Looking at specifics

The two sides (with planned U.S. release dates for players, if announced):

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* Hardware camps
Blu-Ray: Sony, July; Samsung, June; Philips, second half of 2006; Pioneer, July; Panasonic, September; Sharp; Hitachi; Dell; Apple HD-DVD: Toshiba, mid-April; NEC Intel; Microsoft

* Straddling
Both formats
LG, as early as fall 2006

* Content camps
Blu-ray: Sony Pictures; MGM; 20th Century Fox; Lions Gate; Disney; Electronic Arts
HD-DVD: Universal Pictures; Weinstein Co.

* Straddling
Both formats: Warner Bros. (includes HBO and New Line Cinema); Paramount

* What's the same:
Both formats use blue lasers, with a shorter wavelength than current DVD red lasers, allows more data to be recorded. Both support most common recording formats like MPEG-4 and AVC. Both claim to be backward compatible (meaning you can watch the lower resolution DVDs you already own)

* What's different:
Because few boxes are on the market, real differences are still mostly verbal. What's known is that HD-DVD is less expensive to manufacture because it can use existing DVD manufacturing machinery and facilities, meaning the price for HD-DVD players will likely be lower than Blu-ray ones. However, Blu-ray makers claim storage capacities upwards of 50% more than HD-DVD.
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