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What are all the differences between HD DVD and Blu Ray? Huh?

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Old 07-22-2007, 08:08 AM   #1  
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Default What are all the differences between HD DVD and Blu Ray? Huh?

Hey guys, I'm trying to compile a list of differences between HD DVD and Blu Ray for the forum. And I would like your help in correcting what I have so far. Here it is:

------------------------------------------

Blu Ray and HD DVD are two formats that are competing to be the next standard High Definition disc [and trying to replace the regular DVD.] They are not compatible with each other, and one disc from one format will not play in the other format's disc player. There are plans for "dual-format players" in the future that will play both discs from both formats. But currently, if you buy a Blu Ray player, you will have to buy Blu Ray discs. Or if you buy an HD DVD player, you will have to buy HD DVD discs.

And although you would think that with both of them being "high definition discs," that they would be very similar, but in fact... they are very different. The differences start in the way they were developed:

First of all, both formats use a blue laser to read the discs, as opposed to the red laser used to read regular DVD's. The blue laser has a shorter wavelength, and thus allows for it to read more data in a short area of space. However, the disc used to store data for each format is difference. 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—think grooves on a 12-inch vinyl), so it can hold more pits (those microscopic 0s and 1s) on the same size disc as HD DVD. And the differing track pitch makes its pickup apperatures different - thus making the two pickups technically incompatible even though they're using similar lasers.

Blu Ray discs also use a different thickness of surface layer compared to the HD DVD (0.6mm on HD DVD's compared to 0.1mm on Blu Rays.) And this thinner surface on Blu Ray discs makes Blu Ray discs more expensive to manufacture. And because of the thinner surface, Blu Ray discs do not share the same thickness of surface layer as the regular DVD's. And machines that make regular DVD's must be specially modified in order to reproduce Blu Ray discs, and this modification is a pricey process. Thus, Blu Ray discs cost more to manufacture, but hold more data than an HD DVD disc. (A single-layer HD DVD disc can hold up to 15 GigaBytes (GB), while a single-layer Blu Ray disc can hold up to 25 GB. And a dual-layed HD DVD disc can hold up to 30 GB, while a dual-layer Blu Ray disc can hold up to 50 GB.)

Another big difference between the two is movie studio support. Blu Ray has more major studio support than HD DVD. The movie studios that are exclusive to Blu Ray are Disney, Columbia (Sony), Twentieth Century Fox, and MGM. The only major movie studio that is exclusive to HD DVD is Universal. And Warner Brothers and Paramount are format neutral. Though, if one format should win, it is expected that all major studios would then support the winner of the format war [whether it be Blu Ray or HD DVD.]

A third big difference between the two formats is price. HD DVD players start at around $250, while the least expensive Blu Ray player is $460 [though the most popular Blu Ray player is the PS3 which is priced around $500 right now.] Though, there are some issues with the current Blu Ray players. For one, Sony has yet to set a standard for Blu Ray compatibility, and many first-generation and second-generation Blu Ray players may not be able to play future Blu Ray titles. This means that a consumer could spend from $500-$1000 on a Blu Ray player that won't work for them in the future. This happened because Sony released Blu Ray before it was a finished product, in order to compete with HD DVD. The makes of HD DVD, however, have set a standard compatibility for their discs and players from day one, and all of their players will work with all current and future HD DVD's.

The good news is that Sony has set a date of 10/31/07 for all new Blu Ray players introduced to be "Profile 1.1" and compatible with all future release. However, this does not necessarily mean if you buy a Blu Ray player after 10/31/07 that you are safe, as the rule only states that Blu Ray Players INTRODUCED after that date need to be Profile 1.1 compatible, and stores may still have only Profile 1.0 players on the shelves after 10/31/07. Thus, it is recommended that if you buy a Blu Ray player, you either wait or make sure that the player is Profile 1.1 so you can be sure your Blu Ray player will continue to work with future releases.

Another difference between the players is ethernet connections. HD DVD requires all of their players to have ethernet connections. This not only allows HD DVD discs to include special extras that include internet interactivity, but also allows HD DVD players to download firmware updates in order to keep the player technically up-to-date. Some blu ray disc players do have ethernet ports, but it is not a requirement of Blu Ray players.

One other difference between the two formats is the compression schemes they use encode movies on disc. Technically, both formats can use the same CODECs [enCOding/DECoding] for playing movies, but the makers of each format recommend different CODECs to their studios to encode movies in. The Blu Ray mainly uses the MPEG-2 CODEC to encode movies, which is the same CODEC used to store movies on regular DVDs. While the HD DVD mainly uses the VC-1 CODEC to encode movies, which is an evolution of the conventional DCT-based video codec design also found in MPEG-2. According to various sources, the VC-1 CODEC is typically judged best in subjective quality testing with other CODECs.

Also, since HD DVD is made by the same people who brought us the standard DVD, the HD DVD people are trying to be user-friendly by making "combo" discs for many HD DVD releases. A combo disc is when an HD DVD release not only includes the high-quality HD DVD version of the movie, but also the standard DVD version of the movie [so you don't have to buy two copies of the movies if you want to play them on non-HDTV sets. ] This may allow an easier transition for consumers from regular DVD to HD DVD. Blu Ray currently does not support combo discs or include standard definition DVDs with any of their releases.

-------------------------------------

I know there are probably some differences I missed too, anyone know any? I know there's something about audio mandates that I'm missing. And possibly something about HDMI profiles. Any help is appreciated.

Last edited by mswoods1; 07-22-2007 at 08:18 AM..
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Old 07-22-2007, 11:53 AM   #2  
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An internet connection while necessary for disk interactivity but it is not mandatory to enjoy a movie. Firmware updates via the internet are included but updates can also be had on hard disks free from Toshiba.

So I would not call internet access a 'requirement' for HD DVD. It is only an added feature (as is 'interactivity).
But it is a feature that worked from day one. Unlike other formats or Dish DVRs (for example) where it sits there for service use only, or some future feature.

Last edited by daleb; 07-22-2007 at 11:57 AM..
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Old 07-22-2007, 03:35 PM   #3  
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Daleb:

Ethernet connectivity IS in the HD DVD spec so ALL HD DVD players MUST have ethernet to have a HD DVD logo.

To correct/add to a couple of things off the top of my head about the original post:

1. Many BD movies are using an "next Gen" codec for video called AVC (MPEG4) instead of MPEG2 which is much less efficient than either VC-1 or AVC. I have both formats and I think VC-1 handles motion better than AVC does, but AVC is much better than MPEG2.

2. The Profile 1.1 BD players will still not be required to have an ethernet connection so even those Profile 1.1 BDplayer (when they come out) will not be able to do the inetnet interactive stuff. That would come later (still no date given by the BDA) with Profile 2.0 a.k.a. BD-Live.

3. BD has region coding as an option for a lot but I think less than half of the BD movies released actually encode regions. HD DVD has no region coding in the spec, so many BD only movie releases in the USA are being released as HD DVD releases in EUrope because the distribution system there is different than here.

4. HD DVD has a 3 layer 51GB disc awaiting final vote, but it is not clear if it will ever be needed for movies.

5. Both formats has pretty much equal PQ now that BD studios are finally trying harder, but the BD players still cost about 67% more than the entry level HD DVD players. Many HD DVD fans wonder why pay more for BD to get the same quality as HD DVD?

6. BD has more bandwidth but with the better video codecs (VC-1/AVC) it seems to not matter at this point.

7. Fox studios went with BD because it has additonal security features to help stop pirating/copying of BD movies, and this additional software can allow a BD movie disc to check if you have modified your BD player and if so, disable it.

8. The BD format does not allow for Managed Copy like the HD DVD format does, but it has not been implemented yet by the studios.
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Old 07-22-2007, 04:37 PM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PFC5 View Post
Daleb:

Ethernet connectivity IS in the HD DVD spec so ALL HD DVD players MUST have ethernet to have a HD DVD logo.

.
I read the OP as it will not work without it. Granted, it is a requirement like we have to have seat belts but don't have to wear them to drive our cars.

Last edited by daleb; 07-22-2007 at 04:43 PM..
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Old 07-22-2007, 05:51 PM   #5  
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So Blu Ray still hasn't switched off of MPEG2 completely?
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Old 07-22-2007, 06:30 PM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mswoods1 View Post
Hey guys, I'm trying to compile a list of differences between HD DVD and Blu Ray for the forum. And I would like your help in correcting what I have so far. Here it is:

------------------------------------------

Blu Ray and HD DVD are two formats that are competing to be the next standard High Definition disc [and trying to replace the regular DVD.] They are not compatible with each other, and one disc from one format will not play in the other format's disc player. There are plans for "dual-format players" in the future that will play both discs from both formats. But currently, if you buy a Blu Ray player, you will have to buy Blu Ray discs. Or if you buy an HD DVD player, you will have to buy HD DVD discs.

And although you would think that with both of them being "high definition discs," that they would be very similar, but in fact... they are very different. The differences start in the way they were developed:

First of all, both formats use a blue laser to read the discs, as opposed to the red laser used to read regular DVD's. The blue laser has a shorter wavelength, and thus allows for it to read more data in a short area of space. However, the disc used to store data for each format is difference. 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—think grooves on a 12-inch vinyl), so it can hold more pits (those microscopic 0s and 1s) on the same size disc as HD DVD. And the differing track pitch makes its pickup apperatures different - thus making the two pickups technically incompatible even though they're using similar lasers.

Blu Ray discs also use a different thickness of surface layer compared to the HD DVD (0.6mm on HD DVD's compared to 0.1mm on Blu Rays.) And this thinner surface on Blu Ray discs makes Blu Ray discs more expensive to manufacture. And because of the thinner surface, Blu Ray discs do not share the same thickness of surface layer as the regular DVD's. And machines that make regular DVD's must be specially modified in order to reproduce Blu Ray discs, and this modification is a pricey process. Thus, Blu Ray discs cost more to manufacture, but hold more data than an HD DVD disc. (A single-layer HD DVD disc can hold up to 15 GigaBytes (GB), while a single-layer Blu Ray disc can hold up to 25 GB. And a dual-layed HD DVD disc can hold up to 30 GB, while a dual-layer Blu Ray disc can hold up to 50 GB.)

Another big difference between the two is movie studio support. Blu Ray has more major studio support than HD DVD. The movie studios that are exclusive to Blu Ray are Disney, Columbia (Sony), Twentieth Century Fox, and MGM. The only major movie studio that is exclusive to HD DVD is Universal. And Warner Brothers and Paramount are format neutral. Though, if one format should win, it is expected that all major studios would then support the winner of the format war [whether it be Blu Ray or HD DVD.]

A third big difference between the two formats is price. HD DVD players start at around $250, while the least expensive Blu Ray player is $460 [though the most popular Blu Ray player is the PS3 which is priced around $500 right now.] Though, there are some issues with the current Blu Ray players. For one, Sony has yet to set a standard for Blu Ray compatibility, and many first-generation and second-generation Blu Ray players may not be able to play future Blu Ray titles. This means that a consumer could spend from $500-$1000 on a Blu Ray player that won't work for them in the future. This happened because Sony released Blu Ray before it was a finished product, in order to compete with HD DVD. The makes of HD DVD, however, have set a standard compatibility for their discs and players from day one, and all of their players will work with all current and future HD DVD's.

The good news is that Sony has set a date of 10/31/07 for all new Blu Ray players introduced to be "Profile 1.1" and compatible with all future release. However, this does not necessarily mean if you buy a Blu Ray player after 10/31/07 that you are safe, as the rule only states that Blu Ray Players INTRODUCED after that date need to be Profile 1.1 compatible, and stores may still have only Profile 1.0 players on the shelves after 10/31/07. Thus, it is recommended that if you buy a Blu Ray player, you either wait or make sure that the player is Profile 1.1 so you can be sure your Blu Ray player will continue to work with future releases.

Another difference between the players is ethernet connections. HD DVD requires all of their players to have ethernet connections. This not only allows HD DVD discs to include special extras that include internet interactivity, but also allows HD DVD players to download firmware updates in order to keep the player technically up-to-date. Some blu ray disc players do have ethernet ports, but it is not a requirement of Blu Ray players.

One other difference between the two formats is the compression schemes they use encode movies on disc. Technically, both formats can use the same CODECs [enCOding/DECoding] for playing movies, but the makers of each format recommend different CODECs to their studios to encode movies in. The Blu Ray mainly uses the MPEG-2 CODEC to encode movies, which is the same CODEC used to store movies on regular DVDs. While the HD DVD mainly uses the VC-1 CODEC to encode movies, which is an evolution of the conventional DCT-based video codec design also found in MPEG-2. According to various sources, the VC-1 CODEC is typically judged best in subjective quality testing with other CODECs.

Also, since HD DVD is made by the same people who brought us the standard DVD, the HD DVD people are trying to be user-friendly by making "combo" discs for many HD DVD releases. A combo disc is when an HD DVD release not only includes the high-quality HD DVD version of the movie, but also the standard DVD version of the movie [so you don't have to buy two copies of the movies if you want to play them on non-HDTV sets. ] This may allow an easier transition for consumers from regular DVD to HD DVD. Blu Ray currently does not support combo discs or include standard definition DVDs with any of their releases.

-------------------------------------

I know there are probably some differences I missed too, anyone know any? I know there's something about audio mandates that I'm missing. And possibly something about HDMI profiles. Any help is appreciated.
I don't know who wrote this but it definitely wasn't you. This was probably written sometime around August 2006. It reads completely outdated and it is a joke to post something like this now. Why don't you make a list? No one wants to read a novel to know the differences between the 2 formats.
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Old 07-22-2007, 06:32 PM   #7  
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So Blu Ray still hasn't switched off of MPEG2 completely?
Basically 99% of new BD releases are NOT MPEG-2. This is just one example of how outdated this article is.
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Old 07-22-2007, 08:06 PM   #8  
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Originally Posted by GLOW View Post
I don't know who wrote this but it definitely wasn't you. This was probably written sometime around August 2006. It reads completely outdated and it is a joke to post something like this now. Why don't you make a list? No one wants to read a novel to know the differences between the 2 formats.
Yes I wrote it [with information from articles around the net.] This is why I posted it though, so people could correct me. While writing it, I tried to search for what Blu Ray movies were currently encoding at, and I couldn't find anything but how the MPEG-2 CODEC was in great use in BD discs. But just tell me what BD currently uses and I'll change it. I'm assuming it's MPEG-4 since HD DVD mainly uses VC-1. But I have found that Crank [released in Jan 2007] was encoded in MPEG-2 so it isn't as outdated as you are saying it is.

Last edited by mswoods1; 07-22-2007 at 08:29 PM..
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Old 07-22-2007, 11:10 PM   #9  
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Okay after doing some research it seems that most are using MPEG-4 these days [couldn't find an article discussing it, but just looked at individual reviews of recent blu ray releases.]

So with that new information, the new CODEC paragraph would look similar to this:

One other difference between the two formats is the compression schemes they use to fit movies onto a disc [all movies must be compressed whether they are put onto an HD DVD or Blu Ray disc.]. Technically, both formats can use the same compression schemes, or CODECs [enCOding/DECoding], for playing movies. These CODECs include the MPEG-2 [which is used to encode standard definition DVDs], and the next-generation CODECs MPEG-4 and VC-1.

And in the early days of Blu Ray, Sony only provided studios with software to encode movies using the old MPEG-2 CODEC. Sony claimed that the MPEG-2 CODEC delivered great HD performance even though it was outdated. However, many consumers felt that it did not deliver great HD content, and many of the early Blu Ray relases were deemed inferior to the early HD DVD releases which were encoded using the next-generation VC-1 CODEC. So, recently Sony has changed its preferred CODEC to the MPEG-4, which has greatly increased the picture quality of Blu Ray releases. Thus, the picture quality difference between HD DVD and Blu Ray has become hardly recognizable, and now both deliver equally great picture performance [with the HD DVD using VC-1 and Blu Ray using MPEG-4.]. And although you may hear from both sides of the camp that their technology delivers the greatest picture performance, picture quality should not be a major factor when deciding between HD DVD and Blu Ray. Since both are technically capable of the same performance, the quality of a new release is more dependent on the people who mastered the film, rather the technology it is being displayed upon.

Last edited by mswoods1; 07-22-2007 at 11:30 PM..
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Old 07-23-2007, 11:25 AM   #10  
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Wow, although most Blu Ray releases are now MPEG-4, I have found that Shooter [which is just about to be released] is encoded in MPEG-2 on Blu Ray. And oddly it's encoded to MPEG-4 on HD DVD. Weird because I thought when companies did dual format releases, they used the same codec for both. But I guess I was wrong.

Here's some comments about it from the high def digest review:

Paramount brings 'Shooter' to both HD DVD and Blu-ray about a month after the standard-def DVD, and (as is commonplace today with new releases), all are minted from the same high-def master. The HD DVD edition receives an 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode, while its Blu-ray counterpart gets the MPEG-2 treatment. Both transfers looked identical to me.
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Old 07-24-2007, 06:48 AM   #11  
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Originally Posted by mswoods1 View Post
Hey guys, I'm trying to compile a list of differences between HD DVD and Blu Ray for the forum.

You could shorten this article a lot if you just said:

- Although Bluray and HD-DVD are different types of discs, most studios release the exact same computer file on both. Thus there's no difference in playback or quality, since the file is identical.

(Note I said most, not all.)
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Old 07-24-2007, 02:32 PM   #12  
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Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post
You could shorten this article a lot if you just said:

- Although Bluray and HD-DVD are different types of discs, most studios release the exact same computer file on both. Thus there's no difference in playback or quality, since the file is identical.

(Note I said most, not all.)
Well as you are a BD fan, it is nice to hear this. So tell me WHY should we pay twice the money for a BD player over a HD DVD player?
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Old 07-24-2007, 02:47 PM   #13  
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Well as you are a BD fan, it is nice to hear this. So tell me WHY should we pay twice the money for a BD player over a HD DVD player?
He's a fan without the player to back it up...?? Am I seeing that correctly? *shrug*
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Old 07-24-2007, 06:57 PM   #14  
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He's a fan without the player to back it up...?? Am I seeing that correctly? *shrug*
There is nothing wrong with waiting until prices come down on BD players. I actually think that is the smart thing to do right now until certified Profile 1.1 players come out. Why by something that could be crippled because it will not play a lot of intereactive stuff whithout knowing what that new stuff will be?

I saw that movie coming that allows you to change something (up to 96 storylines) and have the whole movie change as a result of one change. This sounds very appealing to me and would certainly increase the re-watch value of a lot of movies I buy.

I just may start really caring about extras now with the new interactive features they can do.
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:42 PM   #15  
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So Blu Ray still hasn't switched off of MPEG2 completely?
Not According to http://blu-raystats.com/

In fact, according to this site, the majority of BD titles are using MPEG 2!
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