Monday, October 01, 2007

Identifying the Official HD DVD,,,

Even before DVD Forum coined up the term "HD DVD" as the name of the official next-generation disc format to deliver pre-recorded high-definition content and serving the other relevant digital storage purposes, HD DVD was already a term used literally and vaguely by some vendors to be a specifically-defined high-definition content stored on an existing DVD using various proprietary technologies/standards. For instance, WMV HD content on a DVD can only be played back on a compatible Windows PC. Or in some cases, some independent distributors like to call DVD-Video transfer from high-definition sources as "HD DVD". Or worse, some would refer the DVD player's upconversion of DVD-Video (to 720p or higher resolution output) as HD from a DVD, or in short "HD-DVD".

On top of that, you have competing standards of "high definition DVD" which involves storing high definition content on a high density disc (much higher than existing DVD).

The industry-defined DVD Forum approved HD DVD format/disc involves 2 simple aspects that differentiates itself from DVD:
  • the support of advanced video/audio compression formats (VC-1, MPEG-4/AVC, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, Dolby Digital-Plus etc.)
  • the difference in disc structure between HD DVD and DVD in order to achieve higher density (or storage capacity) per disc; therefore a HD DVD disc cannot be played back on a DVD player/drive.
So how does one identify the real thing (HD DVD as approved by the DVD Forum)?
The answer is to look at the HD DVD logo. Any disc cover or any piece of consumer electronic equipment that mentions the term "HD DVD" or "High-Definition DVD" but is without the official logo (as shown below) is not the industry-defined HD DVD.

The official HD DVD logo as approved by the DVD Forum:

Do note that to play HD DVD discs with the above logo, you will need a compatible HD DVD player (also with the above logo). HD DVD players (with the above logo) can play DVD discs but DVD players cannot playback HD DVD discs (unless, of course, it is a HD DVD/DVD Combo or Twin format disc but you will only be able to get Standard Definition video from the DVD portion).



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