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An optical disk format. Developed by the DVD forum with especial backing from Toshiba and Microsoft, HD DVDs are intended to supersede the DVD both for the distribution of video and for data storage – an HD DVD can hold up to 15 Gb on each of up to three layers. Like its rival Blu-ray format, it achieves this greater capacity by using a “blue” (actually, a violet) laser rather than the red laser used for DVDs; the shorter wavelength allows the beam to be focused more precisely and so more data to be packed into a given space. HD DVD was launched in 2006 but subsequently lost market share to Blu-ray. In 2008 Toshiba stopped manufacturing HD DVD products.

Subjects: Computing.

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