Interested in HD-DVD or Blu-ray, but dont have $1000 to drop…me too, but at least we can read about it!

I wrote this article in response to one I read from Computerworld.  I wrote it as a response piece for an Information Systems management class I’m taking, but it was still pretty interesting to get up to speed regarding the new High def disc formats.  Enjoy!

Computerworld, June 22, 2006,

Opinion: Does Blu-ray or HD-DVD have the early edge?

By Melissa Perenson,

1.  This article relates to parts of the course covered in Lecture 5.  This focuses on storage mediums, in relation to this article, specifically about CD and DVD-ROM disks.  These high definition DVD discs are recorded using a 405 nanometer wavelength blue-violet laser, although their optical specifications are slightly different.  As mentioned in lecture 5, information is copied to a disc by means of a laser that carves two different types of marks in a disk, a pit or a land.  However, these new DVDs are different in that the circular tracks on the disc are closer together, allowing more pits and lands to recorded than on any other format of disc.  They also refer to the course in that as discs they are read using CLV, constant linear velocity, meaning that the laser reading the disc moves at a linear rate; as the laser moves toward the center of the disc, the disc has to spin faster, and as it moves towards the outside of the disc, it must spin slower to maintain a constant reading speed.

 2.  The new high definition DVD formats are extremely interesting and important for IT as well as entertainment purposes.  Both formats can store more than 3 times the amount of information that can be written to a single layer DVD disc.  The Blu-ray format is capable of storing 50gb on a dual layer disc, while the more affordable (half the price!) HD-DVD discs can store up to 30gb on a dual layer disc.  These new types of discs will completely revolutionize portable storage mediums, especially for distribution of movies and other audio/visual media.  In addition, these new discs can store video in resolutions up to 1080 i or p (interlaced or progressive), meaning that if you have a high definition tv and DVD player, the video quality will be amazing.  Despite the fact that there are two different competing formats, high definition discs are destined to be the future of video media.  They are just now releasing Blu-ray disc burners for PCs and notebooks, and home video recorders should follow shortly.  The intense competition will probably end up working to the consumer’s advantage as the two formats are so competitive trying to establish themselves as a universal standard that the price will begin to drop and the list of features will increase.

 3.   Both of these formats, regardless of which becomes standard, will play a significant role in the future of information systems.  The ability to store such massive amounts of data on a single disc will increase the efficiency of distributing huge quantities of data throughout an organization.  For example, using this technology in the future, IT departments may be able to install an operating system and all additional software required for their organization’s computers, all off of one disc.  As prices decrease, these discs can also allow for cost efficient data backup solutions, especially when they offer rewriteable discs.  Tape backups are usually common in large organizations, but a single disc that can hold a significant amount of data and minimize storage space can simplify an IT department’s job immensely.  Once a standard compression format for high definition videos is agreed upon, these discs will become essential in the distribution of high definition multimedia applications and become an extremely efficient way to transfer massive quantities of data.

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