The Difference Between an HD DVD and a Regular DVD

When it comes to the term HD-DVD, there is a lot of confusion and terms that get loosely thrown around. To understand the difference between HD DVDs and regular DVDs, you need to look at the history of how the DVD was developed.

The Beginning of DVDs

In the beginning, home television entertainment consisted of just a small black and white TV hooked up to an antenna that could pick up a few channels. The picture quality that mesmerized people in the 1950s and 60s would be considered unacceptable today. Then, cable TV came along, and it was possible to watch many channels with a clear picture. Soon after that, VCRs were introduced and people now had the ability to watch movies on demand at home.

After about 20 years of VCRs, the DVD was introduced and it blew everyone's minds away. Gone were the days of rewinding and fast forwarding. Now people could watch their favorite movies, and after they finished, they could access a wealth of special features. Plus, the sound and picture quality was so much better than video tapes.

Progression to HD

In the last ten years, we've seen televisions become much bigger than they were before, and now they are able to handle high definition images. High definition is a form of digital video. A digital image is comprised of a combination of pixels, tiny squares that are a solid color. High definition packs more pixels into the image than ever before, which makes it much sharper. Standard Definition is 704 pixels by 480 pixels. Full High Definition is 1920 pixels by 1080 pixels.

So, all of a sudden, our great looking DVDs didn't look as great as they did before. To combat that, two new formats emerged: HD-DVD and Blu Ray. Both formats were similar in that the discs could contain more information than a regular DVD. But in the end, Blue Ray was the chosen format by the film industry and HD-DVD became a thing of the past. 

So, the difference between a Blu-Ray disc and a DVD is that the Blu-Ray disc has a higher resolution and more special features because it has a much higher storage capacity. Blu-Ray discs can't be played in a DVD player, but Blu-Ray players have the ability to play DVDs; that way, your collection doesn't become obsolete when you up grade.

Your DVD doesn't need to be a Blu-Ray in order to be HD. If you shot a video in HD resolution and edited it with those settings, then you can export the project at  those settings and burn the disc at 1920 by 1080 resolution to keep it looking crisp.

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