Blu-ray vs HD DVD: which video format is for you?

Is Blu-ray bang for your buck? Is HD DVD hot to trot? Which next-generation video format should you choose and why?

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updated Another year, another global battle for tech supremacy. For most consumers, the decision whether to go with a plasma or LCD television is difficult enough. But consumers are now faced with the tough choice of two competing, next-generation DVD standards -- Blu-ray and HD DVD.

With the release of the PlayStation 3 and other HD players some people have already made their choice, but it's still too early to predict an outright winner. Not the least of all because Paramount recently announced it was pulling up stumps on Blu-ray and pitching its fortunes with HD DVD.

One of the problems is that Blu-ray and HD DVD formats are incompatible -- that means your Blu-ray player won't play HD DVD movies, and your HD DVD machine won't be able to read Blu-ray movies. There is currently one player on the market that will play both, but as with many players which are first to market it's been plagued with reports of compatibility problems.

No matter which format you choose, the new players aren't exactly what you'd call 'cheap', and the last thing any consumer wants to do is buy a machine that becomes obsolete in favour of another incompatible format.

So which format is worth your hard earned cash? What are the technical differences between the two? What products are available right now? And what do the editors here at CNET.com.au recommend? Read on for everything you need to know about the Blu-ray vs HD DVD battle.

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