Quick guide to Blu-ray
DVD is, by some measurements, the greatest success in consumer electronics history. Following its 1997 debut, it took the format just a few years to completely conquer the home-video market previously ruled by VHS tapes. Before DVD even reached its 10th birthday, however, the electronics industry and the Hollywood studios began putting it out to pasture.
Now that HD DVD is dead, Blu-ray is poised to take over as the consumer home-video format of choice. It offers high-definition video and high-resolution audio, providing a superior viewing experience to DVD, although you need a modern home theater to take advantage of it. Like every new format, Blu-ray comes with a whole host of new terminology, like 1080p, Blu-ray profiles, and onboard decoding. It can be overwhelming, but remember that Blu-ray is basically just like DVD: pop in the disc, then sit back and watch movies in high-def.
Blu-ray has definitely had its struggles since the format's inception, with the format war against HD DVD, high prices, and hardware that wasn't fully baked. But the format has made a lot of progress in the last couple of years, so for movie lovers who want the most out of their high-def home theaters, CNET is finally ready to recommend going with Blu-ray. Read on to find out why.