Blu-Rays and HD-DVDs are entirely different storage formats that can store massive amounts of data in relation to current offerings. 9gb on a current dual layer DVD vs 50gb on a Blu-Ray and 30gb on HD-DVD. Basically the extra space is being marketed as a way that movies can be in super high definition and still fit on a single disc. Also as the players for these formats develop they will be able to deliver information much faster than DVDs. The main difference between the two formats other than the players is storage space with the Blu-Rays holding 20 more gigabytes. Blu-Ray's main backer is Sony and HD-DVD's is Microsoft.
also blu-ray's content is closer to its surface making it easier to damage, which is one of the advantages, as HD-DVD is behind a couple of layers. I honestly think HD-DVD will win as microsoft are backing it.
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