HD DVD is one of two leading high-definition video disc formats attempting to replace DVDs. An HD DVD disc can store about four times as much data as a DVD disc and it supports playback of "true" high-definition video. In addition, HD DVDs have more advanced copy protection than DVDs.
The movie industry has been trying to shift the market away from DVD and towards high-definition formats partly because DVDs have become so easy to copy.
Both HD DVD and it"s main competitor Blu-ray were finally released this year after long delays caused by disagreements over what kind of copy protection the discs should carry. In fact, the DVD Forum announed that HD DVD was the official replacement format for DVD all the way back in 2003. Many have cited the long delay to market as part of the reason HD DVD and Blu-ray have so far failed to capture public interest the same way that DVD discs did when they were first released.
It seems fitting then that the copy protection that for so long delayed the release of HD DVD has already been at least partially cracked. And the the programmer, who identified himself as Muslix64, announced in the Internet discussion forum Doom9 on Dec. 18 that he had successfully copied movies distributed in the HD-DVD format. The note directed readers to a site where demonstration software he had written could be downloaded.
There is no official word from this issue from the HD-DVD coalition which includes companies like Microsoft, Intel, Toshiba and NEC; the Blu-ray camp has Sony, Philips and Samsung. Among studios, Universal is exclusively backing HD-DVD. Paramount and Warner Brothers also support HD-DVD, but not exclusively. Representatives of Walt Disney, 20th Century Fox and Warner Brothers are on the board of the Blu-ray group.
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