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Blue Ray Versus HD DVD Players

Mar 21, 2008
Technically, it is called Blu ray, but I used the word "blue ray" because the name is actually derived from their technology idea of using a blue violet laser. But which format do you buy? Blu ray or High Definition (HD)?

There has been such a confusion lately over the HD vs the Blu-ray that I wanted to point out some of the latest surrounding these two right now. There is no definitive answer at this time as to which will win the battle in Blu-ray vs HD format. This may not clear things up but it will show what may be changing in the future. In the news recently on February 15th 2008, it read that Wal-Mart plans to discontinue all sales of their HD DVD Movies and Players. This was interesting to me. I have just been impressed at how the world of DVDs is changing so rapidly.

I am sure that you are aware that Regular DVD players and Regular DVDs are no longer sold in stores. My family just bought a new HD DVD player for Christmas this last year. My dad told me, "Kevin, if we buy a blu-ray to replace this new HD, then you can have the old DVD player for your room." The clarity of picture is a lot clearer on the HD DVD player than on the previous regular DVD player that we used to have.

But now WalMart plans to discontinue these new HD DVD players already? Wow!

Just a year ago the plan was to have the regular DVD players were to be replaced with the new High Definition (HD) DVDs and HD DVD players that produce a clearer view. In fact, it was just as recently as April of 2007 that WalMart was excited to announce that they were ordering massive amounts of the new HD DVD players and offering them at prices lower than everywhere else. In one news article that I found with a quick search, the title was read as "Wal-Mart Names HD DVD the Winner" http://news.digitaltrends.com/talkback184.html

That was just last year!

Now, WalMart plans to totally discontinue all sales of the HD DVD by June 2008! So what happened? Walmart believes that the new Blu-ray DVDs and Blu-ray DVD players are going to be more popular than HD and will soon be what consumers want. In the news just on Feb 15th, I was reading a title that read... "Wal-Mart to officially discontinue HD DVD sales by June" http://www.engadget.com/2008/02/15/wal-mart-to-officially-discontinue-hd-dvd-sales-by-june/

Blu-ray technology is made through an organization called "Blu-ray Disc Association" (BDA). They are an organization comprised of 9 leading electronic companies: Sony, Matsushita, Sharp, Samsung, Pioneer, Thomson, Philips, LG Electronics, and Hitachi. Their board members include other companies as well though, such as representatives from:

- Twentieth Century Fox
- Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group / Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
- Warner Home Video Inc.
- Sun Microsystems
- Apple Inc.
- Dell Inc.
- Hewlett-Packard Company

Informationweek news stated that "Wal-Mart's announcement was the latest major blow dealt to the Toshiba-backed HD DVD, which this month also lost the support of consumer electronics retailer Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) and online movie renter Netflix. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, which accounts for 20% of DVD sales in the U.S., said last month it would ship all of its high-definition titles in Sony-backed Blu-ray by year's end."

How does Blu-ray technology work?

The Blu-ray technology uses a special blue-violet laser for reading and writing on the DVD disk, which uses a shorter wavelength (405 nm versus 650 on a regular DVD), thereby allowing way more data to be held on a a Blu-ray Disc than on the standard DVD. Using this new format, the Blu ray discs can store five times more data than current DVD's! If you go to their site http://www.blu-raydisc.com/, you can see in their example that it is noticeably more clear of a picture than regular DVD. But HD is also a more clear picture than regular DVD and HD is cheaper than Blu ray, so who knows which one will be the standard in a few years?

Both Blu-ray and HD players are capable of playing CD's and DVD's but HD players are not capable of playing Blu ray discs and visa versa. And that is where the battle begins. The consumer is forced to decide whether he wants to invest in a Blu-ray player or a HD player as each will only be able to play their own format discs.

My advice? Keep your current DVD player for now.
About the Author
Kevin Corazza whose family recently upgraded their DVD player, is from southern California, enjoys jazz music and studying technology. Kevin builds computers in his spare time. Kevin Corazza
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