Blu-ray vs. HD DVD? Does it matter?

Image of Blu-ray diskImage of HD DVD diskDoes the Blu-ray vs. HD DVD format battle going on right now really matter? If we think about things from the media center point of view, then probably not. Instead of the physical medium, why not just purchase and download the movies online. But, if we think about the media for data backups, it might be interesting.

Are the new data formats interesting from a cost per gigabyte point of view? Blu-ray disks come in 25GB ($15) single layer, and 50GB ($35) dual layer. HD DVD they come in 15GB ($12) single and 30GB ($22) dual. For comparison a 1 terabye external drive sells for about $250, and a 16GB USB flash drive for $80. This puts the new DVD formats at roughly $1.50/GB whereas the hard disk is about $3/GB, with flash memory ringing in at about $5/GB. But the venerable DVD-R sells for about $20 for a pack of 100 bringing its 4.7GB of storage to less than five cents a gigabyte. So at some point the convenience factor will outweigh the cost per gigabyte factor. Is it easier to swap 10 discs for a cost of 50-cents. Or pay $35 to store everything on one 50GB Blu-ray disk?

As the cost of the new format drives and disks come down, the appeal of the DVD disk will fade away. But for now, getting a new format writer will cost over $400 versus $40 for a DVD writer.

Are Blu-ray and HD DVD interesting for watching movies? Interesting for backups? Or would you spent the $105 for 3 Blu-ray 50GB disks on a 160GB USB drive instead?

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3 Comments on “Blu-ray vs. HD DVD? Does it matter?”

  1. Sam Says:

    Blu-Ray clearly has the advantage now. It’s only a matter of time. And as of now the best player to get is the PS3 since it is the only one upgradeable to the 2.0 standard.

  2. Stephen Says:

    The format war is over. Toshiba announced today that they will no longer try to promote the HD-DVD format.

  3. Neil Says:

    Blue ray has won, but the question is, will Blue Ray be able to compete against digital movies? I think it will be less of a victory than Sony currently believes.