Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD

Panasonic is reporting an 80% yield on their first run of 25 and 50GB Blu-Ray discs, which is a great yield for a first run. This validates the manufacturing technology for Blu-Ray, which is good news for the PlayStation 3 which is due to ship early next year with the drives built in.

<p>The format war with HD-DVD has some parallels with the DVD-R vs. DVD+R fight, and most of us waited for combo-drives, but it might get more complicated [engadget.com] with this generation. You’d pretty much need two read/write mechanisms in a drive to ready HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. Pioneer once made a player that could read DVD and LaserDisc so it’s certainly possible, but expensive.</p>
<p>For backups I’ll use Blu-Ray because it can hold more. HD-DVD seems better suited to being handled by the kids but I have no immediate need for HD content so I’m not going to buy a HD-DVD video player. But I might get a PS3.</p>
<p>[UPDATE: TDK has a new disc coating that scratch-protects Blu-Ray: <a href="http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/12/13/tdk_coated_blu-ray_discs/">article</a>.]</p>
<p>Just on a pragmatic basis then I’ll have two Blu-Ray units for several years before I get an HD-DVD player, probably when my TV dies, I have a projector, and Netflix starts carrying them. If my behavior pattern is common HD-DVD faces quite an uphill battle. The list of board members in the above link seems to indicate they’re leaning the same way.</p>
<p>VHS beat out BetaMax because, in the end, it could hold a full-length movie.  “It’s the capacity stupid", right?  But if Blu-Ray proves too scratch-prone for the living room that might not be the end of the story.</p>
<p>Next up: HVD - 300GB, on a 3D “holographic” media substrate, $100 discs coming out next year with a 1.1TB disc forecast for 2010.  This replaces tapes for corporate backup.