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Which is Better... HD DVD or Blu-Ray Disc?
December 19th, 2007 by Joe Chianese
Last Update January 4th, 2008

Buy or Wait?

UPDATE: As of January 4th, 2008, Warner Brothers has announced exlusive Blu-Ray support for all their titles, ending their support of HD DVD in June of 2008. It looks like Sony just might come out on top here. But until all the studios back Blu-Ray exclusively, there is still some hope left for HD DVD. Paramount's exclusive deal with HD DVD runs out towards 2009, so until then, HD DVD will stick be alive and kicking. Universal supports both Blu-Ray and HD DVD at this point but we'll see if that changes in the future. If you're keeping score, HD DVD only has Paramount (which includes DreamWorks) exclusively and Universal non-exclusively, leaving Blu-Ray with over 70% of the market.

Not the easiest question to answer. Buying one of these next-gen formats is really up to you and your needs. They are both stellar improvements over standard DVD movies. If you're in the market for (or already have) a PS3, the answer is obvious. Even if you've got an Xbox 360, add the HD DVD player for around $180 since some of the best titles (hint: Transformers) are only available on HD DVD (for now). Heck, buy a brand new HD DVD player itself for $180. The price will come down in the coming months (same for Blu-Ray, but probably not nearly as much as HD DVD).

A month ago, I'd have suggested getting an HD DVD player over a Blu-Ray player, but now I'm beginning to lean toward a PS3. Until the price of Blu-Ray players comes down (say, 50%), the Playstation 3 is your best investment for playing high definition movies and acting as a home theater hub (not to mention, what could be the best game console to date if the games start making use of its potential). Its hard to skip over an HD DVD player with prices jumping down to the $150 range, considering the price of Blu-Ray. Waiting is my final answer on the topic; unless you've got money burning a hole in your pocket, of course.

Looking a Few Years Ahead

What it really comes down to is making a strong investment on your purchase. You don't want to buy an HD DVD or Blu-Ray player and then witness your format losing out in the next few years. Its hard to anticipate who will win or when it will be over, but there's also the idea of a market that supports both HD DVD and Blu-Ray. There are already players capable of playing both formats (though extremely expensive), and computers will mostly see dual-compatible drives once they become mainstream. So really, either format could be around for the foreseeable future.

Unless of Course...

New formats are already in development, as are new storage mediums for the computer. Holographic storage, new developments in computer memory, and even better lasers and disc materials are in the works. This means you could see other disc-based formats capable of holding far more data than HD DVD or Blu-Ray, as well as memory that can hold thousands of movies and access them quickly. Ten years from now, or sooner, we may no longer require disc-based format as storage mediums as computer storage capacity explodes.

You might download all your movies straight to your TV one day. You could store your entire collection of DVDs on one hard drive. The possibilities are endless, and that's good and bad. No one really knows where digital media storage is headed in the long run, and HD DVD and Blu-Ray are just the first, commercially-available tastes of whats to come.

But hey, if you want the best image and sound quality available, now's the time to upgrade to HD DVD or Blu-Ray. The choice is yours!

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>>The End!



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