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Storage medium
Type Optical storage medium
capacity 15  GB (single layer),
30 GB (dual layer),
51 GB (three-layer, 17 GB per layer)
size 12 cm
use Data storage ,
high definition films
developer HD DVD Promotion Group
Launch 2005
predecessor DVD
successor HVD (development discontinued)
HD DVD player HBS-A-001 from Toshiba , next to it a two-layer HD DVD and a twin HD DVD with HD-DVD layer and DVD layer

The HD DVD (High Definition Digital Versatile Disc, previously: Advanced Optical Disc , AOD for short ) is a data carrier format and was traded between 2005 and February 2008, alongside Blu-ray Disc and VMD, as a possible successor format to DVD .

The AOD was specified by the Advanced Optical Disc Consortium (AOD), to which u. a. NEC , Microsoft , Toshiba , Intel , IBM and Hewlett-Packard belonged to. In the meantime, these companies had merged to form the HD DVD Promotion Group to make the HD DVD better known. The DVD Forum has on 19 November 2003, the HD DVD as HD Successors of the DVD to the HD DVD specifications for read-only discs called.

On 31 March 2006 came HD-XA1 by Toshiba , the first HD DVD players in Japan on the market. A short time later, on August 14, 2006, Elephants Dream, the very first HD DVD in Germany and Europe, was released, which was produced by Imagion AG in Trierweiler (Rhineland-Palatinate).

On February 19, 2008, Toshiba announced that it would stop developing, manufacturing and marketing the technology at the end of March 2008.

Other supporters of HD DVD followed suit in the coming weeks and months; so the attempt to establish the HD DVD as the successor to the DVD failed. The Blu-ray Disc won the format war and became the sole successor to the DVD.

Physical structure

The HD DVD is based on a blue-violet laser with a wavelength of 405  nm . At 0.6 mm, the thickness of the carrier layer is identical to that of the DVD. The numerical aperture (NA) is 0.65 compared to 0.6 for DVD and 0.85 for Blu-ray Disc.

The HD DVD has a storage capacity of

  • 15 GByte (for HD DVD- ROMs - pressed media) or
  • 15 GByte (for HD DVD-R / RWs - single and rewritable media) or
  • 20 GByte (with HD DVD-RAM - rewritable media with random sector access)

and with two layers a storage capacity of

  • 30 GByte (for HD DVD-ROMs - pressed media - two layers)

In addition, a three-layer variant was approved by the DVD Forum on August 31, 2007 , with 17 GB of space per shift and a total capacity of 51 GB. The final standard for films on HD DVD initially comprised the 15 GByte and 30 GByte variants, with the 30 GByte variant almost always being used for films.

In addition, the developers of the HD DVD have developed a prototype based on the holographic versatile disc with a capacity of 1 TB (1024 GB).

Logical structure

A distinction must be made between the logical structure of the HD DVD:

File format

The formats for the HD DVD (as with CD and DVD) are divided into several categories:

  • Data: Data tracks as per ISO 9660 / Joliet and UDF are possible.
  • Video: There are special file formats, storage locations and file names for video data, similar to the case with video DVD (see disc types ).
  • Copy protection: Certain data areas on the HD DVD are reserved for data relating to copy protection .

Data format for HD DVD video

Video codecs

Audio codecs

Web formats

The HDi Interactive Format is used for interactive content on HD DVDs . HDi is based on internet technologies such as HTML , XML , CSS , SMIL and ECMAScript .

Disc types

There are three types of discs for HD DVD video:

  • Type 1 ( standard content - e.g. conventional content )
Type 1 is an extension of the DVD video format. The known structures are largely retained. The differences to DVD-Video are essentially limited to the ability to manage the new video and audio codecs.
  • Type 2 ( Advanced Content - for example: extended content )
Type 2 was defined to ensure more flexibility compared to the DVD-Video navigation structure.
One of the most important innovations in the Advanced Content is that all the data no longer has to be on the DVD, but rather parts (by specifying a URL ) from the Internet , a network , a hard drive, etc. can be loaded.
The more flexible navigation structure is shown by the fact that navigation is no longer controlled via "Program Chains" and "Navigation Commands". Instead, there are ECMA script applications on the HD DVD , which can be accessed via a special API (HDi Advanced Application) etc. a. Control the player, react to keystrokes, draw menus or display subtitles.
  • Type 3 ( Standard & Advanced Content - e.g. conventional & extended content )
Type 3 is a combination of Type 1 and Type 2.

3 × DVD and Mini HD DVD

The HD-DVD format can also be applied to current red laser DVDs, which is an inexpensive option for distributors. This type of disc is called 3 × DVD because it provides three times the speed and thus the bandwidth of a normal DVD-Video . The maximum playback time of these DVDs was a third of the playback time of conventional DVDs.

3 × DVDs are physically identical to normal DVDs, so the manufacturing costs for the physical medium were lower. The same data structure and copy protection as the HD DVD are used on these discs.

A similar combination of normal DVD with an HD DVD file structure was the Mini HD DVD (also called HD DVD 9 ). This only included the file structure, not copy protection. This was a solution intended for home users; it was not supported by the HD DVD Promotion Group.

copy protection

All HD-DVD-Video (including -R and -RW formats) use the Advanced Access Content System (AACS) from the area of Digital Rights Management (DRM) as copy protection . However, there is a stricter separation (anchored in the AACS) of unprotected data and data that is relevant or protected against copy protection: While on DVDs only access to the CSS key for the video is protected by authentication and regional code, this protection is extended on HD DVD on all protected content. Only authenticated components are allowed to access all protected content of an HD DVD video. An “authenticated component” is either a stand-alone playback device certified by the AACS LA or a certified interaction of the operating system, device driver and playback program on a PC.

AACS is automatically used as the DRM system for video data on an HD DVD that can be played back by a pure playback device . This also applies to the writable and rewritable HD DVD-R video and HD DVD-RW video. These blanks also contain individual keys which the DRM system takes into account and which must be included in the encryption of the content in order to generate a usable (i.e. functional) recording.

Various options are defined within the AACS as to how the keys required for decoding the "protected" (encrypted) content can be generated:

  • There are key blocks on the HD DVD that can be read by the drive after authentication and from which the key required for decryption is calculated using the player's keys.
  • The key is not contained on the HD DVD itself, but is downloaded from the Internet via a URL . To do this, an Internet connection is required when playing, and the requesting program must be able to authenticate itself to the key issuing body on the Internet.

The HD-DVD standard also stipulates that the output of the video must be protected, even if the area of ​​the compressed video data is left. At the moment only HDCP should come into question. Since HDCP in connection with suitable control signals (which the HD DVD can explicitly contain in the data stream in addition to the compressed audio and video data in contrast to the DVD) also restricts the analog image output from " HDTV resolution analog" to " SDTV resolution analog" up to the point where “no analog image output” is possible, all manufacturers have so far foregone corresponding analog image outputs when presenting their HD-DVD players. The devices only provide HDMI as an output option ; Another point is that there is no analogue copy protection (like Macrovision ) for high-resolution video signals - unlike for low-resolution ones . Since there are proportionally only a few display devices in the key markets of the USA and Japan that can cope with HDCP-encrypted image signals, this restriction can become a problem to be taken seriously for the current version of the standard; However, within the AACS it would also be possible to master discs that do not allow digital copying, but allow analog image output in HDTV quality.

In Europe , manufacturers of display devices try to use the label " HD ready " to take away their concerns about "copy protection on the screen". However, this label does not guarantee that playback of HDTV sources will actually work without any problems.

China will have another stand-alone HD DVD format. Primarily, it will curb the distribution of illegal copies from China around the world. Furthermore, it is said, the technology used should be more cost-effective in order to adapt to the low purchasing power parity of the country. The specification of the format should be ready by the end of 2006 in order to start production. Even with DVD technology, there was a separate format for the Chinese region - the EVD .

The AACS copy protection has been cracked according to the hacker Muslix64 . This is a Java program called "BackupHDDVD", with the help of which the data from HD DVD can be read out in original resolution and saved on the hard drive. The hack is based on a bug in a Japanese version of the WinDVD  8 program from InterVideo , which decrypts the title key and stores it on the hard drive; The programmer did not want to disclose exactly how this key is stored, but has since been able to trace it. The program still needs the previously determined keys of the DVDs, but from the next version it should be able to determine them. The hack has so far only been documented by a video entitled "AACS is unbreakable", which u. a. published on YouTube , but removed at Warner Bros. request. According to the hacker, it only took eight days to break the AACS protection.

At the beginning of February 2007, Muslix64 allegedly developed a program which, when entering the volume ID, allows the medium to be copied in the best quality without any problems. A program that reads the volume ID automatically should follow shortly.

At the beginning of March 2007, a so-called Processing Key was extracted and published which can be used to decode all films that have been released on HD-DVD media to date. In the USA, the AACS consortium then initiated DMCA takedowns against several bloggers and the search engine Google , which had indexed their pages. To date (as of May 2, 2007), Google has not responded to this request. → See also the Streisand effect

There is also the option of using a converted Xbox or the AnyDVD PC program (illegal in some states) to override the AACS copy protection on HD-DVD media. From version (some titles) / (all titles) AnyDVD can also handle MKBv4. This meant that the last HD copy protection so far was removed and - like the copy protection of the DVD called the Content Scramble System - can be bypassed.


At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in early 2004 , Toshiba presented the prototype of an HD DVD recorder with a storage capacity of 30 GB. This was followed in May 2005 at the Media-Tech Expo in Las Vegas with the presentation of a three-layer HD DVD-ROM with 45 GB of storage capacity.

From December 2005, NEC wanted to bring the first HD DVD drive for PCs to the market under the name HR-1100A . The HR 1100A should be fully downward compatible and thus be able to read all CD and DVD variants including DVD-RAM . Recorders for the PC should follow in 2006. However, due to delays in the adoption of the AACS copy protection standard, of which there was only a preliminary version until January 2006, this could not be achieved.

The first standalone players ready for series production were presented at the CES in early 2006 and announced for March 2006. However, very few devices were ever demonstrated and only with preliminary media, which presumably do not correspond to those that will later be commercially available. The devices have HDMI outputs for image output and an Ethernet connection for Internet access.

The requirements for computing power and copy protection made the conditions for the output of HD-DVD-Video on the PC appear as problematic at the time of market launch as the output of DVD-Video on the PC at the end of the 1990s : the computing power was sufficient for that which was available at the time Hardware barely for real-time output ; copy protection also posed a problem for image output.

The first HD DVDs were two-ply 30 GByte discs, the content of which was encoded using the VC-1 method.

On March 31, 2006, Toshiba released two HD DVD players in Japan and on April 18 in the USA: the Toshiba HD-A1 HD-DVD player for $ 500 and the Toshiba HD-XA1 HD-DVD Player for $ 800. Later a second generation came onto the market with the Toshiba HD-A2 and Toshiba HD-XA2 . In Europe, the Toshiba HD-E1 , a second generation device, was launched on December 18, 2006. In addition, an external HD DVD drive from Microsoft has been available since November 2006 for around 170 euros to complement the Xbox 360 game console . The power consumption in playback mode is three to four times higher with this device than with a standalone HD DVD player. The drive could also be used on a normal PC with Windows XP using a USB cable; however, this was not officially supported by Microsoft.

Cessation of development

On January 4th, 2008, Time Warner announced that its studios Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema will not be releasing any further films for HD DVD in the future, but will only use Blu-ray Discs . Some media have called this the decision of the format war . Other providers followed in the next few days, such as the major European film distributor Constantin Film on January 10, the US porn provider Digital Playground on January 12 and the German Senator Film . The US providers Universal Studios and Paramount Pictures, however, denied rumors of giving up their contracts with HD DVD, they were considered the last remaining large providers. After Toshiba, from which a large part of the HD DVD players originate, had drastically reduced the prices of the devices in the USA on January 15, some media spoke of a "sell-out". On the other hand, the pressure on HD DVD continued to increase: At the beginning of 2008, Media-Saturn-Holding stores accepted the HD DVD player as part of the purchase of a Blu-ray player. The format suffered further setbacks in February 2008. The US electronics chain Best Buy announced on February 12, 2008 that it would concentrate only on the Blu-ray format in the future. The day before, the largest US online video rental company, Netflix , announced that it would take HD DVD out of its range by the end of the year. On February 15, 2008, Walmart , the largest retailer in the USA, also announced that it would sell out HD DVD stocks and thus only use Blu-ray in the future. This applied to both hardware and movies.

On February 19, 2008, Toshiba issued a press release in which it was announced that the development, manufacture and sale of HD DVD and related devices will not be pursued any further and will therefore be discontinued at the end of March 2008. As a result, Universal Studios announced on the same day that it would switch from HD DVD to Blu-ray Disc format.

After this decision in the format war over the DVD successor, Microsoft finally announced on February 25, 2008 that it would discontinue the production of external HD DVD drives for the Xbox 360 game console .

One consequence of the production stop was that many dealers cleared their warehouses and had the external drive of the Xbox 360 on offer. For example, the online retailer amazon.de briefly only asked ten euros for the drive in early May 2008.

See also

Web links

Commons : HD DVD  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b The prefixes are used here for storage capacities in the decimal sense: 1 KB = 1000 B (bytes), 1 GB (GByte) = 1000 KB (KByte), analogous to the manufacturer's specifications.
  2. heise online: First German HD DVD released. Retrieved November 7, 2019 .
  3. a b http://www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press/2008_02/pr1903.htm
  4. Nico Jurran: Toshiba officially buries HD DVD. In: Heise online . February 19, 2008 . Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  5. Mini-HD-DVD: Tutorial: The official AVS guide for HD-DVD authoring by Joseph Clark on HDTVTotal.com, April 8, 2007
  6. WinFuture: Pirated Copies: China Gets Its Own HD DVD Format , Michael Diestelberg, October 11, 2006 ; Retrieved December 7, 2016 .
  7. http://www.gulli.com/news/aacs-verschluesselung-von-hd-2006-12-28/ ( Memento from January 26, 2013 in the web archive archive.today )
  8. http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=119871&page=33
  9. Volker Zota: HD DVD hack apparently confirmed. In: Heise online . January 14, 2007 . Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  10. Bernd Kling: AACS decrypted? December 28, 2006, archived from the original on June 17, 2009 ; Retrieved April 5, 2014 .
  11. Volker Zota: Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD: One key for all content ?. In: Heise online . February 13, 2007 . Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  12. HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc: copy protection cracked. In: Spiegel Online . February 14, 2007, accessed June 9, 2018 .
  13. http://www.golem.de/0704/51968.html
  14. http://www.golem.de/0710/55684.html
  15. https://www.computerbase.de/2008-01/new-line-veroeffentlicht-ebenfalls-blu-ray-exklusiv/
  16. https://www.computerbase.de/2008-01/warner-und-blu-ray-das-ende-von-hd-dvd/
  17. Volker Zota: Deutsche Constantin Film also relies on Blu-ray Disc. In: Heise online . January 10, 2008 . Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  18. https://www.computerbase.de/2008-01/us-pornodienstleistungen-verlösungenet-sich-von-hd-dvd/
  19. Nico Jurran: Senator also drops HD DVD. In: Heise online . January 16, 2008 . Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  20. Hartmut Gieselmann: Report: Universal terminates exclusive contract with HD DVD. In: Heise online . January 11, 2008 (update). Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  21. Hartmut Gieselmann: Toshiba starts HD DVD sales in the USA. In: Heise online . January 15, 2008 . Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  22. Nico Jurran: Saturn takes HD DVD players in payment when buying a Blu-ray model. In: Heise online . January 29, 2008 (update). Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  23. Nico Jurran: Largest retailer in the US is taking HD DVDs out of its range. In: Heise online . February 16, 2008 . Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  24. Nico Jurran: Universal is switching to the Blu-ray warehouse, LG is initially loyal to the HD DVD. In: Heise online . February 19, 2008 (2nd update). Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  25. See http://gizmodo.com/360054/microsoft-xbox-360-hd-dvd-player-officially-discontinued and http://www.ftd.de/technik/it_telekommunikation/:Auch%20Microsoft%20HD%20Technologie /322323.html ( Memento from February 26, 2008 in the Internet Archive )