At the moment there is no way we can tell which format will come out on top, they both have there advantages and disadvantages. But before you go changing your computers drive and dvd player, you have to decide hd-dvd or blu-ray.
Advantages: The name itself, HD DVD, is far more consumer-friendly than Blu-ray. HD DVDs carry the same basic structure as current DVDs, so converting existing DVD manufacturing lines into HD DVD lines is supposedly simple and cost effective. Memory-Tech, a leading Japanese manufacturer of optical media, stated that producing HD DVD discs would initially cost only 10 per cent more than for existing DVDs and that it could quickly bring the cost down to match that of standard DVD.
Disadvantages: HD DVD simply can't boast the same storage capacity as Blu-ray. It's confusing, but it appears that the rewritable HD DVD-RW will go up 32GB, while the recordable HD DVD-R discs will only be single layer (15GB). The other downside is that with Sony holding the rights to Columbia Pictures and MGM movie and television libraries, there will probably be a hole in HD DVD's content offering -- don't expect to see MGM/UA's James Bond movies on HD DVD, for example.
HD-DVD Backed by: Toshiba, NEC, Sanyo, and Memory-Tech. Microsoft is also supporting HD DVD in its next version of Windows (support for Blu-ray is on the table).
Advantages: Getting the early start, Blu-ray has enjoyed more mindshare than HD DVD, as well as a conglomerate of powerful backers that rivals President Bush's "coalition of the willing" in size and scope. Technologically, the biggest edge Blu-ray appears to have over HD DVD is that it offers 30 per cent more capacity and is designed for recording high-def video. Rewritable BD-RW discs, with similar features to Panasonic's current DVD-RAM discs, can play back content while recording to the disc at the same time. Also, Sony owns Columbia Pictures and recently bought MGM, which gives it a leg up on releasing content. And PlayStation 3 certainly will carry a huge chunk of clout in the marketplace.
Disadvantages: Real or not, the biggest knock against Blu-ray is that the discs -- initially, at least -- will be more costly to produce than HD DVD media (Sony claims otherwise). Until recently, the other knock was that unlike DVD-HD, the Blu-ray spec did not include support for more advanced video compression codecs such as MPEG-4 AVC and Microsoft's VC-1, in addition to the MPEG-2 codec. But the Blu-ray Group recently announced support for those codecs, so they're now on even ground on that front.
Blu-Ray DiscBacked by: Sony, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi, LG Electronics, Matsushita Electric Industrial (Panasonic), Mitsubishi Electric, Philips Electronics, Pioneer Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sharp, TDK, and Thomson Multimedia.
At the moment the outlook is too close to call but an idea by warner bothers has come up to make a disc which is compatible on both hd and blu-ray dvd players.