What's the difference between the High Definition DVD and a regular DVD? I have a High Definition television set, but a regular DVD player. I don't know if it's worth my while to buy/rent the High Def DVDs.
The difference is in picture quality. HD-DVDs have much better picture quality.
But, you won't be able to watch HD-DVDs on a regular dvd player.
You need an HD-DVD player to watch HD-DVDs.
If your TV screen isn't at least 50" you won't see a whole lot of difference. I have a 42" HD plasma panel. Neighbor brought over his HD player for a spin, I couldn't tell any difference. But on his wall-size projection screen, there is considerable difference.
First off, you need an HD DVD player or Blu-Ray player to enjoy a high def movie. There are upsampling DVD players with HDMI output plugs which change the resolution to 720p, but it is not a true high def signal. Most HD TVs, unless they are very high end = expensive, are 720p/1080i. This means that their resolution is 1366 x 720 pixels. A regular DVD, even through high quality cables, can't reach such a resolution. DVDs will still look great on the tv, but high def movies will look significantly better.
Right now Blu-Ray is in the lead as far as the format wars are concerned.
I'd hold off on buying an HD DVD or Blu-ray player until a single format is established. Blue-ray seems to have the edge right now, but I heard on the radio that one big porn company has already chosen the HD DVD as its format. The way the porn industry goes is the way everyone follows. It sounds crazy, but it's the truth. VHS beat out Beta for the same reasons.
Standard DVDs were devolpoed prior to the advent of High Def so the format is different than what is defined as "high def" today. Standard DVDs only provide 480 lines of resolution. You can buy DVD players that "up-convert" a standard DVD to high def formats of 720p or 1080i from the default 480 format. Even with the up-conversion the source is not high def and the player is just doing some manipulation of the data to simulate high def.
As the other posters mention, the format wars for true high def DVDs; HD-DVD and BluRay, is going on and it's not clear who will win. More than likely dual format players will become more common nad folks will use both formats untill the industry shakes things out. It's not always the best technically. BetaMax was much better than VHS but VHS won the battle in the video tape wars.
You cannot watch them at all? or they just won't play (appear) as high def?
HD-DVD's will not play at all in a regular DVD player.
I bought an XBox 360 a while ago. They have a HD-DVD player "attachment" you can get for $195 or so; has any one here seen or purchased one? For less than $200, its tempting.
I have one Toshiba HD DVD model A2. First you need a TV that's 1080p, hookup your HD DVD Player to your TV with HDMI cables and that's one amazing picture.