Blu-Ray or HD-DVD

UPDATE January 29, 2019:  12 years later, we know which technology won this race!  🙂  Streaming was not even a dream when I wrote this.  😉  “Tech Detective” was my “name” when I published in magazines… fun to see this again.  

In the old days, we asked “VHS or Beta” ? Now we are asking “Blu-Ray or HD-DVD”?

The choice between VHS and Beta was relatively clear cut. The quality of Beta was better, while the cost of VHS was lower. VHS won.

Today, the choice between Blu-Ray and HD-DVD is a bit harder. Both give great video and audio quality. HD-DVD is less expensive, but that does not seem to be the major factor this time around.

The differences this time are twofold:

  1. The movie studios are picking sides. Some, like Disney and Sony (the originator of Blu-Ray technology and also Beta), burn their movies only for Blu-Ray. Others, like Universal and Paramount have picked HD-DVD.
  2. Also in the mix are the computer folks who were not a factor the last time. Microsoft has picked HD-DVD while Apple has sided with Blu-Ray. Arrrghhh..

Both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray play your existing DVD’s and will upconvert the video quality to give as good a picture as possible on your HDTV.

Tech Detective (TechyMike) says: Up-converting gives you a pretty darn good picture.

What do you do?

Tech Detective (TechyMike) suggests: Nothing.

Eventually, something will happen, either there will be two “standards” and the content providers / movie studios will burn movies to either (some already do that), or the players that play both standards will become more available / affordable (some of these players exist now too, see this LG unit). Or Blu-Ray or HD-DVD will win and the other will go the way of Beta.

Only time will tell. In the meantime, check out CNET’s opinion.


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