DVD Technology: History and Explanation

Paper Info
Page count 9
Word count 2170
Read time 8 min
Subject Engineering
Type Essay
Language 🇺🇸 US

DVDs compatible with the standard that the most consumers adopt, and consumers want to buy the DVD player for which there exists the largest selection of movies and games. Consumers are not really interested in HD movies when so many of them think DVD is better. But assuming people want to watch movies in HD, optical disc is the only way to go now and for the foreseeable future. The infrastructure is not currently available to download HD movies in a reasonable amount of time. HD is more expensive than normal DVDs, and requires new hardware and the only thing they offer is higher fidelity visuals. But most consumers lack the hardware to notice the difference. Like CD, DVD and Blu-ray media, there were read-only, write-once and rewritable options. Used for HD movies, HD DVD-ROMs were pre-recorded discs that could not be changed. HD DVD-R media could be “burned” once by the user, and HD DVD-RW disks could be rewritten over and over.

Blu-ray’s biggest two formats have appeared in the market both claiming to be the rightful successor to the DVD throne: HD DVD that is high def,

High Definition generally refers to the resolution of digital video, with resolutions of 1280×720 and 1920×1080 being the most common resolutions. 1

Neither HD-DVD nor Blu-ray is likely to become backup platforms, and most of the data we move still fits easily on a standard dual-layer DVD. It can see that it is not a viable data storage option the high-volume home for HD Optical disks remains as a replacement for the DVD. HD-DVD had its best chance when it came to market earlier than Blu-ray. HD-DVD did not win because it did not build enough early sales to slow its competitor’s later sales, which went well enough to nearly tip the market.

Blu-ray and HD-DVD are simply the next generation of discs, replacing the standard DVD of the last generation. HD-DVD is supported heavily by large companies such as Microsoft, but it still remains to be seen whether the format can have equal footing alongside Blu-ray. One Blu-Ray disc will hold approximately. 27GB of data (compared to 4.36GB on regular DVD). HD-DVD uses blue-laser technology (just like Blu-ray does, oppose to DVD’s red laser) and can fit approximately 15 gigabytes to one disc layer (compared to approximately. 4.3 gigabytes on one DVD disc’s layer).

Blu-ray is a name for an optical disc standard which uses blue-violet laser instead of red laser used in CDs and in DVDs. This allows manufacturers to store more data using the same amount of disc surface.

Blu-ray Disc is a high-density optical disc format for the storage of information including high-definition video. More data can be stored on a Blu-ray Disc than on the DVD format. The rival to Blu-ray Disc is HD DVD. Blu-ray Disc has the advantage in maximum disc capacity over HD DVD. In terms of audio/video compression, Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD are similar. The first generation of Blu-ray Disc movies released used MPEG-2 (the standard currently used in DVD’s although encoded at a much higher video resolution and a much higher bit rate than those used on conventional DVDs), while initial HD DVDs releases used the VC-1 codec. Due to greater total disc capacity, the Blu-ray Disc producers may choose in the future to utilize a higher maximum video bit rate, as well as potentially higher average bit rates.

In terms of audio, there are some differences. To ensure backwards compatibility with older receivers with Dolby Digital decoders, Blu-ray Disc allows conventional Dolby Digital audio tracks and while it has gone unused for HD DVD titles. A distinct advantage of HD DVD for the media manufacturer was that HD DVDs were an evolution of the standard DVD. Unlike the competing Blu-ray format, which requires new machinery to make the disks, traditional DVD stamping machines needed only minor modifications to make HD DVDs. The first HD DVD drives were introduced in the U.S. in 2006, and Microsoft offered an HD DVD drive option for its Xbox 360 video game console in that same year. Despite all its features and initial support, however, in 2008, the majority of movie studios and retail outlets chose Blu-ray over HD DVD.

Microsoft’s criticism is that Blu-ray disks will be more expensive to manufacture and may be impossible to make in large volumes. Yet the technology’s supporters are convinced costs will be similar over the long term. Microsoft focused on selling its software to both sides. Next-generation DVDs will feature high-definition movies, extras like movie-themed computer games, and the ability to download film trailers from the Internet. Sony and its supporters are skittish about the latest movies being zipped around the house. Blu-ray disks can hold more content than today’s DVDs, but they would be used in much the same way. The new disks would be plopped into a DVD player, and copyrighted material, like Hollywood movies, couldn’t be ripped to a computer’s hard drive without a studio’s permission. A few components of Toshiba’s technology, and possibly Microsoft’s, could be incorporated into Blu-ray to make it easier for them to join Sony. While Sony may agree, it is taking steps to avoid any substantial delay in Blu-ray. Sources say the company is considering reducing its royalty take and may underwrite the production costs of Blu-ray disks

Blu-ray equipped devices are even designed to recognize and refuse to play pirated movies. Such protections are another big reason Sony has won the support of studios, such as News Corp.’s Fox.


DVD DVDs in general (developed by Toshiba) and Blu-ray (developed by Sony/Phillips).advantage is storage capacity; however, storage has grown so fast that 750 GB Seagate external drive for less price. 25 GB Blu-ray recorder would take 30 Blu-ray disks and more time. A single layer HD DVD disc can store 15GB of data, while a dual layer disc can store 30GB of data, which is about 5 hours of HD videos. On the other side, the capacity of a single layer Blu-ray disc is 25GB, while a dual layer disc is 50GB, which is about 9 hours of HD videos or 23 hours of standard videos. Blu-ray is more practical for HD movies due to the larger storage capacity. One high-definition movie (about 20GB) fits on just a single Blu-ray layer (25GB); while a HD DVD requires dual layers (2 x 15GB).


The cost/disc for HD DVD is lower than the cost/disc for Blu-ray. At a first glance, HD DVD looks to be cheaper to produce. However, the replication cost in terms of cost/GB, a single layer HD DVD disc actually costs more than a Blu-ray disc single layer HD DVD disc costs more than a Blu-ray disc.


Protective hard coating is required for Blu-ray discs, because its data recording layer is very close to the surface of the disc In order for the Blu-ray disc to store more data, the laser is bent into a cone shape. Without the protective layer, if the surface of the disc is scratched, data will be easily destroyed. For HD DVD and DVD, this protection mechanism is optional.

Digital Right Mechanism/Management

Advanced Access Content System (AACS) is used by both, which is intended to restrict attempts to copy HD discs. Moreover, both formats are considering using digital watermark protection for additional security. Under this protection scheme, all HD DVD and Blu-ray disc players will include a sensor to listen for inaudible audio watermarks in the soundtrack of movies. If the players do not detect the watermarks, the players will not play the discs. This method is considered to be an effective way to prevent illegal camcording.


Region codes denote the areas of the world in which distribution and playback of the discs are intended. These codes allow studios to control various aspects of a release, such as date and price, by different regions. HD DVD does not have region code in the technical specifications, and most supporting studios of HD DVD are against adding such a code. For Blu-ray, there are regional codes, but they are different from the DVD region codes.


Toshiba, NEC, Sanyo provides electronics for HD DVD.While Blu-ray got support of Sony, Hitachi, LG, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung. Soft ware is provided for HD DVD involves, Microsoft, Intel while that of Blu-ray Apple, Dell. HP Supports both of it. While both formats have support from various large companies, Blu-ray has greater support from content providers, which are critical to achieving positive network effects. The three biggest box-office winners in 2006: Sony Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, Fox Movies, all support Blu-ray. When one considers that these three studios will be delivering last year’s hit movies to the home this year, that’s an enormous advantage for Blu-ray.

Changing Strategy

“When both formats launched and hardware prices were high, we made a decision to support both formats and let the consumer decide. But now that hardware pricing is affordable for both Blu-ray and HD DVD, it appears consumers no longer want to decide — so the notion of staying in two formats for the duration is something we are re-evaluating now that we are in the fourth quarter.” 2

One of the driving factors behind the growth in Blu-ray sales is the launch of PS3 in November 2006. Since then, Blu-ray sales are up 700%. According to a recent survey of more than 10,000 PS3 owners, 80% indicated they will purchase Blu-ray movies and 75% said they will use PS3 as the major device for playing HD movies. These figures are reasonable due to the fact that owners of the PS3 might as well take advantage of the built-in Blu-ray playback functionality. Also notice that the PS3 is still the cheapest Blu-ray player. Blu-ray enjoys is another major factor that should become more noticeable in the future, when studios that exclusively support Blu-ray, including Sony, Disney, Fox, MGM and Lions Gate; start to release more movie titles in the Blu-ray format.

Both display movies in full high-definition resolution, addressing one shortfall of the current DVD format, which is only standard-def. The video and audio quality of both formats can be truly spectacular when shown on an HDTV with a quality home theater audio system, surpassing even high-def television itself in fidelity and impact.

There are several players in determining a dominant network: the customers, the competitors, the complementors, and the suppliers. For both HD optical disc formats, revenue is generated from consumers, retailers and distributors, and licensees who wish to mass-produce media in HD formatted discs. Competitors of the formats include the Internet, VHS, TV, and Video On-Demand (VOD). Suppliers of the format include disc replicators, machinery providers, and the entertainment industry, who supply content, which is certainly a key factor in determining who wins this war. And lastly, complementors include HDTV, media players, and game consoles.

Key players with relevant market influence include the film industry, the adult film industry, and also the game industry. Their format of choice will undoubtedly play a large role in the outcome of this standards war, and their importance is reflected in the marketing strategies of both sides.

HD DVD was developed to offer consumers access at an affordable price to high-quality, high definition content and prepare them for the digital convergence of tomorrow where the fusion of consumer electronics and IT will continue to progress. 3

The market for online video downloads is growing annually at a tremendous rate and is taking chunks out of the industry’s market share. Sony will have to leverage its winning Blu-ray brand and entice consumers to invest in Blu-ray players and Blu-ray DVDs rather than to download high definition format movies directly onto their computers or TVs. HD DVDs are cheaper to make. Blu-ray discs use a very different technology from traditional DVDs, manufacturers will have to retool their production plants, and those costs will have to be passed on to consumers.

It is concluded that the both two technologies do not work together, and it is very unusual that both formats will exist. They both of market players will work with old-fashioned DVDs, but if need a high-definition video experience on a disc, option will have to choose one or the other. The next generation PC may come with the option to include either an HD DVD drive or a Blu-ray drive.

Works cited

High Definitions. 1999-2008. afterdawn.com. On-line. Web.

Warner Mulls Change in High Def Strategy. 2007. HIGH-DEF DIGEST. On-line. Web.

Beschizza, Rob. 2008. Toshiba kills HD DVD. Wired Blog Network. On-line. Web.


  1. High Definitions. 1999-2008. afterdawn.com. On-line. Web.
  2. Warner Mulls Change in High Def Strategy. 2007. HIGH-DEF DIGEST. On-line. Web.
  3. Beschizza, Rob. 2008. Toshiba kills HD DVD. Wired Blog Network. On-line. Web.

Cite this paper


EduRaven. (2021, October 19). DVD Technology: History and Explanation. Retrieved from https://eduraven.com/dvd-technology-history-and-explanation/


EduRaven. (2021, October 19). DVD Technology: History and Explanation. https://eduraven.com/dvd-technology-history-and-explanation/

Work Cited

"DVD Technology: History and Explanation." EduRaven, 19 Oct. 2021, eduraven.com/dvd-technology-history-and-explanation/.


EduRaven. (2021) 'DVD Technology: History and Explanation'. 19 October.


EduRaven. 2021. "DVD Technology: History and Explanation." October 19, 2021. https://eduraven.com/dvd-technology-history-and-explanation/.

1. EduRaven. "DVD Technology: History and Explanation." October 19, 2021. https://eduraven.com/dvd-technology-history-and-explanation/.


EduRaven. "DVD Technology: History and Explanation." October 19, 2021. https://eduraven.com/dvd-technology-history-and-explanation/.


EduRaven. 2021. "DVD Technology: History and Explanation." October 19, 2021. https://eduraven.com/dvd-technology-history-and-explanation/.

1. EduRaven. "DVD Technology: History and Explanation." October 19, 2021. https://eduraven.com/dvd-technology-history-and-explanation/.


EduRaven. "DVD Technology: History and Explanation." October 19, 2021. https://eduraven.com/dvd-technology-history-and-explanation/.