Blu-Ray and HD DVD

I want to upgrade my dvd player and there are a lot of nice choices out there right now. However, I'm concerned that whatever I buy now will be obsolete in a few months when blu ray (HD DVD?) hits the market. Am I missing something or is now the time to wait instead of plunking down serious cash on a player that isn't HD compatible? Also, am I mistaken in thinking that blu-ray = HD DVD?
Blu-ray and HD DVD are not the same, but both produce an HD picture.
Blu-ray is probably the best system and is from Sony.

I would wait to buy anything expensive. When these new players come out, even if you don't want them (and I don't know why you wouldn't), I would expect these player prices will drop like the stock market did a few years back.

This seems to be shaping up to be like SACD vs. DVD-A or VHS vs. Beta. I'd wait a bit.
Good example of price-dropping. The first prgressive scan dvd player had a price tag of 3k.
This is a format I have been watching with great interest.

This is a step in the right direction, if for no other reason than the ability to supply HD DVD to the masses. My Sony player was not expensive, so hopefully I won't get killed when I go to Blue-ray.


Who developed Blu-ray?

The Blu-ray Disc format was developed by the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA), a group of leading consumer electronics and PC companies with more than 100 members from all over the world. The Board of Directors currently consists of:

Apple Computer, Inc.
Dell Inc.
Hewlett Packard Company
Hitachi, Ltd.
LG Electronics Inc.
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
Pioneer Corporation
Royal Philips Electronics
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Sharp Corporation
Sony Corporation
TDK Corporation
Thomson Multimedia
Twentieth Century Fox
Walt Disney Pictures

What Blu-ray formats are planned?

As with conventional CDs and DVDs, Blu-ray plans to provide a wide range of formats including ROM/R/RW. The following formats are part of the Blu-ray Disc specification:

BD-ROM - read-only format for software, games and movie distribution.
BD-R - recordable format for HDTV recording and PC data storage.
BD-RE - rewritable format for HDTV recording and PC data storage.

How much data can you fit on a Blu-ray Disc?

A single-layer disc can fit 23.3GB, 25GB or 27GB.
A dual-layer disc can fit 46.6GB, 50GB or 54GB.

To ensure that the Blu-ray Disc format is easily extendable (future-proof) it also includes support for multi-layer discs, which should allow the storage capacity to be increased to 100GB-200GB (25GB per layer) in the future simply by adding more layers to the discs.

How much video can you record on a Blu-ray Disc?

Over 2 hours of high-definition television (HDTV) on a 25GB disc.
About 13 hours of standard-definition television (SDTV) on a 25GB disc.

My take is this will work. It is almost unprecedented for that many big names in the electronics world to agree on a single format. I think others have joined since this announcement and now includes Texas Instruments.

Looks very promising.
Thank for the info Albert. I had read about this a couple years ago, but forgot the specifics.

Brue raser is better than red raser.
Great info Albert and nice comedic touch "Gumby" : ) Sean
The blue laser has a shorter wave than the red allowing for a far more precise reading, but as promising as it is blu-ray is not over the line yet...just because it's superior to the HD-DVD it also requires complete factory re-tooling whereas the (red) HD-DVD requires only partial re-tool (not the only reason), I read this format war was likley to be decided by Hollywood but last year Disney came out and will be backing Blu-Ray while Warner (?) or some other major studio(s) would be backing HD-DVD.
If anyone is interested to learn more or see a few players has all the info you could want.
Actually, blu-ray was co-developed by the Blue Man Group and the Smurfs once in a blue moon ;^)
So does anyone know if will these new players play redbook CDs also?

While current optical disc technologies such as DVD, DVD±R, DVD±RW, and DVD-RAM use a red laser to read and write data, the new format uses a blue-violet laser instead, hence the name Blu-ray. Despite the different type of lasers used, Blu-ray products can easily be made backwards compatible through the use of a BD/DVD/CD compatible optical pickup and allow playback of CDs and DVDs.

The benefit of using a blue-violet laser (405nm) is that it has a shorter wavelength than a red laser (650nm), which makes it possible to focus the laser spot with even greater precision. This allows data to be packed more tightly and stored in less space, so it's possible to fit more data on the disc even though it's the same size as a CD/DVD. This together with the change of numerical aperture to 0.85 is what enables Blu-ray Discs to hold 25GB/50GB.

This is interesting stuff. After looking at the Blu-Ray and DVD sites, it does seem to be shaping up into another format war on the video side. I thought Blu-Ray was synonomous with HDDVD but it turns out HDDVD is a competing format from the dvd camp.The support of the computer industry will be critical and IBM is on the DVD side and Apple just signed on with Blu-Ray, though Blu-Ray also has HP and Dell and has greater storage capacity than HDDVD. Both sides have an impressive list of backers so it's going to take time to resolve. However, since they both use blue laser, I'm guessing that the difference will be in the disc rather than the player?

Lets not forget about Holographic recording which can hold up to 1000gigs. I smell yet another format change.

The computer side loves blu-ray for the storage capacity. Hollywood wants HD-DVD so they don't need to spend as much on changing manufacturing.

There are blu-ray players from Panasonic, Sharp, and Sony already availible in the Japanese market.

I'm betting on blu-ray to win out this format war.
I hope that whatever happens, the consumer is offered movies in a compact, high definition format that is affordable.

Icing on the cake would be a better digital audio format, one that would outshine CD, DVD and SACD. Probably asking too much, but I can dream.
I have an extensive collection of movies on standard DVD, so I hope the new Blue Ray players will accomodate the millions of people like me who have invested heavily in DVD's. My understanding is, however that the Sony Blue Ray machine will do no such thing, whereas the Panasonic version of this format will.

I suppose we could go through the hassle of recording all our movies to the Blue Ray disks, but how inconvenient is that!!! Sony and the rest of these goofballs need to think about the CONSUMER and not just their precious technology!
This months Perfect Vision and HDTV etc magazines have alot of information about this subject.
I'm with Albert, no matter how this plays out, I'll be excited to watch the process and outcome.
I throw my bet on a combined product solution. Either the players...or...the discs.

AT CES I thought HD-DVD had the more impressive marketing roll out and the product was excellent. Several HD-DVD player prototypes were out for viewing as was a demo of HD-DVD of "I Robot". I thought HD-DVD would win out until Apple signed on with Blue ray...

Unless they come up with a combined solution they could in theory both lose out. WE'll see.

Wonder how this will effect Netflix pricing
Dawgbyte, Albert posted this info about Blu-Ray:

While current optical disc technologies such as DVD, DVD±R, DVD±RW, and DVD-RAM use a red laser to read and write data, the new format uses a blue-violet laser instead, hence the name Blu-ray. Despite the different type of lasers used, Blu-ray products can easily be made backwards compatible through the use of a BD/DVD/CD compatible optical pickup and allow playback of CDs and DVDs.

It will be compatible with the current DVD's you own. Nothing sinister going on here just "progress":-)
I read that although it seems Blue ray might be better as far as compression goes, it probably will end up being a victem of either bad marketing or hollywood politics, like DIVX and BETAMAX.
Not sure how many people here are into gaming cosoles, but E3 (CES for the videogame industry) ended last week. A few things were anounced, such as news about the PS3. For those who did not know already know, all games for it are going to be based on the Blue Ray medium with a video output standard of 1080p. It's also going to play SACD, so the unit might have some effect there as well.

On the other side I remember reading that XBOX360 is going to use HDDVD, but I can't find the article where I read that, so I might be wrong. However, it's standard resolution is HD also, but only 720p I believe. There was an artile TIME that probably clears this up, but I haven't had a chance to read it.

Just adding some fuel to the fire...

FWIW, I just read on CNET that Iomega has suggested that they may be capable of producing an 800 GB DVD disc.
800 GB! Thats impressive, there's also the new animation chip Sony and others are working on ( computer animations so lifelike it will be impossible to distinguish with the naked eye)... maybe Brad Pitt might have to start looking for a new line of work.
Dan, you may be on to something.I recently read about the PS3 and Sony's vision is that it becomes a living room appliance. SACD, Hi Def DVD and video games, what more can you ask for?!?

How about I ask for dual HDMI outputs? Well I don't need to because the PS3 already has them. This goes along the lines of it being a living room appliance with potential multi-room capabilities. However, Sony took it a step further. At E3 they were used to display a game via dual projectors that allowed the seemless integration of a realtime in game image across two 1080p screens! Now I just need to spare up $18,000 to pick up those projectors...