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Blu-Ray Technology

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Since 1997, DVD has been the #1 top selling format for home entertainment, crushing VHS with in a five year time frame. But technology is forever changing and it's only a matter of time before DVD's go the way of VHS. With two new formats (High Definition-DVD and Blu-ray) on the horizon, which one will win the race? Both formats use blue laser technology, which has a shorter wavelength than red (DVD), allowing it to read the smaller digital data "spots" packed a lot more densely onto a standard-size disc. In other words, they hold a lot more memory than your standard DVD's. "The comparison chart shows that HD-DVD and Blu-ray disks will be pretty similar. Both should be able to fit a high definition movie onto one side of one disk, and both HD-DVD and Blu-ray players will play old DVD movies."(Boutin, Paul) it's still too early to call the race with both technologies about a year away, but my money is on Blu-ray.

HD-DVD is more user friendly in terms of its name, with the title holding a name closer to DVD. (Carnoy, David) "Toshiba, NEC, and a couple of other upstarts will be pushing for HD-DVD." HD-DVD is capable of holding 30GB or a full-length high-definition movie, plus extras, on a prerecorded double-layer disc (compare that to today's limit of 9GB for standard double-layer DVDs). Plus the cost of making a HD-DVD is on par with the cost of today's DVD's, making it a smoother transition for the big companies to deal with. Toshiba expects to start commercial sales of HD-DVD players and recorders in the final three months of 2005, with players to cost under $1000. Though under a thousand dollars, they wont be anywhere near the cost of today's DVD players which retail for around a hundred dollars.

Panasonic, Samsung, Dell, HP, Philips and other notables back blu-ray's captain, Sony. Blu-rays technology will go up to 50GB at launch, and Sony is reportedly working on a quad-layer 100GB disc (again check the chart for other facts on theses formats). This means technologically Blu-ray will have the advantage on that perspective. Not only that but, "Sony is coming out with PlayStation 3, which uses Blu-ray, sometime this year. This means there is going to be a huge market for this technology right off the bat."(Willis, Chris) Blu-ray players are also scheduled for release later in the year, also retailing for under a thousand dollars.

The biggest reason to side with Blu- ray is technologically, it has the biggest edge over HD-DVD. It offers 30 percent more capacity and is also designed for recording high-def video. Rewritable Blu-ray-RW discs, with similar features to Panasonic's current DVD-RAM



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