High-definition Format War: Blu-ray vs HD DVD and How to Rip Blu-ray/DVD?

Diana Joan

Jul 23, 2016 03:34 pm / Posted by Diana Joan | Categories: Blu-ray, DVD

Will Blu-ray replace DVD? You must consider that what the difference is between Blu-ray and HD DVD. And the worst is Blu-ray and HD DVD formats are incompatible — that means your Blu-ray player won’t play HD DVD movies, and your HD DVD machine won’t be able to read Blu-ray movies. So you may be eager to know which is better, Blu-ray or HD DVD. Here let’s see the high-definition format war between Blu-ray and HD DVD. 

Blu-ray vs HD DVD — Initial Supporters

HD-DVD was exclusively endorsed by Toshiba, HP, NEC, Sanyo, Microsoft, RCA, Kenwood, Intel, and Memory-Tech Corporation. The HD DVD format was also non-exclusively supported by Hitachi Maxell, LG, Lite On, Onkyo, Meridan, Samsung and Alpine. Technology companies supporting Blu-Ray include Apple, Dell, Panasonic, Hitachi, LG, Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, and Thomson. 

Studios exclusively supporting Blu-Ray included Sony Pictures Entertainment and MGM (both owned by Sony) as well as Disney, 20th Century Fox, and Lionsgate. It was non-exclusively supported by Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema. On the other hand, HD DVD was exclusively backed by Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures (including Paramount Vantage, Nickelodeon Movies, MTV Films, DreamWorks Pictures and DreamWorks Animation), The Weinstein Company (including Dimension Films), and First Look Studios. Non-exclusive backers of HD DVD include HBO, Studio Canal and Image Entertainment. 

HD DVD was currently exclusively backed by several adult-movie/pornography studios/publishers, including Wicked Pictures, Pink Visual, Bang Bros, Digital Playground Inc. and ClubJenna Inc. (which was acquired by Playboy Enterprises); and is also non-exclusively backed by Vivid Entertainment. 

Blu-ray vs HD DVD — Defections and Later Developments

In early 2008, Warner Brothers announced that while they will continue to release content in both formats until May 2008, they will move to the Blu-ray format exclusively after that. With this announcement, according to the New York Times, Blu-ray would control roughly 70% of the content market. 

Warner Brothers’ decision was followed by announcements from Netflix, Blockbuster and Wal-Mart to support Blu-ray exclusively. Most companies cited Blu-ray’s popularity with consumers (as reflected by higher sales) as the reason behind their decisio. In February 2008, Toshiba announced that it would stop manufacturing HD DVD players. A few hours after Toshiba’s announcement, Universal Pictures and Universal Studios withdrew their support for HD DVD and switched to the Blu-ray camp. 

Blu-ray vs HD DVD — Technical Differences

Since the Blu-ray disc has a tighter track pitch (the single thread of data that spirals from the inside of the disc all the way out), it can hold more pits (microscopic 0s and 1s) on the same size disc as HD DVD even with a laser of the same wavelength. The differing track pitch of the Blu-ray disc makes its pickup apertures differ, however—0.65 for HD DVD vs. 0.85 for Blu-ray—thus also making the two pickups technically incompatible despite using lasers of the same type. 

HD DVD discs also have a different surface layer (the clear plastic layer on the surface of the data—what you get fingerprints and scratches on) from Blu-ray discs. HD DVD use a 0.6 mm-thick surface layer, the same as DVD, while Blu-ray has a much smaller 0.1mm layer to help enable the laser to focus with that 0.85 aperture. This leads to higher costs for Blu-Ray discs because: 

A special hard coating must also be applied to Blu-ray discs, so their surface is sufficiently resilient enough to protect the data a mere 0.1mm beneath. Blu-ray discs do not share the same surface layer thickness of regular DVDs, so costly production facilities must be modified or replaced in order to produce the discs. 

Blu-ray vs HD DVD– History

After the successful CD format, Sony and Philips worked together again to create a high-density disc called MMCD (MultiMedia Compact Disc). However, Toshiba’s competing Super Density Disc (SD) had the vast majority of backers at the time, such as Hitachi, Matsushita (Panasonic), Mitsubishi, Pioneer, Thomson, and Time Warner. IBM president Lou Gerstner brokered a deal between the 2 factions and the result was a new format: DVD. 

Sony and Philips later started work on the next generation format – the Professional Disc for DATA (aka PDD or ProDATA), which was based on an optical disc system Sony had already been developing in the side. This eventually became the Blu-ray disc. Toshiba had also started work on a next gen system, the Advanced Optical Disc, which eventually evolved into the HD DVD. 

Blu-ray vs DVD – Comparison Table

Topic Blu-ray DVD
Storage A Blu-ray disc can hold about 25 GB of data. Dual layer Blu-ray discs can hold as much as 50 GB of data. The larger storage capacity of a Blu-ray disc is a clear advantage over standard DVDs, allowing higher quality of video and audio to be stored. A standard DVD disc can hold up to 4.7 gigabytes (GB) of data. Dual layer DVDs can hold about 8.5 – 8.7 GB of data, which is still much less than even the smallest Blu-ray discs.
Cost The price of Blu-ray players is more affordable than ever. Blu-ray discs themselves, for movies and TV shows, cost a little more than standard DVDs, but the gain from Blu-ray far outweighs the moderately increased prices. DVD players and DVD discs are cheaper than a Blu-ray disc.
Quality Because of the larger storage capacity of the Blu-ray disc, it can hold much more video and audio data, allowing for much higher quality of video and audio. Blu-ray discs support resolutions up to 1920×1080 and frame rates up to 29.97 at the highest resolution (frame rates up to 59.94 at lower resolutions). Blu-ray discs can playback in true HD format. Due to the much lower storage capacity of a standard DVD, it is not possible to have HD video quality on a DVD.
Availability Blu-ray is a newer technology than DVD, which means not all of the older movies are available yet in Blu-ray format. DVD has been around since 1996 and has had years to develop its library. Almost every movie ever made is available in DVD format and when renting movies you’ll have a much easier time finding the movie in DVD format than Blu-ray.
Content Many Blu-ray movies will come with additional content not available with DVD. This content can include additional commentaries, behind the scenes, and much more and usually all on one disc. With the limited space of a DVD, you may get some DVD movies with additional bonus content. However, many times the additional content will be on a separate disc.
3D All the latest new 3D movies are now only distributed on Blu-ray. Although there are 3D DVDs all the latest movies are only coming out on Blu-ray.


Blu-Ray and HD DVD  | Wikipedia: Blu-ray | Wikipedia: HD DVD 

Recommended Blu-ray Ripper to Rip both Blu-ray and DVD 

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