A Closer look at Blu Ray vs. HD DVD Burning

Rob Boirun BurnWorld ReviewerBy
Lead Reviewer for BurnWorld
August 2, 2011

Download this entire Blu Ray vs HD DVD Guide in PDF format


The Beginning

DVD was introduced back in 1997 when it acquired the status of advanced home video technology. Prior to the introduction of DVD, VHS tapes had been ruling the video market. Every household had to rely on the quality that VHS tapes offered. Looking at the video quality of DVD, the general consensus is that VHS did not quite measure up to its viewing quality. DVD came on like a storm to capture the home video market on the sheer force of its picture clarity and depth. Even though DVD technology is not more than a decade old, Hollywood studios are already toying with the idea of using a newer version of the DVD, known as HD-DVD . Closely related to this format is Blu-ray. Both new-age technologies are considered archrivals because they were introduced around the same time, and are attempting to dislodge the existing DVD format.

You can associate certain advantages and disadvantages with a new technology when it enters the market to dislodge an existing one. The existing technology has been accepted for both what it offers and what it does not. The new technology, to make its mark, will have to focus on the missing features of the technology it is trying to replace. Both HD-DVD and Blu-ray are bringing into focus their improved visual standards.


  • Blu-ray is the format developed by the Japanese electronic giant Sony
  • HD-DVD is the format developed by Toshiba

Red against the Blu

  • Optical disc technologies prevalent today use a red laser to perform read and write operations
  • Blu-ray uses a blue-violet laser to read and write

You need to carefully evaluate the pros and cons of both so that you do not regret your decision later. Both the electronic giants responsible for introducing these formats, Sony for Blu-ray and Toshiba for HD-DVD, have not been able to agree on a common format or unification of standards that could be used universally. It seems as if history is about to repeat itself. Back in the late 1970s the rivalry between Beta and VHS formats had an adverse effect on the growth of the home-viewing segment of the video market.

It is feared that the non-standardization or lack of compatibility in both Blu-ray and HD-DVD formats are going to divide the viewing section as in the Beta/VHS days. The implications are clear; if a studio comes out with a movie using a particular format (let’s assume only in HD-DVD format) viewers with Blu-ray players will not be able to view it, and vice versa. It places an added burden on production houses to release movies in both formats. However, consumers will have to be more alert while buying a movie disc to make sure that it is of the same format as their player. It is even more surprising that both the formats are more similar than different, making it all the more difficult to make a viable choice between the two. The video comprises high-definition resolution, which is missing in the existing DVD format. A careful examination and comparison between both HD-DVD and Blu-ray formats is in order to help the consumer make an informed choice.

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