Whatever the outcome for the companies involved, for the consumers a format war is almost certainly bad news. It' practically guaranteed that one of the formats will die off completely, leaving anyone who supported the losing format with a $1000 turd sitting in their living room. And unless you're a connoisseur of post-modern shock art, or have very specific sexual preferences, a turd has no business in your living room.
The sudden appearance of living room turds — the metaphorical ones - is exactly what happened in the Beta vs VHS wars. After the VHS gained dominance, owning a Beta machine, aside from being completely useless, was a sign of technological backwardness and a source of great embarrassment. It would remain that way until the turn of the century, when the emergence of hipsters gave Beta a new lease on cool.
Which brings us to the present day. Consumers who have purchased a fancy new high definition television will want to make the most of it. High Definition cable and satellite sources are now available, but it turns out that watching
So how do these new formats work? In basic concept, they're both quite similar. Both formats use blue lasers, instead of the red laser used in a regular DVD player.
It' this blue laser where the Blu-Ray gets its name, and also, interestingly, where the HD-DVD does not get its name.