Sunday, March 25, 2007
When it comes to differences between the two formats, HD-DVD stores its data more deeply in the disc and can store up to fifteen gigabytes of data on each side of a disc or a total of thirty gigabytes per disc if both sides are used. Blu-ray uses a more finely focused laser and therefore can store up to twenty five gigabytes of data on each side of its discs for a total of fifty gigabytes per disc. In many ways this additional data storage capacity makes Blu-ray the superior technology- after all a difference of twenty gigabytes per disc means that Blu-ray should offer a lot more options when it comes to bonus features of movies, number of episodes of TV shows that can be stored on one disc, or size of software packages that can be stored on a single disc. As far as computer applications go, Blu-ray is the better choice for data archiving.
Unfortunately for those cheering for the better technology, Blu-ray has some serious disadvantages in the market. For one thing, Blu-ray players typically cost twice as much as the players of HD-DVD's. This factor, combined with the fact that a lot of people don't want to take the risk of buying a player for either format until the format war is sorted out, has seriously dampened sales of Blu-ray players. The Blu-ray format has also had the disadvantage of some marketing blunders by Sony while Toshiba has made some more intelligent marketing moves with HD-DVD.
Amazon.com is taking steps to even the playing field though. Even though Amazon has sold slightly more HD-DVD players than Blu-ray players, it's decided to take about three hundred dollars off of the price of a popular Blu-ray player. This discount brings it down to between five and six hundred dollars which makes it competitive with HD-DVD players priced at about five hundred dollars. This may give Blu-ray somewhat of an edge if it prompts people who prefer the specs on the Blu-ray format to buy the technology sooner rather than later. That may give Blu-ray just the edge it needs to assume the economic superiority to match its technical advantages.