The emergence of High Definition Digital Video Discs (HD DVDs) transformed the in-home movie experience. In addition to superior audio, viewers enjoy sharper images and interactive capabilities. Premium content is available from major studios, such as Dreamworks, Warner Brothers, Paramount Pictures, and Universal Pictures. Though discontinued as of 2008, viewers can still enjoy the full spectrum of features HD DVDs offer by understanding the unique features, audio capabilities, different players, and disc formats of the technology.
HD DVD Unique Features
HD DVDs hold three times as much data as standard DVDs, and they display video at twice the resolution. It delivers crystal clear picture in all major formats, including 720p, 1080i, and 1080p. It achieves this with Blue Laser technology, which has a significantly longer laser length than standard definition DVDs. This allows it to carry and display data with great detail. In addition, it is able to encode eight channels of audio that create a dynamic viewer experience - especially when coupled with a multipoint surround sound system. Advanced content features also create an interactive viewer experience. The feature allows users to use picture-in-picture functionality, access actor biographies, and more all from inside the content.
HD DVD Players
HD DVD player manufacturers include Toshiba, Samsung, Sanyo, and more. All models feature backward compatibility, which means they also play standard DVDs and CDs. Most players are compatible with MP3s and able to display JPEG files burned to a DVD, CD-R, or CD-RW. Toshiba was the original supporter of HD DVDs. Its top player models include the HD-A20, HD-A2, HD-A30, and HD-A3. In addition to standalone players, there is an add-on player for the XBOX 360. Many laptops feature a built-in HD DVD player, such as the HP Pavilion HDX18, and many desktops like the HP Pavilion desktop series have an internal HD DVD player.
HD DVD Disc Formats
In addition to the standard HD DVD format, there are HD DVD-R, HD DVD-RW, and DVD/HD-DVD hybrid discs. HD DVD-R, the least expensive and most basic writable format, allows users to burn media to the disc once. HD DVD-RW let users to add and remove media up to 1,000 times. It is the best option for frequent use, and it is the most expensive. There are twin disc and combo disc DVD/HD DVD hybrid options that read and record media for both formats. The twin disc format records media on one side of the disc, while the combo disc devotes one side of the disc for each format. Movie studios originally used hybrid discs to release one disc that includes a standard-definition and high-definition version.