HD DVD is used to store data and playback of high-definition video. If you want to get more detailed information about it, then this post from MiniTool is what you need. In this post, you can know the HD DVD’s history and technical specifications.

Overview of HD DVD

What is HD DVD? It is short for High Definition Digital Versatile Disc, which is an outdated high-density disc format used to store data and playback of high-definition video. Mainly supported by Toshiba, HD DVD was considered the successor of the standard DVD format.

Tip: If your DVD is damaged, then you can use MiniTool software to recover the data. Read this post – How to Repair Corrupted/Damaged CDs or DVDs to Recover Data to get detailed instructions.

On February 19, 2008, after a protracted format war with its competitor Blu-ray, Toshiba abandoned the format and announced that it would no longer produce HD DVD players and drives. The HD DVD Promotion Group was disbanded on March 28, 2008.

The HD DVD physical disc specification (rather than the codec) was used as the basis for the China Blue High-definition Disc (CBHD), previously known as CH-DVD.

Since all variants except 3x DVD and HD REC used blue lasers with shorter wavelengths, the amount of data stored in each layer of HD DVD is about 3.2 times that of its predecessor (maximum capacity: 15 GB per layer, while each layer 4.7 GB).


  • In the late 1990s, commercial HDTV machines began to enter a larger market, but there was no cheap way to record or play HD content.
  • In August 2002, Toshiba and NEC announced their competing standard Advanced Optical Disc. It was adopted by the DVD Forum and renamed HD DVD the following year.
  • On March 31, 2006, Toshiba released their first consumer-based high-definition DVD player in Japan for 110,000 yen (US$934).
  • In mid-2007, the first batch of HD DVD recorders was released in Japan.
  • On February 19, 2008, Toshiba announced that it would no longer develop or manufacture HD DVD players and drives, then the HD DVD Promotion Group officially disbanded on March 28, 2008.

Technical Specifications

Disc structure

HD DVD-ROM, HD DVD-R, and HD DVD-RW have a single-layer capacity of 15 GB and a dual-layer capacity of 30 GB. HD DVD-RAM has a single-layer capacity of 20 GB. Similar to the original DVD format, the data layer of the HD DVD is 0.6 mm below the surface, physically protecting the data layer from damage. The numerical aperture of the optical head is 0.65, and the DVD is 0.6. All HD DVD players are backward compatible with DVD and CD.

File Systems

Like previous optical disc formats, HD DVD supports multiple file systems including ISO 9660 and Universal Disk Format (UDF). All HD DVD titles adopt UDF version 2.5 as the file system. In this file system, multiplexed audio and video streams are stored in the EVO container format.


The HD DVD format supports up to 24 bits/192 kHz encoding for two channels, or up to 8 channels of up to 24 bits/96 kHz encoding. All HD DVD players need to decode uncompressed linear PCM, Dolby Digital AC-3, Dolby Digital EX, DTS, Dolby Digital Plus E-AC-3, and Dolby TrueHD.

Auxiliary audio tracks (if present) can be stored in any of the aforementioned formats or one of the HD DVD optional codecs: DTS-HD High Resolution Audio and DTS-HD Master Audio. In order to get the highest fidelity audio experience, HD DVD provides content-producers with options of LPCM, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD Master Audio.


HD DVD video can be encoded using VC-1, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, or H.262/MPEG-2 Part 2. Multiple resolutions are supported, from low-resolution CIF, all SDTV resolutions supported by DVD video, and HDTV formats: 720P, 1080i, and 1080p.

The titles of all the movies released by the studios have featured videos in 1080-line format, with accompanying supplements of 480i or 480p. The vast majority of distributions used VC-1 encoding and most of the remaining titles used VC-1 encoding H.264/MPEG-4 AVC.

Comparison Between HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc

What is the difference between HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc? Both formats were designed as successors to DVDs, capable of playing higher-quality video and audio, and having greater capacity when storing video, audio, and computer data.

Blu-ray discs and HD DVDs have most of the same methods for encoding media onto discs to achieve the same level of audio and visual quality, but differ in the features of interaction capabilities, Internet integration, use control, and enforcement, and the player that must have.

Storage sizes also vary: dual-layer HD DVDs can hold up to 30 GB of data, while double-layer Blu-ray discs can hold 50 GB.

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