The answer: you shouldn’t. My prediction is that neither format will win. If consumers actually adopt these high priced formats, all players will support BOTH formats. The last time competing disk formats emerged this very thing happened. Remember DVD+R and DVD-R? After the dust settled, all DVD recorders supported both formats.
Do consumers actually care about high-def? Are they willing to spend more than the $150.00 ‘magic price’ for a high-def disc player? Is downloadable media going to kill discs formats altogether?
…HD-VMD is based on current red laser technology and relies on the same manufacturing process of traditional DVD’s making it quite inexpensive to produce both disks and players. Like DVD’s, HD-VMD supports up to 5GB per layer, but unlike DVD which only supports a maximum of two layers, VMD disks support up to eight layers for a total capacity of 40GB per disk. The players support the same video codecs (H.264/AVC, VC-1 and MPEG-2) as Blu-ray and HD-DVD along with Dolby Digital and DTS sound. And yes, the players all support 1080p for true high definition playback. So what’s holding this technology back? One word, the Studios. Major studios have yet to release content on this format. Could it be that they’re contractually obligated to Blu-ray or HD-DVD? It surely can’t be due to piracy concerns as VMD disks also support AACS like their Blu-ray and HD-DVD counterparts.
…InPhase is one of about 20 companies worldwide working on the technology. The first generation of holographic data technology promises 300Gbytes of storage per standard disc – about six times more than Blu-ray or HD-DVD – and that is only the first stage of an evolution that promises 1.6Tbytes of data on a single disc within three years.
…With inexpensive HD-VMD players and extremely capable holographic disks on their way, is there any room for expensive and inferior Blu-ray and HD-DVD technology? Will Blu-ray and HD-DVD continue to battle it out until they both die off? Will the current format war be a topic of laughable discussion at the water cooler five years from now? I don’t have the answers. But I do know, consumers have choice.