Where Blu-ray is a freight train of unrivaled weight and marketing might, backed by 13 of the world's most well known electronics and computer makers, HD DVD is a Little Engine That Could, the product of a much smaller group of collaborators that has gotten over each obstacle by simply thinking it can. Judging from early buzz, HD DVD should have been beaten long ago. Today, though, it appears healthy and gaining in momentum thanks to lower prices, less confusion about disc standards, less in-fighting among the format's supporters and a high likelihood of cheap Chinese models arriving soon. This piece answers the following questions: How in hell has the HD DVD camp lasted this long? And how will the format's backers stay competitive in the next year in the face of cheaper and more plentiful Blu-ray players?