[Feature Article] Long heralded as enabling the next generation of consumer audio-visual reproduction, optical-disk formats based on blue-laser technology are now on the verge of making their consumer debut. There have been a number of different plans for formats based on blue lasers, but the primary formats competing for a place in the high-definition entertainment market are Blu-Ray Disc and HD-DVD (formerly known as Advanced Optical Disc or AOD). In this article we summarize the primary features of the two formats, highlighting the options for audio where they are known. More details are publicly available for Blu- Ray Disc than for HD-DVD; see the relevant standards for the latest details as these may be subject to change.
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