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HD DVD Technology Loses

Updated on March 10, 2008

HD DVD Technology Has Lost the Battle

The DVD format is still amazingly popular. However, with the increasing popularity of High Definition TVs, the biggest electronic companies started a race to develop the newest technology for the HD standard. Sony and Toshiba developed two competing formats Blue-Ray and HD-DVD. Blu-Ray was developed by Sony, and HD-DVD by Toshiba.

The different formats, which have been parallel on the market, had both companies lobbying the biggest Hollywood studios, software producers, and the biggest retailers. The entire technological battle was often compared to the battle between VHS technology and Betamax, the competitor at the time. As history shows, when there are two competing standards, only one survives. This survival of the fittest is exactly what happened with VHS and Betamax, or cassette tapes and CDs. This is exactly what is happening with Blu-Ray and HD-DVD.

How the Race Began

Initially, HD-DVD started getting more support when the bigger movie studios, like DreamWorks, Paramount Pictures, and Universal Studios, decided to support the format. As well, Microsoft decided to support HD-DVD, starting to produce HD-DVD players for its XBOX 360 video consoles. At first, Sony had a lot of troubles with Blu-Ray technology because Blu-Ray uses a different kind of laser to read the discs. Sony had problems with the suppliers and producers of the laser.

From a technical standpoint, the Blu-Ray standard is definitely one step ahead of HD-DVD. The capacity of the disc is almost two times greater. Blu-Ray’s capacity can be up to 50GB versus HD-DVD’s 25GB. This means that instead of multiple discs, you can have the entire collection of the Friends television series on one disc. After initial problems, Blu-Ray technology started getting more and more support. Big movie producers, like Buena Vista, 20th Century Fox, New Line, and Sony Pictures began supporting Blu-Ray.

The End of the Battle

After Warner Bros. announced that the studio will solely support Blu-Ray, it became obvious that the Blu-Ray format would win the battle. Shortly after the decision of Warner Bros, huge retailers, like Wal-Mart, decided to only sell Blu-Ray. As well, the leading video rental companies, such as Netflix and Blockbuster, also decided to go with Blu-Ray. Shortly after, Microsoft decided to stop producing HD-DVD players for XBOX 360.

On February 21,2008, Toshiba announced that it has pulled the plug on the HD-DVD technology. The only problems we have left are all the people who have already bought HD-DVD players. Think 8-tracks.


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    • profile image

      Reuben 9 years ago

      Same here, I'm not looking to replace my DVD player until prices drop significantly, but a good friend of mine has HDDVD and its beautiful

    • rmr profile image

      rmr 9 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Thanks for the info. This is why I haven't replaced my old dvd player yet. Now I know which way to go. Great hub!