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HD-DVD versus Blu-ray Disc (BD)

Here is a summary of HD-DVD versus Blu-ray, the two primary media formats vying to replace DVD. The DVD Forum is developing HD-DVD, and the Blu-ray Disc Association is developing Blu-ray. Both organizations are consortiums of industry players. The information below was collected on December 9, 2004. Note that Sony has chosen Blu-Ray for its Playstation 3.

Major Corporate Sponsorshop for HD-DVD

Toshiba Electronics $6 bil
NEC Electronics $5 bil
Paramount Pictures
Entertainment - Diversified $27 bil
Universal Studios (GE) Conglomerates $144 bil
Warner Bros./New Line Cinema
(Time Warner)
Entertainment - Diversified $39 bil

Major Corporate Sponsorshop for Blu-ray

Sony / Sony Pictures Audio & Video Equipment $71 bil
Dell Computer Hardware $47 bil
Hitachi Electronic Equipment $83 bil
Hewlett-Packard Company Diversified Computer Systems $78 bil
Panasonic (Matsushita) Electronics $36 bil
Pioneer Electronic Equipment $7 bil
Philips Electronic Equipment $38 bil
Samsung Electronics $41 bil
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. (MGM) Move Production, Theaters $2 bil
The Walt Disney Co. Entertainment - Diversified $30 bil

Technical Comparison of Read-only Formats

Storage Capacity (per layer)15 GB25 GB4.4 GB
Manufacturing ProcessExistingNewCurrent
Cover Layer0.6 mm0.1 mm0.6 mm
Approx. Transfer Rate (Mb/s)19365
Video Resolution1920 x 1080 720 x 480
Video CodecsMicrosoft VC-9, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 AVC (H.264)MPEG-2 or MPEG-1
Laser Wavelength405 nanometers (blue-violet) 650 nanometers (red)
Launch DateSept. 20052nd half 2005Aug. 1997


Note that the company list above is not exhaustive and is subject to change. Based on the list, Blu-Ray has slightly more companies with bigger aggregate size. There is not enough information to say if anyone is in the lead, but with major electronics and entertainment companies in each camp, there is sure to be a pitched battle.

Technically speaking, both HD-DVD and and Blu-Ray would have enough capacity to hold the same ultra-high quality movies. (With stunning 1920x1080 resolution, a lot of people will have to upgrade their TV sets too see it, even recently purchased ones.) The manufacturing process of HD-DVD requires little new investment to existing DVD processes, making the format cheaper to the consumer. Blu-Ray disks are more expensive partly due to the different cover layer depth, requiring new manufacturing processes. On the other hand, the disks holds sixty-seven percent more data.


Created 2004-12-09, Last Modified 2016-12-01, © Shailesh N. Humbad
Disclaimer: This content is provided as-is. The information may be incorrect.