Prizefight: HD DVD vs. Blu-rayVeronica goes to Vegas in search of the jackpot winner in the format wars.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:07 >> Welcome to Prize Fight. I'm Veronica Belmont, and this is the show where I pit two gadgets or two technologies against one another. What better battle to do at CES 2007 than HD DVD versus Blue Ray. The format wars, as they've come to be known, are going to change the way people view HD content on their televisions. It's kind of like VHS versus Betamax in the early 1980s, but will the outcome be as obvious? Round one, capacity. Now, one of the most obvious differences between the two formats is the capacity and that's a really big one. Blue Ray at launch has a single-player capacity of 25 gigabytes and a dual-air capacity of 50. However, they have a theoretical possibility of getting between 100 and 200 gigabytes. Now, on the other hand, a single player HD DVD disk is going to be 15 gigabytes. That's not too much higher than the standard DVD. The dual-air ones are 30 gigabytes and it's a theoretical limit of up to 60, although the people around here are telling me it's probably more like 45. Blue Ray is the clear winner in this round because in this day and age, we need a lot more capacity for storage. Blue Ray gets a 5 and HD DVD gets a 4. [ Bell ] That's my invisible buzzer. Round two is next. Now, the same technology that makes Blue Ray disks higher capacity also makes it more difficult to mate. The factories are going to have to retrofit themselves so they can create the disks because you don't have to change your production methods too much from DVD to HD DVD. That means that it keeps the costs low. For this round I'm going HD DVD a 4 and Blue Ray a 3. Round three -- industry support. The format wars are all about allegiances with different corporations and movie studios swearing their fealty to either HD DVD or Blue Ray. Now, I'm here at the Blue Ray booth at CES 2007, and as you can see, Blue Ray has a ton of industry friends. Blue Ray's got Sony, of course, as well as Apple, Dell, HP, Hitachi, LG, Panasonic, and many more. For movie and gaming studios they have 20th Century Fox, Buena Vista, Electronic Parts, Sony Picture and Vivendi. Now, for HD DVD, they've got the support of Toshiba, of course, Microsoft, Intel, NEC and Sanyo. They also have an exclusive deal with Universal Studios. Other notable nonexclusive studios are Paramount, Warner Brothers, and New Line Cinema. Now, Blue Ray has more studios supporting it, but HD DVD does have more titles out right now, but in this war, the more allies you have, the higher your chances are for victory. For this round I'm giving Blue Ray a 5 and HD DVD a 4, but you know what the really important thing is? Quality. Round four is just that. Now, I've watched a lot of videos in both formats and you know what? I can't really tell the difference. Maybe it's just me, but they do a lot of talking about about [unclear] and codecs and encoding, and I just can't tell the difference. I really think it just depends on how good your TV is. So since they both look awesome, they each get a 5. In fact, let's just wipe the slate clean and call it a draw. In fact, this whole prizefight might be moot. Maybe not one format has to win anyway. For example, Warner Brothers is working on disks that can play both HD DVD and Blue Ray, and then LG has a player that will play both formats, so who knows what the future will hold. Oh, and don't forget, downloadable HD content. That's my personal choice. I'm Veronica Belmont from cnet.com. Thanks for watching Prize Fight. ^M00:03:28 [ Music ]