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The Draw Between HD Media

Word Count:

For those who have not yet settled
on which high definition disc to in
vest in, this article will

help bring several issues to light.
bluray, hd, player, hidef, coupons,

Article Body:
For those who have not yet settled
on which high definition disc to in
vest in, this article will

help bring several issues to light.
 First of all, the potential video
and audio quality remain

alike between both formats, HD-DVD
and Blu-Ray. The difference lies in
 the laser that reads the
disc; where the former uses the ide
ntical red laser used to read DVDs,
 the latter employs a blue

laser that reads only Blu-Ray. Both
 lasers can decode an identical amo
unt of information, called

the bitrate. A bitrate can be label
ed as the amount of "bits" decoded
per second. Generally, the

higher the bitrate the higher the q
uality of video/audio. So a bitrate
 of, say, 30mbs (megabytes

per second) should be preferable to
 a meager 10mbs. The average hi-def
 picture, with its superior

clarity and contrast, can maintain
a bitrate between 15mbs-35mbs; comp
are this with an ordinary

DVD, which averages 2mbs-7mbs.

With its ability to store and trans
mit at a higher bitrate, hi-def med
ia easily trumps the quality
of DVD. This higher bitrate allows
for less compression, and thus can
retain most of the clarity

from the original master print of a
 movie; whereas a DVD will look blo
wn-up and fuzzy. But the

differences between HD-DVD and Blu-
Ray begin with how they can be play
ed. HD-DVD players have the

advantage of backward compatibility
, as it can playback DVDs. Blu-Ray
players cannot, due to their

unique laser, which completely isol
ates it from older generation techn
ology. But the advantages of

Blu-Ray lay in its inherent differen

Blu-Ray players come equipped with
Java software, which some believe t
o allow more interactivity

with the user. This gives it the ab
ility to have fancier menus and in-
depth bonus options, such as
picture-in-picture display. At the
moment, bugs and slow performance h
ave hindered some confidence

in its support of Java, where Bill
Gates complained that it was not us
er friendly enough to be used

in PCs. Counter this with HD-DVD, w
hich uses Microsoft's own HDi Inter
active Format. It allows

anyone to author simple content, wh
ere Java requires a more intimate k
nowledge of scripting.

If all the information so far sound
s redundant, it is. The only thing
that can make or break a

hi-def entertainment center does no
t stem from the format at all. In f
act, it all depends on what

you choose to display it on. Be wea
ry of interlaced televisions. Rathe
r than playing back video at

1080p (progressive), the user gets
short-changed with 1080i (interlace
d). Progressive scan means
that the picture gets scanned upon
each frame; this results in a prope
rly displayed picture, like a

solid photograph, with no aberratio
ns. Interlacing occurs when no prog
ressive scan exists in the

television, and so the picture gets
 displayed as a series of individua
l lines rather than as a

single, uniform "photograph." In sh
ort, the fine edges in a progressiv
ely scanned movie may

otherwise appear to be jagged, or e
ven fuzzy, on an interlaced display

The only reason to get invested in
the so-called format war would be t
o avoid a costly personal

investment if "your" format ever lo
ses. Blu-Ray may be considered to b
e the superior technology, as

its unique blue laser, while radica
lly different and incapable of DVD
playback, allows for exciting

future developments. HD-DVD, largel
y compatible and user-friendly, is
considered by some to be a

static technology. Lately, however,
 Toshiba released its plan to marke
t the format as cheaper,

practical alternative to Blu-Ray. A
nd, in the event that you still can
not make up your mind, there

exists a combo Blu-Ray/HD-DVD/DVD c
omputer drive that sells for less t
han $300.

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