray over HD-DVD?
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  • #2
    Re: HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray

    Neither. I still run a lot of VHS. Nonetheless, I root for HDDVD because Sony needs to be smacked around a bit.

    From what I've heard, one has slightly better video quality and the other has slightly better sound quality. But that may be unfounded hearsay. In the end, you should probably just buy whatever has the movies you favor. That way, even if the format you select fails, you'll enjoy what's in its library.

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    • #3
      Re: HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray

      I've fooled with both. Blu-Ray is popular because of PS3 - plain and simple. People want a cheap way to get High-Def, so they get a PS3 and kill 2 birds with one stone. What they DONT know is MANY DVDs (blu-ray included) dont actually play on the PS3, and there are definite issues with playing standard DVDs. Also, using a gaming console to watch Video is NEVER a good idea because you're putting twice the strain on the optical drive (you CAN burn out a laser after heavy use, not to mention a spindle or seeker [forgive my newb terminology].)

      The other thing with Blu-Ray is Blockbuster decided to carry them, so they're easier to rent.

      Lastly, Blu-Ray is more "post-processed" than HD-DVD. This basically means the image is more "airbrushed," and the video can sometimes seem larger than life... which can be a good thing, but can be bad also. This of course also lends to larger file sizes.

      HD-DVD is a more "standardized" HD medium. Most of their players have no problems playing regular DVDs and there are already cheap HD-DVD burners on the market. Also, their players are generally cheaper than Blu-Ray. They've already got HD-DVD based HD Video Cameras also (where Blu-Ray got the Blockbuster contract and Hollywood lovin', HD-DVD got the lion's share of the HD-Video Recording market, along with MS and Intel). HD-DVDs are also generally slightly cheaper than Blu-Ray.

      IMO, HD-DVD is the way to go if you plan on doing anything on your own terms right now. i.e. you plan on doing any burning (on a PC even) and/or video recording on an HD camera. If you really like a more "artificial" picture, than go for Blu-Ray... but DONT buy a PS3.

      Overall, I think HD-DVD is the way to go and they're winning the format war. They've got Microsoft, Intel, and many other PC companies on their side. And they've already got affordable recording in place. The ideal setup is is a nice HD-DVD burner/player on a PC running to your television and a nice HD Video Camera that can encode to HD-DVD format (either directly to disc or to HDD first).

      If ur worried about DVD rentals, than use an online source (they're much better than blockbuster anyways).

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      • #4
        Re: HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray

        HDDVD has better audio. HDDVD can have more space on the disk, although most don't. HDDVD has no region encoding, unlike BluRay (and DVD).

        I sure hope HDDVD wins, too! It's definitely the superior format.
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        • #5
          Re: HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray

          Geezus...so much misinformation in this thread. Where to begin...
          |TG-12th|mantis

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          • #6
            Re: HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray

            How about starting with Wikipedia:
            As of November 2007, HD DVD has the advantage in maximum disc capacity (51 GB triple-layer versus 50 GB dual-layer), but no titles have yet been released on the triple-layer format.[100] It is unknown at this time whether the final specification will be compatible with current players.[101] As of November 2007 44% of Blu-ray titles use the 50 GB disc and 56% use the 25 GB disc[102] while almost all HD DVD movies are in the 30 GB dual layer format.[103]

            In terms of audio/video compression, Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD are similar on the surface: both support MPEG-2, VC-1, and H.264 for video compression, and Dolby Digital, PCM, and DTS for audio compression. The first generation of Blu-ray Disc movies released used MPEG-2 (the standard currently used in DVDs, although encoded at a much higher video resolution and a much higher bit rate than those used on conventional DVDs), while initial HD DVDs releases used the VC-1 codec. Due to greater total disc capacity, the Blu-ray Disc producers may choose in the future to utilize a higher maximum video bit rate, as well as potentially higher average bit rates. As of November 2007, 41% of Blu-ray Discs are encoded in MPEG-2 while AVC is used on 33% discs and VC-1 at 26%.[102]

            In terms of audio, there are some differences. To ensure backwards compatibility with older receivers with Dolby Digital decoders, Blu-ray Disc allows conventional Dolby Digital audiotracks at 640 kbit/s and this is the primary audio track for 33% of Blu-ray titles, while it has gone unused for HD DVD titles. The newer Dolby Digital Plus is mandatory for HD DVD players at 3 Mbit/s (which is used for 90% of HD DVD titles), while optional for BD players with support at a bitrate of 1.736 Mbit/s for mixes that require more than 5.1 channels (has only been used on two titles).[104] Both formats optionally support DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, a lossy compression scheme that extends the core DTS audio for better fidelity but yet is still not lossless.

            As for lossless audio, 43% Blu-ray Discs have 5.1 LPCM uncompressed audio,[102] which is the only lossless format that is mandatory for Blu-ray players. Blu-ray Disc also has optional support for Dolby TrueHD lossless encoding of up to 8 channels of audio, and DTS-HD Master Audio, a lossless encoding of up to 8 channels of audio.[105] As of November 2007, 7% of Blu-ray Discs are encoded in Dolby TrueHD while DTS-HD Master Audio is used on 12% on discs.[102] In total, 60% of Blu-ray Discs have either uncompressed or lossless audio. HD DVD also supports LPCM, but unlike Blu-ray, it has mandatory support for Dolby TrueHD, although only 20% of HD DVD movies have lossless audio.[citation needed]

            Both HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc support the 24p (traditional movie) frame rate, but technical implementations of this mode are different between the formats. Blu-ray Disc supports 24p with its native timing, while HD DVD uses 60i timing for 24p (encoded progressively, replacing missing fields with "repeat field flags"). Decoders can ignore the “flags” to output 24p.[106] There is no impact on picture resolution and minimal impact on storage space as a result of this, as the HD DVD format often uses the same encoded video—it simply adds notational overhead.

            There is no Region Coding in the existing HD DVD specification, which means that titles from any country can be played in players in any other country. Compared to that a significant percentage of Blu-ray disks have Region Coding and will only play in players sold in the corresponding geographic region. Specifically many Blu-ray disks sold in the US will not play in Blu-ray players sold in Europe.

            Since both formats launched in the spring of 2006, an estimated 4.98 million high-definition discs have been sold, including 3.01 million in Blu-ray and 1.97 million in HD DVD through the end of September.[107] However, those figures are dwarfed by the sales of regular DVDs. Combined, the two high-def disc formats accounted for only 2.5 % of overall disc sales during the first half of 2007.[108]
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            • #7
              Re: HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray

              Wikipedia is great...I think you should reread it.:)

              HDDVD has better audio. HDDVD can have more space on the disk
              Misinformation.

              In total, 60% of Blu-ray Discs have either uncompressed or lossless audio. HD DVD also supports LPCM, but unlike Blu-ray, it has mandatory support for Dolby TrueHD, although only 20% of HD DVD movies have lossless audio.
              As of November 2007, HD DVD has the advantage in maximum disc capacity (51 GB triple-layer versus 50 GB dual-layer), but no titles have yet been released on the triple-layer format.[100] It is unknown at this time whether the final specification will be compatible with current players.
              Until a movie mass produced on a triple layer disc actually comes out that 51gb disc is vaporware. Bluray camp likes to talk up their 100gb and 200gb multi layer discs as well but those are just as unlikely to see the light of day...or at least not any time soon.

              Right now and for the forseeable future the space advantage is definitely in the bluray camp. 50gb vs 30gb. That advantage translates to better audio as the stats show. Both formats pretty much do similar codecs although I've seen more variation in the bluray camp...the problem is HDDVD discs tend to scratch the lossless audio in favor of keeping the video bitrate high. These days 50gb discs are the norm if the space is needed so there is plenty of space to throw on multiple lossless tracks...even in a few languages.
              |TG-12th|mantis

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              • #8
                Re: HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray

                Mantis said much of what I wanted to. But to touch a bit on what Gambit said:

                I have a PS3 and have not had a single problem playing ANY DVDs, I've not heard of anyone I know with a PS3 having problems either, and at least two of the individuals I know use their PS3 as their primary DVD/BR player.

                I also don't agree with the blanket statement that you shouldn't use a game console as a DVD/BR player. When a device such as the PS3 is specifically engineered as a component to your home theater, I would plan on using that device as a component in my home theater without worry.

                I'd like to see BluRay win the war. I've already got a bunch of BR movies and a BR player. I don't want to have to go get another. Why did I go with BR to begin with? Well, I was able to kill two birds with one stone by getting a PS3 and BR player with a seriously low dollar cost average for both functions. I also like the added capacity that BR offers. Aside from what I would like to see, I think BluRay is actually GOING to win the format war.
                Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

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                • #9
                  Re: HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray

                  Originally posted by Gambit7 View Post
                  What they DONT know is MANY DVDs (blu-ray included) dont actually play on the PS3, and there are definite issues with playing standard DVDs.
                  Misinformation. Where are you getting this? The PS3 plays everything fine. There is not a single bluray disc is does not play and I have heard of zero issues with DVD playback. It is in fact widely considered the best bluray player out there and one of the best dvd upconverting machines as well. Firmware updates are constantly improving the situation as time goes on as well.

                  Originally posted by Gambit7 View Post
                  Also, using a gaming console to watch Video is NEVER a good idea because you're putting twice the strain on the optical drive (you CAN burn out a laser after heavy use, not to mention a spindle or seeker [forgive my newb terminology].)
                  Silly. Your grasping for a negative talking point that will likely never affect anyone.

                  Originally posted by Gambit7 View Post
                  Lastly, Blu-Ray is more "post-processed" than HD-DVD. This basically means the image is more "airbrushed," and the video can sometimes seem larger than life... which can be a good thing, but can be bad also. This of course also lends to larger file sizes.
                  Where are you getting this crap? Bluray and HDDVD discs for the most part use the same codecs and same methods for transfering the content to disc. Bluray can achieve higher bitrates but the vast majority of people will never be able to tell a difference. More "post processed"? "Airbrushed"? Huh?

                  Originally posted by Gambit7 View Post
                  HD-DVDs are also generally slightly cheaper than Blu-Ray.
                  To manufacture this is what we hear...but it certainly is not translating to the customer. MSRP's are the same and HD-DVD even ups the prices with the silly combo discs. Blurays even had a damn lot of sales lately...just ordered two more for $20 shipped through amazon tonight! Thank you competition!


                  Originally posted by Gambit7 View Post
                  Overall, I think HD-DVD is the way to go and they're winning the format war.
                  Currently they are losing in disc sales. Still anyones game at this point since volume is so low but they are certainly not winning. Looking around the globe the story is similar.
                  |TG-12th|mantis

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                  • #10
                    Re: HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray

                    To continue what FBMantis was saying about disc capacity, further down on the same page Cingular quoted regarding HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray there is a bit about overall capacity and ongoing development of both technologies:
                    Ongoing development

                    Although the Blu-ray Disc specification has been finalized, engineers continue working to advance the technology. Quad-layer (100 GB) discs have been demonstrated on a drive with modified optics (TDK version) and standard unaltered optics ("Hitachi used a standard drive.").[109][110] Hitachi stated that such a disc could be used to store 7 hours of 32 Mbit/s video (HDTV) or 3.5 hours of 64 Mbit/s video (Cinema 4K). Furthermore TDK announced in August 2006 that they have created a working experimental Blu-ray Disc capable of holding 200 GB of data on a single side, using six 33 GB data layers.[111]

                    Also behind closed doors at CES 2007, Ritek has revealed that they had successfully developed a High Definition optical disc process that extends the disc capacity of both competing formats to 10 layers. That increases the capacity of the discs to 250 GB for Blu-ray compared to 150 GB for HD DVD using the same process. However, they noted that the major obstacle is that current reader and writer technology does not support the additional layers.[112]

                    JVC has developed a three layer technology that allows putting both standard-definition DVD data and HD data on a BD/DVD combo. If successfully commercialized, this would enable the consumer to purchase a disc which could be played on current DVD players, and reveal its HD version when played on a new BD player.[113] This hybrid disc does not appear to be ready for production and no titles have been announced that would utilize this disc structure.

                    Hitachi has recently showcased 100 GB Blu-ray Disc, which consists of four layers containing 25 GB each. Unlike TDK and Panasonic's 100 GB disc, this disc is readable on standard Blu-ray drives that are currently in circulation, and it is believed that a firmware update is the only requirement to make it readable to current players and drives.[114] TDK has also produced a 200 GB six-layer prototype.[111]
                    Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

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                    • #11
                      Re: HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray

                      I think Blu-Ray will win the war just because of the PS3. With that many extra players in homes, it'll shift people to rent/buy Blu-Ray movies.

                      - It's who you game with.

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                      • #12
                        Re: HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray

                        Sony is still a bully, but you make good points. +R.

                        /Bought a bunch of Sony DVD+Rs.
                        //They read fine in the Sony player, but don't work in my Samsung DVD reader, despite it supposedly being +R.
                        ///Last thing I bought with the Sony brand on it.
                        ////Got some 75 DVD-Rs for six bucks on a clearance sale. FTW.
                        /////Folks' Sony DVD player fails hard, too.

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                        • #13
                          Re: HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray

                          I think eventually both technologies will become so cheap that you will see combo-players for 39.99 at wal-mart.
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                          • #14
                            Re: HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray

                            It's a shame that Total HD has been canceled.

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                            • #15
                              Re: HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray

                              As bad as it sounds, I believe Blu Ray will win this format war with no small thanks to it's name. The majority of consumers aren't going to care much about capacity or audio bitrates or anything like that. If if looks good and sounds good they'll buy it. I think blu-ray has the advantage with these people because the name sounds like a new and exciting technology while hddvd sound like an upgrade to existing dvd's.
                              It also seems that blu-ray is getting more support from the movie industry especially with Sony behind it. The average person isn't going to drop 300-700 dollars on a player that doesn't have their favorite movies.

                              OT a bit, while checking on the number of blu ray titles against hd dvd's at bestbuy.com I can accross this HDDvd preorder going on. It's a shame it's sold out I wanted to be one of the first to get it in 18 years.

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