Well, it certainly looks like HD-DVD will not be the standard for High-Definition media releases. Paramount announced (about a week ago) that they will be dumping HD-DVD in favor of Blu-Ray and the scheduled releases are getting harder to find. Paramount’s decision comes after Toshiba announced that they would no longer manufacture HD-DVD equipement. Toshiba was the main driving force behind the standard. The fact that Sony has integrated the Blu-Ray technology in the Playstation 3 has probably played a role in these decisions.
On a technical stand point, there are several differences between the two formats and there was a format war, just like for Beta vs. VHS, to determine which would be the format of choice for consumers. The main difference between the two is that HD-DVD can hold a maximum of 30gb of data, while Blu-Ray can hold 50gb. There are others, but nothing that is really noticeable by consumers. Personally, I had not made a choice yet, so I’m happy there is a standard on which we can rely from now on. What this means for consumers is that we will be certain that all movies will be coming out on a single format rather than on having to “hope” your favorite movie comes out on the format that you have a player for.
The computing side is affected by these decisions just the same. Computer users also had to make a choice on one format or the other, but not anymore. I’m happy to see that we should be able to store 50gb on a single disc eventually. We will have to wait for prices to go down a little bit, but I think we can expect the same chain of events as we saw for the DVD format. Sooner or later, we will just take it for granted and not even worry about it anymore.