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Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD: Which Is Tougher?

I was reading semi-monthly poster bl4km4th's blog about playing PS3 in a movie theater, and the following tidbit caught my eye. Actually, it grabbed my eyeball and sanded down the lens with fine-grit sandpaper.
My Resistance disc had a blemish and wouldn't read and I think I might have actually made it worse by attempting to use refinishing spray and one of those hand crank disc scratch fixers. Who would have thought there was a science to it?

[slow-motion dive]Nooooooooooooooo!![/slow-motion dive]. When I worked at GameStop, we sold those plastic hand-cranked disc resurfacers for use on scratched games -- I believe it was called the Disk Doctor. But good luck trying to trade in a game once you had resurfaced it with the Disk Doctor we sold you.

Anyway, bl4km4th's post got me thinking about one of the the things we don't hear much about in the Blu-Ray/HD-DVD format wars: durability.

After reading a fairly detailed forum thread at the always-informative AVS Forum, it seems that Blu-Ray has a thinner, harder coating on the disc than HD-DVD (.1mm and .6mm, respectively). This means that Blu-Ray is harder to scratch, but a scratch is more likely to hit the data layer and make the disc unreadable.

But the forum didn't come to any real conclusion, so I called eight Hollywood Video and Movie Gallery stores around the country to see if the rental locations had noticed any difference in disc durability.

Screw you, West Virginia.

Philadelphia, PA: Two very friendly clerks at each store; both said that they noticed no difference. Truly, the city of brotherly love.

Cleveland, OH: An unremarkable call to an unremarkable city. No difference.

Montgomery, AL: The clerk really, really, really wanted me to buy a PS3. Really. Apparently it also plays HD-DVD now; who knew? I had to change tactics and tell him I was buying a player for my parents, and they wouldn't know how to operate a PS3. He relented and reported no difference in disc durability. I shouted "Giant enemy crab!" and hung up.

Nashvile, TN: The clerk said that they had hybrid HD-DVD/DVD discs, with HD on one side and standard on the other. Although it seemed like more of a risk to her, the clerk reported no difference in defective rates.

Richmond, VA: Welcomtomovigalrywheryucnchewsfromovr43489mves. What?? Why do you hate vowels so much? No difference.

Chicago, IL: Sony must have pooped on Chicago. Both clerks at the two different stores said they had problems with Blu-Ray discs scratching, but not with HD-DVD. Somewhat surprising, but I balk at calling Chicago a liar.

Final Results:

Blu-Ray: 0
No Difference: 6

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About MaxVestone of us since 9:23 PM on 06.03.2007

It's only a model...

Uncommon, some wear on the edges.

First game: TI Invaders (Space Invaders knock-off) for the TI-99 "home computer". Either that or the Pac-Man built into the glass-top tables at Mr. Gatti's Pizza.
First console: NES
First world-altering game secret: JUSTIN BAILEY
First Arcade: Aladdin's Palace
First "mature" game: Leisure Suit Larry
First PC: 386SX 16 mHz w/40 MB HDD, Win 3.0, & 640x480 VGA baby!
First FPS: Wolfenstein 3D
First game mastered: Street Fighter II Turbo - Hyper Fighting (SNES)
First LAN deathmatch: Duke Nukem 3D
Great Game Reawakening: Living in an apartment with all sixth generation consoles and 3 gaming rigs.

New Systems: Wii, DS.
Somehow now owns: PS3
Randomly owns: SEGA Nomad, Game Gear, Genesis II, Sega CD
Cannot afford but is thinking about intercepting return RROD coffin: Xbox 360.
Currently playing: Rock Band, Zack & Wiki, Unreal Tournament III