HD DVD (High Density Digital Versatile Disc or High Definition Digital Video Disc) is a digital optical media format which is being developed as one standard for high-definition DVD. HD DVD is similar to the competing Blu-ray Disc, which also uses the same CD-size (120 mm diameter) optical data storage media and 405 nm wavelength blue laser. HD DVD is promoted by Toshiba, NEC, Sanyo, and, most recently, Microsoft, HP, and Intel. HD DVD may be non-exclusively backed by three major studios: Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios and Warner Bros. Toshiba announced the first sales of HD DVD players set for March 2006 with models priced at $499 and $799, though studios are not planning movie releases until April. At CES 2006, Microsoft announced that there will be an external add-on HD DVD drive for the Xbox 360 game console, due sometime this year.

At the Las Vegas CES 2006, “companies backing HD DVD said that nearly 200 titles would be available for the format by the end of the year.” On March 31, 2006, Toshiba released their first HD DVD player in Japan at ¥110,000 ($934) [4] HD DVD was released in United States on April 18, 2006.

Toshiba HD-DVD Disc

HD DVD has a single layer capacity of 15 GB and a dual-layer capacity of 30 GB. Toshiba has announced that a triple-layer disc is in development, which would offer 45GB of storage. This is less than its primary competitor Blu-ray Disc, which supports 25GB for one layer, 50GB for two layers as presently released. BD 100GB for four, 200GB for eight layers have been demonstrated in a laboratory but have not yet been released to the market. HD DVD proponents point out that multi-layer Blu-ray discs are still in development. The surface layer of an HD DVD disc is 0.6 mm thick, the same as DVD but thicker than the Blu-ray Disc’s 0.1 mm layer. The numerical aperture of the optical pick-up head is 0.65, compared with 0.6 for DVD. Both formats will be backwards compatible with DVDs and both employ the same video compression techniques: MPEG-2, Video Codec 1 (VC1, based on the Windows Media 9 format) and H.264/MPEG-4 AVC.


Qosmio HD-DVD Laptop